Happiness is associated with time with friends

The mechanisms of happiness are a permanent question in scientific research. What makes people happy One of those things is hanging out with friends. That seems obvious. However, one study says it’s even better than spending time with family. Southern Methodist University in the US took the time to conduct this study. Happiness is associated with time with friends, as described in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Happiness is more related to time with friends than with family.
Happiness is more related to time with friends than with family.
Spread the time

What is the study about? The allocation of time for entertainment and responsibility. “Previous research suggests that intimacy is a basic human need. When it is satisfied, it is positively associated with well-being. However, communicating with partners and family members can be psychologically stressful. How? For example, because of the pressures associated with the need to offer support, care, and empathy. This is what the authors of the study write.

This prompted researchers to test how people rate their time with family and friends. More than 400 people took part in the study. The scientists asked them to reflect on the time they had spent with friends or family. And they had to remember what they had done and evaluate those experiences. They had to define whether they had emotions like happiness, contentment, and the feeling of meaning. Each emotion was rated from 0 (almost never) to 6 (almost always).

Family activities come with some not-so-pleasant commitments.
Family activities come with some not-so-pleasant commitments.

This information was added to other responses about how study participants felt at different times. It enabled the authors to assess the degree of happiness experienced. The time spent with family and partners received lower scores. Participants were happier with their friends.

Not with whom, but with what

However, the researchers note that it’s not about the status of the relationship. But from the activity that the participants shared with certain people. They combined a fun and interesting hobby with friends. And family and children were mostly associated with housework and other unpleasant activities.

Activities with the couple include socializing, relaxing, and eating. People often do something similar with friends, but in different proportions. For example, 65% of the time spent with friends was related to communication. But in pairs only 28% of the time.

While spending time with their children, participants spent more time engaging in activities that evoked negative associations. Like housework and travel. However, childcare was generally rated as a positive activity.

“It is important to create opportunities for positive experiences with your partner and your children. Family relationships that only involve housework and childcare are unlikely to bring good luck, ”says psychology professor Nathan Hudson.

When only pleasant activities were described, there were no significant differences. It was equally good for them to have fun with both of them. Happiness, in this case, is associated with time with friends and family.

“Differences in happiness with friends and family have nothing to do with differences in relationships between people. There is an optimistic view of the family. People still enjoy being with their partner and children, ”summarizes Hudson.

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