Quality vs. Quantity – The value of a good relationship

By Executive Director, John Reilly, LCSW, PsyA

Frequently, I hear both patients of mine and Sage students say,“ If only I was popular, then I would be happy.”

Unfortunately, people have this notion that with popularity, comes happiness. Contrary to this common belief, a recent CNN article titled, “The downside to being popular in high school,” shared a study that found that popularity in high school was negatively correlated to satisfaction later in life. The results of the long-term study, which followed and researched a group of teens for 10 years, found that “having close friendships during adolescence is associated with decreases in anxiety and depressive symptoms and an increase in self-worth later in life.”  Another finding was that being popular in high school was tied to higher social anxiety in adulthood.

The study supports the benefit of quality in relationships. Popularity can be a numbers game where maintaining popularity takes precedence over depth. When we meet prospective students at Sage, one of the themes is their longing for a connection. Close friends share their insecurities, family problems, dating issues and many other struggles that they may not want others to know beyond those close confidants.

At Sage Day our students have a chance to experience meaningful relationships. By experiencing the kinship and depth of meaningful relationships, Sage Day students develop the resilience and courage to take chances academically, socially and creatively. It sets that important tone for what lies ahead.