Each month of the Happiness Project has a special focus, and the focus for April is friends.
So one of my resolutions is to say hello every time I see a person I know. Often I’ll see someone on the street, but slip away before the person sees me. It’s not that I feel unfriendly, just that I don’t feel like stopping to have a conversation.
But from now on, I’m going to seize the opportunity to engage with someone. After all, it always makes me happier when I do stop to talk. Studies show that acting in an extroverted way—being more bold or more talkative—make people, even introverts, feel happier.
In college, I made a big effort always to say hello to everyone I knew. And I was struck by how often people would comment on the rudeness of people who refused to say hello. Now I understand that impulse better: the desire to walk around without having to make conversation. But it’s less polite, and less fun.