Quality vs. Quantity: Our Kinds Of Relationships Matter

In Recovery by Tree House Recovery

The ego will tell us to have more while the spirit tells us to have more of. A difference between the two sentiments might be hard to detect. If we have more of something, then we must still have more. It is a matter of quantity versus quality. Quantity is not necessarily a matter of the ego and quality is not necessarily a matter of the spirit. However, the attachments to quality and quantity can tend to fall into ego and non-ego attachments. Needing and wanting more in quantity can be a matter of ego- if we don’t care about the quality of what we have and our intention is solely set on having as much of it as possible. Needing and wanting more of can be a matter of greater spiritual principle- we care about the quality of what we have rather than how much of it. With the ego-centric attachment to having more, quantity becomes vapid. With the spirit-centric attachment to having more of , quality becomes fulfilling.

More often than not, when we are obsessed with the idea of having more we are unhappy, unfulfilled, and often depressed. We seek, endlessly, to find the right quantity that will satisfy us, or we fall for the belief that the endless cumulation of something will bring us the joy that we seek. Yet, when we put the ego down and we start focusing on quality, more often than not we are surprised by how quickly we are contented and how much less effort it takes to find happiness in more of rather than just more.

Science has proven this to be true when it comes to relationships. The kinds of relationships we have affect the way that we operate in the world. Big Think reports on a study conducted by Trinity College  and published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology which identified four classes of loneliness and analyzed the level of distress among people in each class. Low loneliness referred to individuals who were not lonely, social loneliness referred to people who feel lonely in regards to the quantity of relationships that they have, emotional loneliness referred to people who feel lonely in regards to the quality of relationships that they have, and social and emotional loneliness referred to both poor quantity as well as quality in relationships. People who were emotionally lonely or both socially and emotionally lonely “had levels of symptoms of depression, anxiety and negative psychological wellbeing that were reflective of a psychiatric disorder,” the article cites.

Our kinds of relationships matter to our personal lives and our recovery. Choosing the right treatment program can make the difference in the kind of people we get to meet and the kinds of relationships we’ll be encouraged to foster.


Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. By showing our men how to celebrate each day’s victories, we show them that self love isn’t about what we have or haven’t done. It’s about getting a little closer to where we want to be. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (503) 850-2474