Researchers found the happiest people had about twice as many substantive conversations and engaged in only about a third as much trivial small talk as the unhappiest people.
“A happy daily life seems to be social rather than solitary and has meaningful conversations,” Mehl said.
Researchers defined “small talk” as uninvolved conversations where trivial information is discussed, such as: “What do you have there? Popcorn? Yummy.”
Substantive conversations involve more meaningful exchanges like this: “If you educate kids, they actually have a future. They’re not going to cause problems in society.”
In the happiest individuals, meaningful discussions made up about 46 percent of their total conversations.
I had a conversation today with a good friend about the difference of simply existing, engaging in little more than the logistics of life and how to make life move forward vs. engaging in things beyond your own life. She asked , “Well what is to say that you cannot be perfectly happy just ‘existing’?”.
Well, in a study at the University of Arizona researchers found that the happiest individuals in the study where having more deep, meaningful conversations as opposed to “small” talk. Given my enjoyment for understanding how things work I think that this type of result is exciting – potentially meaning that a habit of increasing the amount of meaningful conversations you have would increase your sense of well-being.
So now, go out and discussing something that’s not the logistics of life!