The chapter on social support really surprised me. I was kind of confused by the fact that the researchers stressed the number of relationships that you have rather than the quality. Doesn’t the phrase “quality not quantity” mean something? In my personal experience, I have 2 best friends from home that are my people and I frankly feel fulfilled just having them as my friends. I really don’t ever feel like I’m missing something or I don’t have enough social connections. The statements the researchers made threw me off because I’m someone who prefers to have a few great friends rather than a whole bunch of semi-decent friends. On the test, I scored a 13, which really concerns me! I do feel like I have the social support that I need, but I don’t have a million friends and I’m not someone who loves giving advice or telling people what they should do. Therefore, the conclusion the researchers made in my opinion may be presented in the wrong way. I think it’s important to have solid and strong social support, rather than a quantity of people and relationships within your social network.
I thought the chapter on Gender was interesting. I’ve definitely always heard that women live longer than men and genuinely wondered why. In my head I always thought it was a genetic predisposition or something combined with the personality traits of women. From personal experience, I know that I continuously analyze my body for flaws and pay extremely close attention to my health and relationships with others, therefore, promoting a longer life for me. However, it was interesting to see that personality traits such as social connection and empathy were actually relevant in longevity and were more common in women than men. Additionally, I found it extremely interesting that feminine men outlived the masculine women. That to me is astounding and actually quite frightening as I am considered a masculine woman. In the test, I scored a -7 which would lean me to the more masculine side and actually kind of concerns me for the state of my longevity. I think the point at the end of the chapter is relevant though that throughout all these chapters it’s impossible to just tell yourself to change your personality traits in order to live a longer life. At the end of the day, you are who you are and there are just some things you can’t change. That’s not to say that there aren’t other things that you can take a closer look at and refine in your personality though.