Having People You Can Talk to Matters

I had a really fun weekend, mostly because we had friends over Saturday through Sunday, and we just hung out and talked. And we have another friend who’s still staying on our couch, so I was just talking to him.

One of the big things that’s been on my mind recently is just how important it is to have people around that you can really talk to. People who will get what you’re saying, maybe say something useful, maybe reflect it back well, maybe ask a good question. Or maybe just listen.

I thought I knew how much this matters, but I’m coming around to the idea that I was underestimating this factor quite a bit.

There’s a Heinlein quote I enjoy about sleep that says, “Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”

Sleep is huge, but I think happiness is more exactly determined by how much you have people around that you feel like you can talk to. What I remember of my positive psychology class from college tells me that their research pretty much supports this conclusion.

So that’s my super-unoriginal thought for this week. Remember who you have the best conversations with–ones that you enjoy while you’re having them and come away from feeling happier. Invite them over more! Live with them if you can! Call them on the phone! Set up recurring Skype calls with them!

I’m going to be doing more of this myself.

  • Romeo Stevens

    Based on half remembered cognitive science research I hypothesize that there’s a chunk of brain that *only* lights up when you feel you are amongst your tribe. If it never lights up various bad things happen. Stress is much higher as you repeatedly get nudged to find people you can trust so you don’t die.

  • WilliamEden

    I highly second being around your tribe as much as possible. Nuclear families considered harmful. We live in a group house with several other people, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Even so it’s great to have our favorite people around for so long.