It’s no secret that social interaction is one of the pillars of happiness. In fact, positive relationships keep us content, healthy, and can even help us live longer, according to an 85-year happiness study from Harvard University.
The path to building or maintaining strong relationships in your life, especially as an adult, can feel opaque.
Earlier this week, Esther Perel told “Ten Percent Happier” podcast host Dan Harris there is one thing people can do today to increase their happiness and forge stronger bonds: ask someone to hang out tonight.
Perel is a Belgium American psychotherapist known for her bestselling books, widely viewed TED Talks, and her podcast “Where Should We Begin?” which focuses on intimacy and relationships.
“People may often be busy three weeks before but they’re not busy the day of,” she says to Harris. “It’s an amazing thing how many people are going to spend the night at home.”
Your don’t have to arrange an elaborate outing in order to invite another person. If your plan was to stay in and cook, you likely know someone who would love to do that with you.
“You’re going swimming, call somebody, you’re going to the gym, call somebody,” Perel says. “There is always someone who needs the one who is going to go anyway in order to do the thing they want to do, but wouldn’t be doing alone because they are on the couch.”
If you don’t know who to call, Perel suggests to Harris asking yourself a few questions:
- Who do you owe a phone call to?
- Who do you owe an apology to?
- Who do you want to go on a walk with?
The answer to any of these will lead you to a person you probably want to have a deeper connection with.
Even if someone was not planning on being social that night, it’s likely that they will appreciate the company. “I’ve never known any one that went and regretted afterwards,” Perel says.
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