Stil jete

How many trusted people do you need in life to be happy?

How many trusted people do you need in life to be happy?

What is the secret of happiness? The value of personal relationships is becoming more and more important today. For emotional well-being (and beyond) connections with others are essential. American psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, who has directed the landmark Study of Human Happiness at Harvard since 1938, discovered the importance of having at least two trusted people to turn to in times of need. So, two people. But there are also some other conditions that are essential.

The perils of loneliness

Sharing worries and stress with others helps the body return to a state of balance. Because chronic loneliness can lead to high levels of stress and negatively affect our health.

Quality of relationships

The study found that the quality of relationships is essential. Having strong and meaningful connections with others improves happiness and health. "During the study, we asked participants to make a list of people they would call in the middle of the night if they were sick or scared. Almost everyone had their list, but there were those who could not tell anyone. Among these also those who were married", answers Waldinger surprised. And that's why he encourages everyone, regardless of personality, to cultivate deep friendships and engage in passionate pursuits: in order to expand their social circle.

Actions to be taken

Spending time with close friends, children and your partner is essential and should be part of your routine, according to the psychiatrist. Regular meetings help maintain and strengthen emotional bonds over time.

The genetic component

But there is also a genetic component to happiness. According to a study by psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, 50% depends on our DNA, on our innate temperament.


What do people regret the most? 'To work hard and not spend time with loved ones', explains Waldinger in the interview. The researcher specifies that these are the answers of those who are nearing the end of their lives and who are around 80 years old. "It's true - admits the researcher - it seems like a cliché, but it's true."

What do women regret?

What do women regret? They regret allowing themselves to be so influenced by the opinions of others.

What makes you proud?

When asked 'what makes you happiest?' No one said 'I'm rich' or 'I won a Nobel'. Instead, everyone focused on relationships. "I was a good father, a good mother, a good guide," explains the researcher, listing the answers. When we reach the end of our lives, we essentially pay attention to what really matters.