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8 minutes: why it would be the ideal length of a phone call according to an expert

The emergence of new means of communication, such as social networks, they’ve changed permanently our way of relating. Although it is easier than ever to contact anyone, it also means added “pressure.” There are not so many barriers to contacting a loved one.

Sometimes, postponing a call or sending a message is simply due to lack of time. What if it really wasn’t necessary so much for maintain contact in a healthy and effective way?

This is what a professor at the psychiatry unit at Harvard University, Bob Waldinger, says. In an article, published within the framework of the “7-day happiness challenge” of the New York Times, We found out why reducing talk time makes sense.

8 minutes, the optimal time

The professor affirms that just 8 minutes of telephone conversation with a loved one may be enough to improve our well-being and relationship with others. This time would be optimal to communicate and convey what we want, without disturbing the other person’s schedules.

“Think of a person you miss, who you would like to stay in touch with more often. Then, send them a message asking if they would like to talk to you for eight minutes; ideally, today or within the week. This way, you can also the stagnant stress of not having talked to that friend is eliminated for a long time” assures the expert, who also recommends setting the next telephone appointment with this loved one, to forget about the stress of procrastination.

According to the researcher, most busy people “tend to think that in some unspecified future, we will have a ‘window’, in which we can connect with old friends.” He highlights, however, that it may never materialize, hence the importance of taking advantage of the present time.

Limit communication barriers

The article also highlights that this reduced time can avoid communication problems. In the study “Do conversations end when people want them to?” (Do conversations end when people want?), conducted in 2021, several researchers demonstrated that the two interlocutors of a conversation They almost never coincide at the time of completion. Some want to lengthen it, others shorten it. The 8-minute limit may be, in this sense, a solution.

Another study, titled “Effect of Layperson-Delivered, Empathy-Focused Program of Telephone Calls on Loneliness, Depression, and Anxiety Among Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” empathy on loneliness, depression and anxiety among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic”) highlighted that participants who received short phone calls several times a week saw their levels of depression, loneliness and anxiety reduce rapidly compared with people who did not receive these calls.

Finally, several studies support that the secret to happiness is the maintenance of healthy social relationships. This is also highlighted by the book The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Study on Happinessconducted by Rober Waldinger and Marc Schulz, two academics at Harvard University.

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