How friendships and happiness are linked

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

I believe making connections and friendships is another key to happiness.  I don’t mean having zillions of “friends” on facebook or whatever other virtual world you may be part of.  I mean actual real people, people you talk to and meet up with.  People who know you, and you know them.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with facebook friends.  I also think you can’t beat a good chat with a mate.  My top choice would be to meet up, if not a chat on the phone can be a great happiness boost, or perhaps a chat via skype.

Today I chatted with 2 good friends via skype, one on the rainy coast in Brighton and the other on the Sunshine Coast in Australia.  We caught up on news, had a laugh, and put the world to rights.  What a great energy boost it was to my day.

At the moment, I am gathering together photos for a photo book for a special occasion.  It has taken longer than I thought to select the photos, as I keep stopping and looking at the photos and smiling as I am reminded of the great memories I have with friends.

I like what Action for Happiness, a movement for positive social change, has to say about making connections and friendships – http://www.actionforhappiness.org/

“Relationships are the most important overall contributor to happiness. People with strong and broad social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Close relationships with family and friends provide love, meaning, support and increase our feelings of self-worth. Broader networks bring a sense of belonging. So taking action to strengthen our relationships and create new connections is essential for happiness.”

I chose the Marcel Proust quote at the top of this post as I feel that good friends help happiness to blossom.  Remember, you can choose your friends.

So, who is special to you?

Comments

How friendships and happiness are linked — 4 Comments

  1. On the days when I struggle with depression the most, I don’t want to go out, and don’t even answer the phone. I isolate myself because I feel so terrible I cant see why anyone would want to talk to me.
    That is the illness speaking. The reality is the exact opposite. My friends just want to spend time with me and support me if I need it (and if I let them). I fall into the trap of only seeing friendship as what others give me. Do not forget that friendship is a two way thing, people seek out others they enjoy spending time with. I was really touched last week when someone told me that they missed seeing me and how nice it was to have lunch together.
    Proust’s gardening metaphor is apt. Put the time in to nurture and grow friendships. You get the friends you deserve.

    • Hi Janet. Thanks for your comment. I hear similar comments from participants on my happiness and wellbeing programmes, people isolating themselves just at the time friendship is needed.

      It is good to see that you understand yourself, and recognise the reality of the situation. Friendship is a two way street, and I know you offer great support and love to your friends.

      Julia

  2. Thanks for your article.

    I find that friends are a real boost – they are there for a laugh and there when you need help. It is very different to online communications where people tend to get the ‘wrong end of the stick’ and a passing, misinterpreted comment can turn into a raging row. That is why, if things appear to be going pear-shaped in an online conversation I like to pick up the phone. There is also pleasure in hearing another person’s unique voice rather than seeing a procession of bland letters across the screen where only the phraseology differentiates one person from another.