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Very Happy People: The Role of Human Connections in Happiness

The pursuit of happiness, a timeless quest, has captured hearts throughout the ages. Researchers, driven by an eagerness to unravel the secrets of contentment, have delved into pivotal studies. These studies illuminate the lives of truly joyful individuals, shedding light on the indispensable role that human connections play in their overall wellbeing.

Cracking the Happiness Code

At the heart of this exploration into happiness lies a simple truth – the happiest individuals are profoundly social. They thrive on vibrant social lives, cultivating stronger and more meaningful relationships than their less cheerful counterparts. Studies underscore the profound importance of building close connections with others as a pathway to happiness.

The Happy Personality Traits

Research unveils the enchanting qualities of truly happy individuals. Those who are extroverted and agreeable are naturally outgoing and drawn to social connections, effortlessly creating an inviting atmosphere where others also experience happiness.

What’s truly remarkable is their ability to form and maintain meaningful connections, contributing to their emotional stability and resilience against anxiety and mood swings. Studies also suggest that generous individuals tend to be happier, as their generosity plays a significant role in their happiness.

Engaging in acts of kindness, such as blood donations, charity, and adoption, has been linked to psychological flourishing. Research indicates that those who prioritize prosocial behaviors tend to build social trust and stronger networks. So, by fostering generosity, we can not only spread happiness but also weave a tapestry of trust and connection, leading to a brighter and more fulfilling life.

Unmasking Happiness Sources

Studies have explored other potential sources of happiness, such as exercise, religious activities, and objectively defined good events. Surprisingly, these factors alone don’t guarantee happiness. The critical element that consistently stands out as a necessity for happiness is the presence of meaningful human connections.

The Crux of Happiness: Meaningful Human Connections

In essence, the research highlights the importance of nurturing positive social bonds for happiness and emotional wellbeing. While individual factors like exercise and life events can contribute to overall life satisfaction, the quality of human connections remains a cornerstone of happiness. This revelation reinforces the idea that, at our core, we are social beings, and our interactions and relationships with others play a central role in our pursuit of happiness and contentment in life.


As we navigate the complexities of modern life, studies on what makes people happy remind us that the true essence of happiness lies in our connections with others. Striving for a more connected and socially rich existence can lead us down a path of increased happiness and contentment. So, let’s celebrate and prioritize the relationships that bring joy into our lives, for in the tapestry of human connections, we find the true secret to lasting happiness.


Aknin, L. B., Broesch, T., Hamlin, J. K., & Van de Vondervoort, J. W. (2015). Prosocial Behavior Leads to Happiness in a Small-Scale Rural Society. Journal of Experimental Psychology. General, 144(4), 788–795. https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000082 

Diener, E., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Very Happy People. Psychological Science, 13(1), 81–84. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9280.00415

Kim, R. Y. (2021). What makes people happy? An empirical investigation of panel data. Applied Economics Letters, 28(2), 91–94. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504851.2020.1733471

Nelson, S. K., K. Layous, S. W. Cole, and S. Lyubomirsky. 2016. “Do Unto Others or Treat Yourself? The Effects of Prosocial and Self-focused Behavior on Psychological Flourishing.” Emotion 16 (6): 850–861. https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000178