Don’t go around believing that misery loves company. It doesn’t. You may think a lot of people who are feeling down would take comfort keeping the company of other unhappy people or even people less smarter than them. No. They don’t.
In a study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, it was found that happy people are less influenced by comparisons between themselves and others. In other words, happy people, whether feeling superior or not, couldn’t care less who they spend time with. It could be with the members of the literary club or the Future Nuclear Physicists Association or some less intellectually endowed people.
The Research That Backed This Up
In a set of studies, a number of South Korean undergraduates (whose pre-determined levels of happiness scores were high or low) were asked to imagine they got an inferior grade on a certain test. They were then asked to envision a friend who, either scored better on the same test and had a happy disposition, or a friend who scored badly and was generally unhappy.
These research participants were then requested to report whether they wanted to hang out or chill out with which friend and what their expected over-all mood would have been after spending time with either.
The happy guys/gals, those who had high degrees of happiness, were keener on spending time with the friend who was “happy and scored well in the test” and felt they would have been happier, chirper after spending some time with him. On the other hand, the unhappy participants didn’t show any preference for either friend.
So, what does this say? It says happy people are more likely to socialize with happy but superior, smarter friends. They are not uncomfortable with those who are more intellectually superior than them. They feel spending time with a happy friend is a much better, more rewarding decision. After all, as the research further adds, happy people are more generous, more helpful and more cooperative. They would tend to regard their friends in a more favorable light, are more attentive, pretty friendly and warmer. By and large, they have this light-hearted mood that is infectious, the benefits of which usually rubs off on us.
It’s been said and proven often enough: happiness spurs success in our lives. So go out and be around happy and high performing friends. Be happy!