Scientific research shows that “acquaintances” are as important to emotional well-being as friends and family.

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human life It is full of different types of relationships: LoveOf Work, Relativeand many others who weave densely interaction network What defines and shapes us. In this network, we usually highlight friends and family as the greatest exponents of support and affection.

However, recently scientific investigation Challenging this view, “acquaintances“In a place that is as relevant to our emotional well-being as those most intimate relationships. neighbors with whom we exchange morning greetings or colleagues They represent more than just peripheral figures in our lives.

Learn why acquaintances play such a major role in our emotional health.

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Why are acquaintances so important to our well-being?

Since the 1970s, research has highlighted the importance of relations which, at first glance, we can consider peripheral or even unimportant in our lives,

Acquaintances play just as important a role in emotional well-being as friends and family. (Source: Unsplash)

According to an article by very interestingA pioneering study of mark granovetterresearchers of Stanford UniversityMarked a milestone in our understanding of the labor market, showing that most people find employment primarily through what he called “weak ties,

This concept challenges the common belief that it is our close friends and family who help us the most. Help searching for job opportunities,

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The explanation is that these intimate relationships run in similar circles, sharing information and experiences that, in many cases, we already know. instead, Weak ties act as bridges to unknown worldsWhich gives us access to a wider and more diverse network.

In Granovetter’s words: “Weak ties connect you to networks outside your own circle. They give you information and ideas you might not otherwise have access to.”

This view was recently strengthened by an experiment M.I.T.Led by management professor Sinan Aral, who revealed that on platforms such as Linkedinare exactly the same weak ties which mostly Make it easier to find a new job,

According to research, weak ties may be important in finding a job. (Source: Unsplash)

Benefits of weak ties one of two unknown In professionalism:

  • Expanding network of contacts: Acquaintances connect us to a variety of people and situations that our close friends and family cannot.
  • diversity of informationThese weak ties expose us to information and opportunities that would otherwise be out of our reach.
  • labor mobility facility: According to an MIT study, these links are essential to getting ahead professionally, even surpassing recommendations from close friends or family.

Karthik Rajkumar, LinkedIn’s applied research scientist, noted this “Weak ties occupy a large part of the general social network of the labor market”Providing access to a broad spectrum of resources and information.

This is in contrast to our inner circle, which becomes redundant in terms of the resources we can use.

Friends or Acquaintances: The Impact of Technology on Weak Relationships

digital age And social media has further enhanced our ability to maintain and exploit these weak ties.

platforms like Linkedin, Twitter (now known as ‘x‘) And Facebook They allow us to connect and stay updated on the achievements and activities of a wide variety of people Colleague from industry to casual acquaintances,

Modern technology has expanded our ability to maintain and exploit weak ties. (Source: Unsplash)

This panorama emphasizes the importance of the quality of these connections, even in the digital sphere. Technology has given us tools Develop and take advantage of these links More efficiently, opening doors to new business opportunities that may have been previously invisible.

Emotional and social impact of light relationships on friends and family

Gillian M. Sandstrom and Elizabeth W. A pioneering study by Dunn, published in 2014 in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletinconfirm the importance of casual acquaintance In this people’s subjective well-being,

Casual conversation can reduce feelings of loneliness. (Source: Unsplash)

up to that point, Research in Social Psychology He focused his attention almost exclusively on interactions with his inner circle. Sandstrom and Dunn set out to explore whether interactions with acquaintances might also play a role. Happiness Of the people.

Through experiments with students, he discovered that those who interacted with peers more than usualIt is not necessary to be close, experienced an increase in happiness And a greater sense of belonging.

Expanding their research to include all types of daily interactions with both strong and weak ties, the data once again suggested that Light relationships were associated with better social and emotional well-being,

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