Community Add OnsFourteen Fundamentals

Fundamental Thirteen: Close Relationships Are #1

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

Of all the factors that contribute to happiness, none is as powerful as a close, love relationship.

Love rules the world according the the poets, and according to happiness researchers around the world, love rules the dominion of personal happiness as well. In universal agreement, the accumulated research definitely shows that of all the factors that contribute to happiness, nothing impacts more than a persons’ love life (21, 30, 34, 55, 63, 71, 75, 113, 122, 125, 129, 130, 133, 147, 176, 209, 216, 241, 244, 247, 259, 270, 286, 305, 312, 316, 317, 329, 389, 402, 406).

It has been manifest since the beginning of our exploration into the nature an attainment of happiness, that warm social relationships are the foremost key to a happy life. In our review of the happiness research (in Volume I) we found that a rewarding social life was the most important, overall source of happiness, and in the present Volume we have seen, time and time again, that strong social message repeated. Fundamental Two, for example, was specifically focused on the value of socializing, and Fundamental Twelve, suggested ways you might “Develop an Outgoing, Social Personality.”

There is no doubt, from what we’ve discovered in the research on happiness in general, and our work with the Fundamentals Program in particular, that an active social life contributes greatly to a persons happiness. Social contact on the job, organizational participation, interaction with neighbors and acquaintances, a wide and busy social agenda — all add greatly to our overall happiness. So too does an outgoing, gregarious, socially comfortable personality — especially if we tend to be those who are sought-out, popular, and included at the very center of social activities.

But as we have seen all along, peripheral and community-wide socializing have only a marginal impact on our personal happiness when compared to the quality of our more immediate social life with friends and family. As we learned from our discussion of the “Target Theory” a few Chapters back: the closer social relations come to our heart, the greater they tend to affect our happiness.

Thus, now it is finally time to turn to the most important kind of social relationships of all: the ones closest to your heart. Close relationships are the ones which provide some of the strongest happiness rewards of all. The warmer, the more loving, the more rewarding they are — the happier we tend to be.

Indeed, as we have repeated throughout these volumes, close relationships are the #1 factor in happiness. According to the collected research, no single factor affects our happiness more! Thus, Fundamental Thirteen simply states: “Close Relationships Are Number 1.”

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