I’ve always been a social person and I can guarantee you it has been one of the best ways I’ve learned to live a happier life. As this month’s happy life challenge we are talking about being more social. I knew I wanted this to be a theme for one of the months because being social has truly changed my life and as I did research I learned some crazy cool facts that help prove how being social can help you live a happier life. Plus I’ll be sharing some tips for being more social for all of you who feel you may struggle being social right now.
Being Social Can Help You Live A Happier Life
Does being social really make me happier?
YES! Being social has been scientifically proven to make you live a happier life. I read a variety of articles that all stated that people who have social interactions will be happier. They talked a lot about how one of these reasons is because our brain actually works better with other people, and we all know how big our brain is when it comes to being a happy and positive person. One of my favorite facts I learned during my research was that small talk was a great way to interact and stay happy, but the people who talked on a deeper, more emotional state with others were significantly happier than those who only talked on a surface level.
I’ll be the first one to admit I’ve learned over the past year how true this research really is. I meet regularly with some of my best girl friends to get together to work on our blogs, but mostly to talk about life and the things that are going well, and not so well. At first it took me awhile to open up and fully let myself tell my friends how I was feeling. It wasn’t that I didn’t think they were my friends or I was embarrassed, I just have a hard time opening up. Once I did though, I can’t even begin to tell you how much happier I truly was. There was even one day where I was stressed out of my mind and I told Kyle that I was going to skip girls night. He told me it was my choice, but he can tell I’m much happier when I come back from those hang outs, and highly encouraged me to go. I ended up going and it was just what my mental health needed.
I have also learned that having a best friend or someone you can tell everything and anything to, without any judgement has been the absolutely best thing over the past few months. My sister in law and I began hanging out regularly back in the fall and it has completely changed my life. One day we were just chilling in my living room talking and because of the friendship we had built I felt like I was able to open up and tell her things that I had never told anyone else, and then vice versa. Knowing that I have someone in my life who trusts me and I trust them has truly made me live a happier life. You can read more about my thoughts on what I learned about friendship over the years here.
How do I find someone who I can be comfortable enough to open up with?
If you’ve heard this advice before, but haven’t felt like you have a friend you can do this with, let me tell you, I’ve been there. I’ve always had a lot of friends, but it wasn’t until recently that I learned what a true best friend really is. Some things I learned that helped me was to set aside a time for you to get together with that person. At first we just got together once a month, and we never missed. This helped us learn to make each other a priority as well as get to know each other better and become more comfortable with one another. Now we meet up multiple times a month because we have so much fun!
If you are looking for someone to hang out with in the same way, I suggest finding someone who has similar interests as you or someone you feel just “clicks” with you. Honestly me and my best friend have hardly any of the same interests, but we just “clicked” once we met and it was perfect. Look for people at your church, in your neighborhood, old friends, people at work, or join a club to meet people who have similar interests as you. You’ll find someone soon enough!
Tips For Being More Social
Tip #1: Go Places Where People Are
If you want to be social, you have to just start. Go places where others will be. Even if you aren’t ready to interact with a lot of people, grab a friend and head to an event, a dinner date, or a movie. Even being around other people without talking will help you feel happier.
Tip #2: Find a Social Interest or Activity You Enjoy
Do you like playing sports? Join a sports team. You like working out? Join a gym class. You like art? Go to a paint night. Find something you are interested in and make it a social activity.
Tip #3: Say YES!
This can sometimes be the hardest thing to do, but after doing it, I can guarantee it’ll help you feel happier. When people ask you to come out and join them or hang out, say YES! Even if you are nervous. If you are content to be home. Or you feel too busy. Taking time out of your day to be with other people will help your mental state and allow you to calm down after awhile or get more done at a later time.
Tip #4: Imagine Yourself There
I had pretty bad social anxiety when I was a child, but I’m so happy that my mom helped me to work through it. I’m much better now, but I definitely still struggle with anxiety. One thing I’ve learned that helps me is to imagine myself in the social setting. If I can close my eyes, picture myself there, see what I’m doing, know who is there, and picture myself being okay, it helps the situation. Don’t be afraid to ask the host of a party or friends you are hanging out with more details. I’ll always ask hosts who else will be attending, what I can plan on for the activities, etc. This helps me feel better about going and less nervous.
Tip #5: Be A Good Listener
This is one of the best ways to be social and not have to do a lot of talking. One thing I’ve learned from my grandpa (one of the nicest and most social people I know) is that people like to talk about themselves. If you can get someone to talk about their interests or life, it makes any conversation easier. Listen to what they say and truly care. It’ll make your social setting feel more at ease and people will want to be around you more.
Tip #6: Give Genuine Compliments
When you give compliments to others it helps you feel better and also helps others feel more comfortable around you.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Tip #7: Use People’s Names
When you call someone by their name and then remember that name it allows them to feel closer to you. This will help you transition easier into the social setting and feel more comfortable.
Tip #8: Focus on the Positives of Situations
Sometimes we get into social situations and we immediately see all the stupid things we may be doing or potentially do. Stop and focus on the positives.
Tip #9: It’s Okay To Make Mistakes
It’s okay if you say something wrong or weird or you trip and fall. Once you accept that you will probably make a mistake and learn that it is okay to make mistakes, social situations will become much easier.
Tip #10: Be Positive
People love talking to others who are positive. When you are talking with others, try to stay positive and upbeat and don’t focus on how hard your life is. People will gravitate toward you when you talk about positivity.
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