Sadly, however, with this cultural encouragement to amass people, you can miss the whole point of wanting friends in the first place.
With this in mind, let’s take a moment to think about why you want authentic, deep friendships.
Friends touch your heart, challenge your mind, inspire you to pursue your passions, double the good times, halve the bad times and make your life a happier and more fulfilling place to be.
And that’s not just my opinion!
- If you feel close to other people, you are four times more likely to feel good about yourself and life.
- People who claim to have five or more true friends with whom they can discuss important problems are 60 percent more likely to say that they are “very happy.”
- People with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their work! However, only 30 percent of employees report having a best friend at work!
“Friendships are among the most fundamental of human needs,” Rath says. “When we asked people if they would rather have a best friend at work or a 10 percent pay raise, having a friend clearly won.”
Unfortunately, if you’re too busy amassing a quantity of friends on social networking sites—or in live networking events—you might be creating a quantity of unfulfilling relationships, which won’t make your life happier at all!
If you’re feeling twitchy because you’re addicted to collecting people, you’re not alone in your yearning to be surrounded by a crowd.
Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner, calls this being stuck on the “Hedonic Treadmill.”
Active pedalers on the Hedonic Treadmill are always busy reaching for distant, dangling carrots of what they don’t yet have, easily forgetting to appreciate their already gathered, perfectly fabulous carrots, lying in a discarded heap at their feet.
But in terms of friendship, if you’re too focused on collecting distant, dangling carrot people, you risk not enjoying the quality folks you already know and love.
1. It’s not just who you know, it’s how well you know who you know! The deeper your emotional connection, the higher the emotional rewards. Check in with your self – and answer honestly: How might you increase the joy in your friendships? Are you too focused on how many friends you have, rather than the quality of your friendships?
2. Gather as many relationships of shared virtue into your inner circle . Make list of your top five friends and write down how they’ve influenced you and vice versa. How are you all alike in the ways that are important? Relationships of shared virtue, according to Aristotle, are the ones that bring true happiness. Focus on these relationships.
3. Look through your contact book and find your top five treasured people . Remember what you love about each and write or call him or her to share your admiration directly. Do it now. Seize the day!
Do you have a friend you love – who you want to cheer up and cheer on?
Give them a gift of my book: Friends Forever Whatever Wherever!
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.
Live your happiest life. Get my research-based happiness newsletter delivered conveniently to your inbox.