The pressure to look cool and popular may not be as bad when you are in your 30s as compared to your teen years or even the 20s. Still not having many folks to hang around with might sometimes make us wonder whether we have turned loners or worse – weirdoes.
A new study tells us that not having many friends in our 30s is really not that important. After all, by this time we should be more concerned about the quality of our relationships and not obsess over numbers.
Lead researcher Cheryl L. Carmichael of Brooklyn College says that happiness in middle age depends on two different friendship related factors: the number of friends you have in your 20s and the quality of your friendships in your 30s, reports the Metro.
The study included using data from 200 university students who had been asked to keep diaries in the 70s and 80s. The participants were then asked to keep track of their social interactions over the course of two weeks, once in their 20s and once in their 30s, keeping track of how many times they interacted with people and well as the level of emotional intimacy in those interactions.
The researchers found a link between the number of interactions in the participants 20s and their happiness at 50 – the more interactions, the better. But this wasn’t the case for interactions in the 30s, where the quality of those interactions had a greater impact on the person’s disposition and overall well-being.
The researchers opined that for most people in their 30s, family, kids and career hardly leave any time for maintaining many friendships, so for them the quality of those relationships matter more.