These two chapters highlighted the benefits of conscientious and of being cautious in social situations. The third chapter spoke on how the participants in the study who were less social had the tendency to live longer and that this was likely due to the pressure and unhealthy habits that can arise from certain social situations. Beyond the biological tendencies that the chapters mentioned, the take away from the two is to avoid excess stress and excess risk. The traits associated with conscientious people (such as detail-oriented, well organized, and persistent) are good skills for managing everyday life and avoiding excess stress. On the social side, the chapter didn’t mean to say that social interactions are necessarily bad, but that they have a risk factor associated with them dependent on the quality of the relationships. Social high schoolers are more likely to be involved in situations involving drugs and alcohol compared to less social peers who might live longer as a result.
This makes me think that there is more value in personal time and taking a break from social events than I previously thought. Along those lines I’m more encouraged to continue making lists in an attempt to manage my time and obligations to work towards being more conscientious, as well as trying to be more aware of everything going on around me. It makes me wonder, as my generation gets older, how should we be raising children with chapter 3 in mind? I don’t think discouraging social interactions is at all the answer, but should teachers and parents be pushing shy children so hard to be outgoing if the study found that shy children usually still grow into successful, happy, and somewhat social adults?