The importance of social relationships.

Keeping in touch takes effort. Is it worth it? Learn about the benefits of close relationships. Invest in social habits for health, happiness and longevity.


Become happier

Close connections are the source for happiness.



What makes us happy? There's always been a huge debate. Long-term studies show that fame or money doesn't matter. Instead, close relationships play a huge role.


  • Reflect what is more important for you: Being happy, rich or famous?

  • Invest in the happiness of your friends and family by taking care of your relationships and it will make you happier as well.

  • It's the meaningful and close quality relationships that make us happy not every low-effort connection.

  • If you want to be happy, make enough time for quality connections.

Dive deeper

  1. Robert Waldinger and his team studied 724 men for more than 75 years. The key result is that good relationships keep us happy and healthy.

    What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | Robert Waldinger
  2. A goal involving friends or family members or just making you more social will make you happier than something you can do alone.

    Is Social Connection the Best Path to Happiness?
    Greater Good | UC Berkely
  3. Happiness can be like the energy we use to meet new people and we recharge it by meeting our most close people.

    People Seek Out a Certain Kind of Person When They Are Happy
    The Atlantic
  4. If many in your circles are happy or depressed it affects the others. Spending time with close contacts makes all feel better including yourself.

    Happiness Is 'Infectious' In Network Of Friends: Collective - Not Just Individual - Phenomenon

Live longer

Taking care of people extends your life.



There's a lot of research suggesting that having close social relationships is one of the most important factors for longevity. Some studies show a bigger effect than obesity, alcohol, smoking, sports etc. Many people consciously practice healthy habits, but rely on their autopilot for social relationships.


  • Are you fasting, meditating, doing sports, eating healthy, limiting alcohol and smoking for health and longevity? The impact of social relationships according to the current state of science is actually more impactful. You don't have to quit any of these good habits, but they should not come at the price of friends and family.

  • Remember for your health and life expectation it's equally or perhaps even more important to have good bonds. Make enough time compared to other health-related activities.

  • You can do almost all of these good habits in a social context. No need to compromise.

Dive deeper

  1. This article gives an overview of the impact of personal relationships on longevity.

    Why Relationships Are the Secret to Healthy Aging
    Greater Good | UC Berkeley
  2. The New York Times explains why having friends is a critically important contributor to good health and longevity.

    Social Interaction Is Critical for Mental and Physical Health
    New York Times

Improve mental health

Social relationships influence your mental health.



The lack of social relationships is a key contributor to mental health issues like depression, anxieties and other psychological illnesses. Support from friends and family plus regular community activities increases wellbeing.


  • Learn and reflect on how social relationships influence your mental health and also of your family and friends.

  • Remember you need to have a few good bonds to avoid the problems and get benefits like wellbeing. Having many mediocre relationships doesn't help here.

  • Watch out for toxic relationships.

  • Try to be more present, listen and find people who listen to you.

  • Invest enough time for quality social connections.

  • Read more about close personal relationships and vulnerability.

Dive deeper

  1. Why Spending Time With Friends Is One of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Health

    Why Spending Time With Friends Is One of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Health

The influence of people around you

You affect your friends and they change you.



Network science reveals that obesity, depression, poverty, altruistic behavior and much more doesn't just depend on you. A huge part depends on your network. This has huge implications. It means any positive contribution from you pays itself back. It also means we should be attentive to any issues in our circles, not just ourself.


  • Understand that any positive or negative thing affects your close people and vice versa.

  • If you invest in your close friends and help them fix their problems your situation will improve as well, one study says the effect can even multiply by three.

  • Reflect about your circles and if there is any shared positive or negative aspect.

Dive deeper

  1. Watch this video as an introduction.

    The hidden influence of social networks | Nicholas Christakis

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