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Meaningful talk, Compliments to Listening: Good interaction with friend improves everyday well-being

Researchers said the study was also designed to explore the impact of both the quality and quantity of daily communications.

Written By: India TV Lifestyle Desk New Delhi Updated on: February 03, 2023 10:21 IST
Good interaction
Image Source : FREEPIK Good interaction with a friend (Representational Image)

Meeting and talking to your friends help you live a great life and improve everyday well-being. Catching up with your favourites to have a little fun, or communicating with them makes you happier and less stressed. These are among the results of a new study co-authored by University of Kansas professor of Communication Studies and friendship expert Jeffrey Hall.

The types of communication to make people feel more bonded through conversation are 

1. Catching up 

2. Meaningful talk 
3. Joking around 
4. Showing care 
5. Listening 
6. Valuing others and their opinions
7. Offering sincere compliments

The very act of intentionally reaching out to a friend in one of these ways was what mattered most. "One of the take-home messages of this study is that there are many paths toward the same goal," Hall said. He said the study was also designed to explore the impact of both the quality and quantity of daily communications. 

"There's a lot of good research that says the number of interactions you have as well as the quality of interactions are both associated with being a less lonely, happier and more connected person," said Hall. 

This study found that once is enough, but more is better. Participants who chose to have more quality conversations had better days. "This means the more that you listened to your friends, the more that you showed care, the more that you took time to value others' opinions, the better you felt at the end of the day," he said.

"The experimental design means that it's not just people who are already having fulfilling lives who have higher-quality conversations," Hall said. "This study suggests that anyone who makes time for high-quality conversation can improve their well-being. We can change how we feel on any given day through communication. Just once is all it takes."

The study also brought in Hall's past research on different ways to connect in the era of social and mobile media. The study found high quality face-to-face communication was more closely associated with well-being than electronic or social media contact. "If at least one of their quality conversations was face-to-face, that mattered," Hall said. 

The paper also explains why quality communication makes people feel better. CBB theory claims that people use conversations with friends to help get their need to belong met. "Across these three studies, quality conversation mattered most for connection and stress," Hall said. "This supports the idea that we use communication to get our need to belong met, and, in doing so, it helps us manage our stress."

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