Our happiness is proportional to the number of our friends ?

What is due to our happiness ? 50% of the hereditary factors on which we can not much, replied the science. But for the rest ? Many of us believe that the fact of being well surrounded is capital. But is it important to have many friends or rather to have quality relationships ? What are, furthermore, aspects of the friendship that really matters when we talk about happiness ? Return on a variety of scientific studies and the answers they provide.

Lolita Rubens
– Updated 14 February 2019 18:08


The method

American researchers questioned 300 women and 123 men 18 to 44 years of age (the average age was 23 years), face-to-face or by telephone. Participants responded first to questions relating to the number of their friends, the quality of their relationship with their best friend and the conflicts that they could encounter in their friendly relations. They proposed then a personality test, taking into account five dimensions (including the agréabilité and extraversion). Finally, an overall score of happiness was measured using responses to several questionnaires measuring the overall satisfaction in relation to life as well as the positive and negative emotions.

The result

The results showed that a high score of happiness was linked to a good quality of relationship and the fact of having few conflicts with his best friend. Some dimensions of personality (including the agréabilité and extraversion) were also related. However, these elements of personality are shown to be less important than the quality of the friendships in the prediction of happiness. Thus, even if there are predispositions to happiness, to have friendly relations is a plus. The number of friends, him, has no impact on the level of happiness. Finally, it seems that the sharing and support are the two elements that explain why friends are important to our happiness.

The conclusion


Put yourself to the test !

What friend are you ? What would you be willing to do to your friends ? To what extent their opinion does it for you ? As many of the questions that will let you know what place you give to the friendship and to those who embody it in your life.

This study confirms that the personality, and friendly relations – in particular, with the best friend – have an influence on the level of happiness, but it can also be observed that this is not the number but the quality of friendships that counts. In addition, the impact of the quality of the relationships with our friends on our happiness is more important than our personality. Our actions matter more than an item that is considered as innate. Thus, there is no point in collecting friends if the relationship you have with each of them is not of high quality !

Source : Demır, M., & Weitekamp, L. A. (2007). I am so happy ‘cause today I found my friend: Friendship and personality as predictors of happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 8(2), 181-211.

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