Turns out, Barbara Streisand had it right. Well, almost:
People. People who need people…are the HAPPIEST people in the world.
Lucky, too, it’s true – because the friendships we build offer a sense of belonging, increase our self worth, and give us a feeling of security. In short, they hold us up when we need support and are our Good-Time-Gang when things are hummin’ along… they’re the tea in which we steep our Happiness.
A Harvard Study called “Very Happy People” studied over 1400 people and drew a correlation between lack of social support and unhappiness that is even higher than smoking and getting cancer. Specifically, people with few social ties are two to three times more likely to suffer from depression than those with strong bonds.
Not surprising, if you have a reliable bestie (or three) in your life, odds are good you’ll experience less stress in the face of tough times.
“But not everyone is a social butterfly!”, you say. We aren’t all life-of-the-party-folks. Have no fear, introverts of the world!
In this age of mass connection where we sometimes measure our “sociability” by how many followers we have, it’s important to remember quality of friendships far surpasses quantity when it comes to the benefit.
Introverts, honor your social style!
Fun fact: being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t like people or that you’re a hermit. It means that you’re more easily overwhelmed by social stimulus than your extroverted counterparts.
So find your pace: it can be slow, quiet even. It can be low-key – it doesn’t have to feel maxed out as you curate a rich and small tribe. We can only nurture meaningful relationships when we feel good, safe and balanced in our social interactions.
Interesting tidbit: Ambiverts is a thing. It’s the chameleon personality, so to speak, that bridges the gap between introverts and extroverts. The bonus of this personality is that they have an easier time approaching a variety of personalities depending on the situation they find themselves in. BUT, ambiverts are often misunderstood. They come off as extroverts, but get overwhelmed with too much social stimuli. If you resonate with that, watch your pacing and take care of your needs when it comes to socializing.
In the end it comes down to connection equates to love. And as the Director of the Grant Study (a 3-decade long look into what makes us happiest), George Vaillant, said the takeaway is clear: “Happiness is love. Full stop.”
Want to know what quick & powerful ways you can take control of your happiness? Sign up for a Comfy Chair Coaching chat – it’s one of my favorite things to help people see how they can take the driver’s seat to Happy.