Tag Archives: Friendship

# 64 Cultivate FriendshipS With Happy People

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Can happiness spread from person to person? Do happy people tend to associate with other happy people? This is just what psychologists found in a recent study. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, examined data on happiness and friendships to answer this question.  The data had been gathered on 4739 people from 1983 to 2003. They found that when they examined who knew whom, and who was happy, that they found clusters of happy people in these friendship networks. These clusters existed for up to three degrees of separation. In other words, happy people knew other happy people, and their friends were happy too. Also, the friends of their friends’ friends tended to be happy people as well.

They found that if your friend, who lives within a mile of you, becomes happy, you will likely become more happy as well. This is also true if your spouse or sibling who lives close by or your neighbor becomes happy. This effect did not hold for coworkers. The effect faded with time and geographical separation. The authors concluded very scientifically “People’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected. This provides further justification for seeing happiness, like health, as a collective phenomenon.”

* Be part of this phenomenon. Spread the wealth. Consider who your happy friends are. Contact one by phone or email. Ask how they’re doing. Tell them some good news.

* Take a look at your network of friends. You may want to have less contact with those who are chronically complaining and pessimistic.

* Consider developing a new friendship with someone you’ve met who is happy. You will not only benefit from their happiness, and you will contribute to theirs, but you access part of their network and they become a part of yours as well.


Fowler, J. H. & Christakis, N. A.  2008, Dec. 4.  British Medical Journal, 337: a2338


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#5 Live in Accord With Your Values

blue-dotCore ValuesIn the last post, you went to the website www.values.com  and did some reading, exploring, and viewing of billboards and TV commercials.  You found something that you found inspiring and passed it on to three friends.

For today, go back to www.values.com and choose one value you would like to explore in depth.  Perhaps it’s Optimism, Friendship, or Helping Others.  View the video, the billboard, and the quote on that page.  You can interact with the website in four ways:

*  Create a billboard

*  Add a personal story

*  Add a hero of yours

*   Submit a comment

Choose one of these.  It may take a few moments to consider what you would like to write.  Now write a note to yourself specifying how you can do one small thing to act on that value.  If you read and wrote about appreciation, send a quick “thank you” note to someone.  If you wrote about friendship, call a friend and make plans to get together.

Make this your mission statement:  “I put a high value on ___________.      I will live life in accord with this value by _________________________________________________.  To do so I will have to make ___________________________________  less important and spend less time on ____________________________________.

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#4 Good News, Pass It On

blue-dotRecently I was munching mDSC09218y popcorn at the local movie theater, impatient with the long string of commercials and previews, when a brief message appeared on the screen.  The message was “Appreciation… pass it on.” It was brought to the movie-goers by a group called The Foundation for a Better Life.  Curious about this group I looked up the website.  It is:  www.values.com.  The mission statement of the group is this:  “Good things are happening in the news.  Discover positive news reports from all over the world on individuals making a difference in their communities.”

In the top banner you will see:  Values, Quotes, TV Commercials, and Billboards.  Under Values you will a list of 93 values to explore.  The top 10 are:  Friendship, Listening, Love, Optimism, Respect, Vision, Devotion, Believe in Yourself, Inspiration, Achievement.  If you are a You Tube fan, you might want to click on one of the TV commercials.  They are inspiring and beautifully photoraphed.  Under Billboards, you can view a definition of a value, a photo to go with it.  Many of these can be purchased by teachers and used in the classroom..

Go to the space where you can forward the website to a friend.  Send it to three people.  Pass it on.

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