With it starting to get really cold here in Boston, I thought a little heart warming post was all we need.
A study recently conducted by Yale University showed those who were physically warmer were more likely to be warm or generous to other people. Researchers rode the elevator up with their recruited volunteers and asked the recruit to help out by holding their cup of coffee while they wrote down the name of the recruit on their clipboard. Sometimes it would be a hot cup of coffee, sometimes it would be an iced cup of coffee.
These recruits were then asked to rate personality traits of a fictitious person. Those who had the warm cup of coffee rated the person with more generous personality traits than those that held the iced cup of coffee. They conducted other studies as well but all came up with the same result that your physical warmth was related to your psychological "warmth".
So does that explain the unfriendliness from many of the people in the Northeast? Everyone is physically cold, especially this time of year, which tends to make people more psychologically cold. I can understand that, who wants to take time to go outside and chat with neighbors/strangers, when that wind is biting at your face.
It is true I have met most of my new neighbors by doing outside activities (i.e. walking the dog, painting the porch), while it has been warm out. People were out and about enjoying the warm weather. When it is cold out everyone retreats inside to stay warm and creates less of a chance of interacting with the community.
So how does one do more good for the community and affect those around you when it is cold out? Can be as simple as buying a neighbor/stranger a cup of coffee? What are your thoughts?
Picture Courtesy of: http://www.digisky-photo.co.za/portfolio/portfolio_01.html