Catching Some Happy

OK. This is just a bit hard for me to swallow. My friends’ friends’ friends are impacting my happiness quotient? Are social contagions real, like obesity and smoking? And if these findings are in fact “true” (whatever that means) is there a moral obligation in all this as well?

Weakened from my bout of FP (just can’t bring myself to write it out in words, matching the word “food” with something so pernicious!) I am simply asking you to read this piece from the New York Times written by a woman with an extraordinary name–Pam Belluck. Bell, like French belle, for beautiful, coupled with good old fashioned luck. That’s auspicious, Beautiful Luck.


How happy you are may depend on how happy your friends’ friends’ friends are, even if you don’t know them at all.

And a cheery next-door neighbor has more effect on your happiness than your spouse’s mood.

So says a new study that followed a large group of people for 20 years — happiness is more contagious than previously thought.


3 Replies to “Catching Some Happy”

  1. Read this story coming home on the train last night. It seems to be commonly accepted that happiness is contagious. An intuitive truth? Can you tell that I’m smiling as I read your post? 🙂

  2. Tolstoy reworked: All happy people people are caught up in a contagion; each unhappy one is insuperably immune.

  3. […] discussion around what is socially transmitted and what is not. (Here’s an earlier post on this topic.) While the claim that happiness is contagious (and the subject of the lead article […]

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