Name: Weak ties.

Age: The term was coined American sociologist Mark Granawetter in 1973, but we were loosely connected to each other, nodding and exchanging pleasantries, forever.

Appearance: Diverse. The attractive bowler and touch, the sophisticated coffee orderer, the Tesco Metro goth, the classy colleague in the pants…

I give up – no more new TikTok style trends. I can barely manage coastal dragonfly. No, these are weak members of my “social portfolio”.

What now? These are all the people you encounter in your daily life, from friends and family to vaguely familiar faces you interact with on your commute, in a cafe, on the street, at the gym… These are your “weak ties »: people you don’t know well, but have an amazing exchange with. Who is yours?

My relationship with Looks Like His Renired Greyhound, Quiet-Coach Shared-Eyeroll Woman, and I Think His name is Dave, but it’s too late to talk about – it’s my personal business. Well, they can do you more good than you imagine.

How so? A study published this week shows that people who interact with a diverse “social portfolio” report greater life satisfaction and well-being. Harvard researchers took a sample of 50,000 people from eight countries and analyzed their social networks; those with more “weak ties” had higher levels of satisfaction.

Hmm, but maybe people with lots of connections are just naturally sunnier? The researchers found that — and that feeling bad or unhappiness can narrow your social circle and make you report less life satisfaction, two aspects that aren’t necessarily linked. But they also noticed that people reported feeling better in the weeks when they interacted more. It seems that making new connections only makes us happy.

I don’t believe. I’m happy as a clam, staying at home all day without talking to anyone. The researchers note that “a large body of literature demonstrates people’s surprising inability to predict which decisions will lead to the highest well-being.” In other words, you don’t know what’s good for you.

However, I don’t have time for long conversations with everyone and everything. I have passes that I do not approve of. It’s quantity, not quality: The variety of people in your social network is more important than how much time you spend with them. Diversifying your portfolio “can offer a time-neutral means of building wealth,” according to the study.

Are you saying I should ditch my close friends for a bunch of random acquaintances? The study also found that “social portfolio diversity was a stronger predictor of subjective well-being than being married.” Just saying.

Say: “It’s colder today, isn’t it?”

Don’t say: “I left my wife for you bus stop Dave – you could at least ask how my day is going.”

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