Last week, I discussed the Dunbar Paradox.

This week, I ramble about the layering of that number.

You may wonder, why should these number matter?

A study conducted by Harvard over eight decades arrived at a very significant conclusion. The quality of our health and happiness is in direct proportion to the quality of our relationships.

So analysing the Dunbar number and the layering of that number may force you to think about the quality of the relationships that you have in your life and maybe help you to ponder about the health and happiness that you are having. In my view, you will have these segments


Here is a table that gives a quick view of the segments of relationships.

Segment A Quick Inference
Casual Chance one-off encounters that lead into a possible lifetime relationship.
Transactional It is a quid pro quo kind of relationship, where both the parties benefit from the relationship.
Occupational Relationships that get formed at the workplace and starts to extend beyond the workplace.
Necessary Relationships that need to be maintained by the degree of association. Second-degree relationships that you care to maintain
Guiding Relationships that you look up to as guiding forces in your life
Dependent Relationships where you have a karmic responsibility
Unconditional Rare kind of relationships where the credit and debit are not maintained.
Core  Read the next few sentences to decipher this. (Sorry!)


I hope you would agree all these relationships are symbiotic and they provide a much-needed balance to your life.

What is the number you would assign to each of these segments?

Do you agree that these relationships contribute to your happy and healthy co-existence?

I think it is important enough for you to ponder over them.

That brings me to the summary of this two-part article.

What is my position on this?

I take care of maintaining the above segments of relationships in my life, but I beg to differ from the Harvard Study.

I understand and appreciate that the world we live in is an interconnected world, but to outsource my happiness and health to the quality of my relationships is a dangerous dependency.

My happiness starts and ends with me.

No one else is responsible.

If I am not capable of having that kind of relationship with my ‘Core’, then I am going to affect every segment in my relationship in some way or the other.

I think we have been too much driven by the world outside of us, that we have forgotten to nurture the unadulterated beauty within us!

I think there is only one person in the world who need to acknowledge that beauty and that is you.

One of my close friends, sent a birthday greeting to himself when we were doing our masters. We still make fun of him for that, but then I think he had a realisation at that time, which we are still struggling.

If you can’t love yourself, who will love you?

Am I getting too narcissistic?

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)