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Fundamental Ten: Develop an Outgoing Social Personality

Created By: MICHAEL W. FORDYCE, Ph.D
Answers the question – What are the top 14 traits of happy people?

The Tenth Fundamental is “Develop an Outgoing, Social Personality.”

This Fundamental goes right to the heart of achieved happiness. As the research has clearly shown, there is no doubt that one of the most characteristic traits of the happiest individuals is an extroverted, social personality.

Happy people are quite extroverted, according to research studies. (Note: add research refs. here).

Extroversion, “an interest more in other people than in oneself” (according to dictionary definitions), is highly characteristic of happy people. Indeed, in my lectures over the years, I have referred to extroversion as being one of “the two Hallmark Qualities of the happy person.” The other, optimism, we talked about in an earlier Chapter.

THE HAPPINESS-EXTROVERSION CONNECTION

Why has the research found such a strong connection between extroversion and happiness? There are a number of reasons…

To begin with, naturally enough, extroverted people usually spend a lot more of their time in social situations than less extroverted persons do. Thus they tend to maximize their participation in the “Number 1” source of happiness: social activity.

Clearly, this should make sense. If social activity is the most happiness-producing of all human activity, then those who’s basic personality attracts them to such activity should well be happier.

But this in not the only happiness-benefit for the extrovert. An indirect benefit comes with wide social activity: that of meeting “special people”…

By “special people,” I mean the kind of person that might end-up being a good friend or love-mate. Mathematically speaking, it is far more probable that a person who attends several social gatherings during a month will happen into many more “special people,” over a year, than a person who never goes out at all.

So, here again, the extroverted, socially comfortable person maximizes his or her “happiness possibilities.” In general, they have a happier time at a social affair than they would staying at home, but they also increase their chances of making new contacts which may lead to closer relationships, which can only boost their “happiness possibilities” even further.

The final reason why extroversion and happiness shows such a strong connection in the research, has to do with self-esteem.

As we detailed in the last chapter, self-esteem is a critical ingredient in both happiness and mental health. And it is clear from the research that extroversion is a typical trait of those who have a healthy, positive self-image.

About Michael W. Fordyce

"Happiness is Nature's main reward in life!" - Michael W Fordyce gethappy.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Updated by admin (from wiki): Michael W. Fordyce (December 14, 1944 – January 24, 2011) was a psychologist and pioneer researcher in the field of empirical happiness measurement and intervention. As a forerunner who approached "happiness" as an applied science, he ushered-in the modern academic branch of Positive Psychology. Fordyce contributed a happiness-measurement article to the journal Social Indicators Research, which ranked in the journal's top 2.4% most-cited articles. He demonstrated that happiness can be statistically measured and willfully increased (i.e. through "volitional" behavior). Fordyce worked at Edison Community College (Fort Myers, Florida) where he taught a data-driven "happiness training program" for over three decades.

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