The good life is built with good relationships.
For many years, I’ve always wondered why people fail to develop good relationships with as many people as feasible. To me, there is nothing more precious; it forms the basis of our existence as humans. Unfortunately, developing good relationships with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, and acquaintances is not as easy as I’ve always thought— or desired, at times.
Many of my friends have made me realise that everybody is not the same— while others are very social, mixing up easily with people, others are reserved, and they only talk when it becomes extremely necessary. Although I agree with this assertion, yet I believe maintaining good relationships transcends only talking.
We can care for others, cater for their well-being, make them feel special, and recognise their worth without even talking or jumping at them.
But matter-of-factly, what are the actual benefits of maintaining good relationships?
I watched with awe how Robert Waldinger, a researcher with Harvard University, put forward some hard facts in a recent TED talk. According to him, a team of researchers had tracked the lives of 724 men for 75 years “TO SEE WHAT REALLY KEEPS PEOPLE HAPPY AND HEALTHY.”
With only 60 of the original men alive today, most in their 90s, the study has successfully established that “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”
The study also showed that “social connections are really good for us, and that loneliness kills. People who are more socially connected to family, friends and community are happier, they are physically healthier and they live longer than people who are less well connected.”
People who are lonely and more isolated from others are less happy, and eventually live shorter lives.
Robert says “It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you are in a committed relationship, but it’s the quality of your close relationships that matters. High-conflict marriages, for example, without much affection, turn out to be very bad for our health, perhaps worse than getting divorced.”
Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains. Based on this ageless study, Robert concluded by saying that
the people who fared the best were the people who leaned in to relationships with family, with friends, with community. The good life is built with good relationships. Thank You.
Many—if not all—of us want to be wealthy, famous, and become a high achiever. That’s fantastic, but in trying to achieve that, we must try very hard never to ignore building good relationships. They help us to lead a fulfilling life.