What we've learned so far is that many people who rate themselves as "very happy" are in a romantic relationship. But what about other close relationships? Are all bets off if you're not partnered? Absolutely not.
What happiness research also shows us is that that the happiest people have strong ties to friends and also have a commitment to spending time with them. We’re in the best mood when we’re with our friends, followed by our family members... extra bonus points for if your closest friends are your family members, which is certainly the case for some of us.
How many friends do you need? Again, great news here: the power is in the quality, not in the number. To avoid loneliness, research shows that we only actually need one close relationship.
But, most importantly, to form a close relationship requires a growing amount of “self-disclosure” or a willingness to reveal personal issues and feelings – and without this essential self-disclosure people with friends would still be lonely. So remember that in a real friendship, someone knows your flaws. They understand you. They witness your challenges, as well as your successes.
Do you feel able to share your whole self with your friend(s)? What is it like to do that?
In what ways have your friendships helped you through your biggest challenges?
How do you reach out to your friends now? Text? Email? Phone? In person? What type of contact leaves you feeling the happiest, and how can you increase the frequency of those most fulfilling interactions?
Reach out to a friend today to connect in the ways mos important to you. If possible, set a date and time to see each other. Spending time with friends or reconnecting is a recipe for feeling good.
Lauren L. Drago, MSEd, LMHC, LPC is the founder of Lauren Drago Therapy in Old Saybrook, CT and in greater CT, NY & PA. She specializes in working with smart, insightful and capable women to overcome stress, anxiety, loss of identity, self-limiting beliefs, perfectionism, marriage strain, and the pressure of "trying to do it all." Lauren has a passion for helping others to achieve the happy, fulfilling, productive, and meaningful life they deserve by changing how they experience and understand their world. She believes that every woman can and should live out her personal definition of her own best life. Follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Call (860) 339-6515 for your free initial 15-minute consultation.