Whenever there is a problem we socialize. When we are sick we go to a doctor. When we are hungry we go to a cook. When we want to laugh we go to a movie.

My question is : are these social interactions always helpful in solving our problems ? Is "if problem then socialize with right people" formula always helpful ?


Not always:

  • If you're sick and go to someone who's not a doctor, who's incompetent or a thief, that won't help (except perhaps as a placebo)
  • If you're sick with an incurable (untreatable) illness and go to a doctor, that won't help (well it might help with managing symptoms and explaining what's happening)

The Sigalovada Sutta (DN 31) details long lists of examples and differences, between "good socialising" and "bad socialising" for lay people.

I think Buddhism includes two themes:

Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.

Maha-parinibbana Sutta (DN 16)


As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie."

"Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path.

Upaddha Sutta (SN 45.2)


It really depends on the nature of the problem.

It also depends upon whom you are approaching.

Sometimes its best to sit in meditation to ponder on the problem whose answer is subjective.

Some problems are solved through prespective of other people.

Its not really a good idea to go public with your problems all the time.

Also that will annoy other people and create bad image about you in them. Which just matters in social life.

  • You are a strong social supporter it seems but Buddha has praised seclusion every now and then. – Dheeraj Verma Aug 18 '18 at 5:29
  • @DheerajVerma you misread me. Infact I am telling the other way round. Also I am saying it is dependent on the problem at hand. Neither total seclusion nor total public dependance. The middle way. Follow the middle way. – user13135 Aug 18 '18 at 6:58
  • @DheerajVerma If Buddha praised total ascetic seclusion he would not have followers, nor would he go back to Rahula and his father, nor preach Dharma. How else make the world better if not by acts of Selflessness? – user13383 Aug 18 '18 at 8:56
  • @DheerajVerma ok now I got what you meant by your comment....I am not a social supporter...you have no idea about what goes on at my end...savvy. – user13135 Aug 18 '18 at 16:11
  • @FriedrickNietzsche Correct me if I am wrong but essentially what you are saying is that it is not a good idea to spoil your image in the minds of people by taking your every problem to them. You agree that it is a good idea to take at least some of your problems to people. But isn't there mindfulness in public conversation? Yes. Yet Buddha says develop love for seclusion and solitude.That is manage all of your problems by yourself over time. This is true independence unlike socialist attitude towards life where we throw a problem to public and expect a solution. – Dheeraj Verma Aug 18 '18 at 16:28

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