It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, haven’t you heard? Mister Rogers said so—and now his simple advice on how to be a good person has been backed by sophisticated polling data.
As part of the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index, saying hello to more than 1 neighbor was shown to correlate with greater self-perception of well-being.
Averaged across five dimensions that included career, communal, physical, financial, and social well-being, the increase which greeting a neighbor had led to around a 2-point increase on a scale of 0-100 up until the sixth neighbor, at which point further greetings had no measured impact.
Interestingly, when the well-being scores are looked at individually and not averaged together, the sixth neighbor is where the perception of well-being in life peaks for social and communal well-being, but not financial well-being.
No; perception of financial well-being kept on climbing and climbing, only to cease at the 11th such greeting; a profound revelation—repeated positive social interaction benefited perception of personal finance even more than personal sense of community.
Men were more likely to greet neighbors than women, as were people with children under the age of 18 in the household, and people with a household income of more than $120k a year.
Individuals aged 40 to 65+ were the most common greeters of neighbors, and 27% of the over 4,000 participants greeted 5 neighbors or more in a day.
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“Recent Gallup research in partnership with Meta has shown that the U.S. compares favorably with other nations around the world in social interactions,” the polling company states, “with those in the U.S. more likely than those in countries such as Mexico, India, and France to interact with the people who live near them.”
“Notably, greeting neighbors is also linked to career wellbeing (liking what you do each day), physical wellbeing (having energy to get things done), and financial wellbeing (managing your money well),” the report continued. “The associations found among these latter three elements are likely more multifaceted in nature and could be reinforced in part through the correlations found with social and community wellbeing.”
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