… is more important than who grooms you,” observed Stanford biologist, Robert Sapolsky. He studies baboons, humans, group behavior and stress. “Social support is vital, no matter how healthy you are.”
Suggests psychology professor Dacher Keltner, “Human beings are wired to
care and give and it’s probably our best route to happiness.”
Literally see how we look when we connect well with each other in Keltner’s book due out in January, Born to Be Good. In it 60 photos of human emotions support his view that, “emotion is the key to living the good life and how the path to happiness goes through human emotions that connect people to one another.”
Unlike Robert Greene who advocates power through manipulation. Keltner outlines an approach to attracting great support and friendship through giving, “power to those who can best serve the interests of the group.” Experiments he led with Cameron Anderson, show that such “social intelligence is essential not only to rising to power, but also to keeping it.” The so-called “Machiavellians” who adopted Greene’s approach in the experiments did not retain power in their group.
One reason? Trust brings us closer. Yes that’s obvious, yet Michael Kosfeld’s mind game shows you how. Pamela Paxton and Jeremy Adam Smith found that, in the U.S. trust has been “declining for decades.”
So Keltner bring good news. Our instincts to be ”selfish, individualistic, and competitive” are but “half the story.” His research shows we can build trust and connection by cultivating ”gratitude, amusement, awe and even embarrassment.”
Mourning Mumbai, in giving thanks today consider this Sikh saying, “let all humanity be your sect.”