Deep talk makes you happier than small talk

A Point of View, Life | | July 6, 2010 at 08:18

"Dr. Conversation" Loren Ekroth PhD

The following excerpt is from an article in Better Conversation Newsletter put together by my friend Loren Ekroth, PhD.  It explains why those late night conversations under the stars, around the campfire, or over a brandy are so satisfying. The eternal questions about life, its meaning and our purpose (or even if we have one) seem to stimulate some pleasure endorphins released only by exercising our brains. Yes, deep talk actually makes you happy (happier.)

“Wow!  Profound news:  That people who participate in deep, meaningful conversations are happier than those who mainly engage in routine talk or small talk – like “weather talk” or gossip or which TV shows they liked.

Could this be so?  Well, at least tentatively when based upon the recent study by University of Arizona psychology professor Matthias Mehl. His published study involved 79 college students, 32 men and 47 women, who agreed to wear an electronically activated recorder that recorded little segments of their conversations for four days.  Those were then classified by researchers as either substantive talk about current affairs, philosophy, etc. or small and routine talk.

The findings?  Those whose self-reports on satisfaction with life and other happiness measures were higher had engaged in a much greater percentage of substantive conversations than those with lower “satisfaction with life” reports.  Professor Mehl is continuing his studies in this area, so stay tuned to learn if future research confirms his initial findings.”

If you would like to hear more about good conversation, and maybe subscribe to Loren’s newsletter, log on to his website:

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