Gretchen Rubin, author of "Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives," says strong relationships are the key to happiness. Following is a transcript of the video.
I was surprised by how much evidence there is that to be happy and even to be healthy we really need to have strong relationships with other people.
Well, what is the key to happiness? There's a couple different ways you can answer that question depending on how you frame it. But one thing, absolutely, that ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists would agree is that a key, and perhaps the key to happiness, is relationships.
We need to feel like we could confide, we have to feel like we belong, we have to be able to get support, and just as important for happiness, we need to be able to give support, we need enduring intimate bonds.
So anytime you’re trying to think about how to be happier, thinking about relationships, whether it’s deepening relationships, or broadening relationships, is probably something that’s going to be really helpful for you in making yourself happier.
So, if you’re debating like should I go to all the trouble to go to my college reunion? Or should I spring for the expense of going to my friend’s wedding? Or should I bother to join that book group? Or does it make sense for me to spend a little time chatting with my coworkers instead of just sitting down and getting my work done?
If it’s something that’s going to strengthen a relationship, it’s probably something that’s going to boost your happiness in the long run. And I was just surprised by how consistently that shows up in sort of anyway you look at happiness and health this is a result that just, over and over, comes up.
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