The Happiness Ratio
Are you a happy person? Hard to answer, isn’t it? I’m happy one minute and then a little while later I’m sad or angry or frustrated.
After reading this excellent article, Here’s the Magic Number That Leads to Happiness by Eric Barker, I realize that happiness is all about the math. He shows that it’s ok to have negative feelings as long as there are at least three times the positive feelings in your life.
3 to 1.
I’m not great at math, but I can get that. 3 to 1.
This ratio works for friendships, work, and marriage, though the number for a committed couple is more like 5 to 1 since the negatives can be more painful when you’re intimate with someone.
A positive can come in many shapes and sizes: a compliment, a question about how the other person is doing, a smile, a touch, a listening ear, a hug. The more the better.
So your math homework tonight is to pile on the positives so you and those around you can live happier lives.
P.S. What’s your ratio now?