Chapter 3 of The Longevity Project details the ways sociability can both help and hurt longevity and the lack of association between childhood sociability and a long life. Being sociable can result in healthy enthusiasm and social connectedness, but also can be problematic, as sociable people are more likely to drink, smoke and behave dangerously due to social pressure or find a buzz more inherently appealing. In this way, sociability can cut both ways. As well, the chapter explains why longevity is important when considering the health of a country or state, explaining that life expectancy is the greatest measure of quality of health. Finally, the chapter suggests that the best way to find a balance between the benefits and risks of sociability is to be selective about who one socializes with and cultivate strong social relations.
This chapter relates to the experiences of my family as we are sociable in forming deep interpersonal connections but not extraverted or sociable in the context of always preferring to be around others. My parents are a great example of this; they often prefer one another’s company to the company of many people at a large gathering. In this way, because they have a deep connection they are sociable with one another but not extraverted or outgoing.
This chapter makes me hopeful about my future, as I form meaningful social ties but do not feel social pressure to excessively drink or smoke. As described in the chapter, this type of sociability is most beneficial to health, and because I have a strong support system but do not engage in risky behaviors, I advance my chances of a long life.