Happiness would go through the diversity of types of relationships
Happier people tend to spend more time with other people, studies have already shown.
Is it enough to be in a relationship, to be close to your family and to have a circle of friends to be happy?
The results of a study conducted by American researchers show that people who maintain several types of social relationships, both close and distant, tend to be happier than those whose diversity of relationships is more restricted. In other words, you need a village around you to promote happiness.
The relationship between social connections and well-being is well documented. Many studies have shown that the happiest people tend to spend more time with other people, and that people are happiest when they are socially engaged.
Our regular social interactions include contact with merchants that we often meet on a daily basis.
While for many people happiness is primarily associated with the relational trio of love, friendship and family, the work of Professor Alison Wood Brooks and her colleagues at the Harvard University tend to show that the more social baggage an individual has, the happier he is.
Our results provide initial evidence that the diversity of a person's social background may be an important predictor of their well-being, beyond the total amount of their social interactions, note the authors of this work published in the journal < em>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The social baggage of an individual is made up of all his social interactions. This includes the relational trio (love, friendship, family), but also all the other ties he has with the people who share his daily life – and whose importance is usually considered rather relative – such as acquaintances, colleagues, hairdresser or convenience store clerk.
The relationship between the hairdresser and his client can be included in the ” social baggage” of a person.
In its work, the Pre Brooks team analyzed the social background of 50,000 people from 8 countries. Participants answered a series of questions about their relationships and happiness in four independent studies conducted in the United States, France, Mexico, India, China, Russia, Ghana and South Africa. /p>
Their result is clear: having a diverse set of relationship types predicts greater well-being, both in life satisfaction than in the quality of life itself.
Moreover, the effect of diversity in social background was measurable over time. During weeks when the diversity of a person's social background was greater than usual, they exhibited greater well-being than usual, the researchers note.
Interestingly, diversity of social background was a better predictor of subjective well-being than being married, another well-established factor of well-being.
Pre Alison Wood Brooks and her colleagues offer an explanation for their findings. According to them, a more relationally diverse social background can provide a neutral space for discussion.
Recent work suggests that individuals discuss important topics with less close people more often than traditional social network theory predicts, particularly in one-on-one conversations when the relationship stakes are lower, they note.