A Summer of Happiness with Friends

Hello, friends! We're talking happiness today in our Thursday bookclub read of the Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin is taking us through her year-long process of finding happiness in all areas of life. This week my blogger pal, Denise, talked about friendship...go check out her thoughts as a lady on the move.

Gretchen's resolutions for this chapter:

  • Remember birthdays.
  • Be generous.
  • Show up.
  • Don't gossip.
  • Make three new friends.

Here are some keeper thoughts from the read:

1. All the data proves: we need long-term relationships, involving people with whom we confide, and we need to feel like we belong.

2. No matter what they're doing, people tend to feel happier when they're with other people. The only noted exception to this rule...prayer. And, well, you're not really alone it that either, are you?

3. Be generous. I loved this. A great reminder in our get-it-done systems. Not that we need scientific proof of this, but studies show that your happiness is often boosted more by providing support to other people than from receiving the support yourself. Striving to be happy (through authentic means) isn't a selfish act.

4. Cut people slack. I can do this. Do you find yourself dishing out judgement during your times of stress? Guilty here. And I can see how the simple act of letting it go (or not even bringing it to judgment) would bring happiness all around.

5. Show up. From Woody Allen, "80% of success is showing up." "Familiarity breeds affections," says Gretchen.

6. How do you make new friends? Suggestions from our read:

  • Smile more frequently.
  • Actively invite others to join a conversation.
  • Create a positive mood.
  • Open a conversation.
  • Try (oh, dear) to look accessible and warm.
  • Show a vulnerable side and laugh at yourself.
  • Show a readiness to be pleased. (eek)
  • Follow others' conversational leads.
  • Ask questions.

Okay, friends, here's what I'm taking on this week. See that giant circle up above. I'm focusing on DOING good for others, and I know that is going to lead to feeling good. I recall a time in life, before marriage, and work commitments, and kiddos, that I spent a majority of my leisure time making/buying/sending gifts and cards to friends and family. It brought me such joy...and I'm going to find some ways to do good this week.

How about you? Where will you find the happiness in your friendships?

And just a personal note, here. I received a number of lovely comments and emails yesterday from the Creativity post that I did for Jen Cooper over at Classic Play. To old (you know how you are) and new friends, my cup runneth over. Thank you.

XOXO, MJ

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