Daniel Tomasulo explains that though "we are hardwired from birth to be happy when we get salt, fat, sweet things and sex," true happiness stems from somewhere deeper:
It is the goodness of social relationships that truly makes us happy. Good relationships are the foundations for almost every measure of well being. Our immune system, our incidental sense of peace and joy, and our optimism for the future is better when we feel good about our daily social relationships. The better we feel in the social network of others in our life, the happier we are. With poor or nonexistent relationships we cannot flourish...
Choosing who we want to be with, and talk to, and spend time with sounds like a no-brainer. But the truth is most people simply don’t do it. We feel obligations and play politics, and in doing so lessen the time we spend with people who make us happy. More than this, consider those with little or no choice those placed in foster homes, prisons, institutions, group homes, rehabs, hospitals, and yes, even college dorms. Why are there so many interpersonal problems in these settings? [Jacob Levy] Moreno would argue that the lack of sociometric choice is the culprit.
And we wonder why the ancients placed so much emphasis on the virtue and centrality of friendship.
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