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A Time To Hug

November 17, 2011

Kindness is built into your DNANew research recently has highlighted the fact that kindness & empathy are character traits which exist as a part of your DNA. This suggests that some people are genetically wired to be kinder, trusting, and more sociable. However, DNA does not have the final say about a person’s ability to empathize with another human; your social environment also influences your social behavior. The senior scientist involved with the study says:

Putting [less sociable] people in more comfortable (happy) environments…may help to coax them out of their shells and help them feel more “warm and fuzzy.”

This research is comforting for me. It means I’m on the right path. I mention in the About Tom page, as an arthritis survivor, my pain prevents me from being sociable sometimes. So I work hard to locate comfortable, or happy, environments that suppress the “grumpy” Tom and extract the “warm and fuzzy” Tom. This method works; I highly recommend it.

You are warned though! When you start searching for happy environments, be prepared, you’ll probably observe a handful of hugs–a bonding action that is built into our DNA. If you’re not a hugger, but a handshaker, you’ll quickly adapt. Dr. Frans de Waal, one of the world’s best-known primatologists, says in his book, The Age of Empathy:

Bonding is essential for our species, it is what makes us happiest.

hugs not handshakes

So, to wrap up this post, if you’re life can use a boost in happiness, start looking for huggers. They’ll lead you to the comfortable and happy environments. We’re past the days of the hand shake. It’s a time to hug. Thanks for reading, letUbeU! 🙂

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