Feeling Down? Have a Deep Conversation

Jeremy Sharp, PhD relationships 2 Comments

According to a recent study, titled “Eavesdropping on Happiness,” increased well-being is associated with more “substantive” conversation. Authors found that happier individuals spend less time alone and engage in deeper conversations (vs. chit-chat) than less happy individuals.

While the methodology of this study isn’t ironclad by any means, it does provide some evidence that superficial conversation isn’t as fulfilling as emotional conversation. This is something we’ve been seeing in our therapy groups for years, so it’s nice to have a little more scientific backing.

I feel like there’s a lot to be done with this topic though. Personally, I feel like chit-chat has its place. My wife and I were just discussing the benefits of deep vs. non-deep conversation the other night; we’re both therapists, and things can get REALLY deep when we hang out with our therapist friends. Sometimes we have to step back and just play some Cranium, you know? I’d like to see more longitudinal research looking at fluctuations in happiness or tolerance for emotional conversation over time.

My morning coffee’s wearing off, so I’m struggling to find much more to say on this right now 🙂 Maybe y’all could help me out – thoughts, reactions, etc.?


Comments 2

  1. I think neither are good on their own.
    I think too much chit-chating will leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled, however I think that too much of a deep conversation may put you down, make you feel trapped in thoughts, too much deeply analyzing everything prevents you from actually living it, instead you are only looking around and analyzing everything.

    Like everything else in life I think the only healthy way is through balance, the middle way to quote buddha. You have to find balance between living the moment and not deeply analyzing every move, and between not getting into depth at all and being left feeling empty.

    1. Post

      Thanks for reading and for the comment, Adi. I’m a big fan of balance. You bring a great point for us to remember in many aspects of life.

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