"Julianne Holt - Lunstad did a meta-analysis of social support and health outcomes and found that not having enough friends or having a weak social circle is the same risk factor as smoking 15 cigarettes a day."
- Carlin Flora in an interview with Eric Barker
"Contrary to the belief that happiness is hard to explain, or that it depends on having great wealth, researchers have identified the core factors in a happy life. The primary components are number of friends, closeness of friends, closeness of family, and relationships with co-workers and neighbors. Together these features explain about 70% of personal happiness."
- Murray and Peacock, The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People
I came across the quotes above from a blog post called Barking Up The Wrong Tree that I read once a week on Sunday. Each Sunday I get a blog post by email and I enjoy the author's writing and insights he shares. The idea of his blog post is to bring science-based answers and expert insight on how to be awesome at life.
His most recent blog post was titled "This is How to Make Friends As An Adult: 5 Secrets Backed by Research" and was about exactly what the title says, how to make friends as an adult even when work gets in the way, as well as family and other obligations. The 5 ways to make friends as an adult that the author, Eric Barker, shares are:
(1.) Start by reconnecting with your old friends that you already have a history with.
(2.) Listen to other people, try and find what you have in common, and be encouraging and enthusiastic to what you have in common.
(3.) Open up to the other person by making yourself a little vulnerable because the depth of the conversation can be a good measure of how well you get along. Eric puts it best, "Nobody becomes besties by only discussing the weather."
(4.) Don't be a stranger and make the time to connect.
(5.) Join or start a group.
Eric gives some great and simple advice on how to make friends. The main reason that encouraged me to write this post though were to highlight the importance of the first two quotes I started off with.
It's important to understand that it isn't salary, wealth, success, awards, or job that determine our happiness. It is our social relationships and the connections we have with other human beings that determine happiness.