Happiness Society: Sharing

Sharing experiences makes us happier

Often I find sharing things makes me happy, so I thought I’d share some of my observations on sharing with you. Whether it is a cake or a snowball or a trip to Newcastle, doing it with my friends always seems to make it more fun and enjoyable (it is very hard to have an epic snowball fight by oneself). It is not just being able to remind your friend of a fun day out and sharing a smile at the memory, but making other people happy makes you happier too. After all, smiling and laughter can be contagious – and there’s nothing more heart warming than being able to make a sad friend smile despite whatever ails them.

Now and then when you are depressed, maybe about an essay or an exam you know you will fail, you feel a lot happier when ten or so people around you feel exactly the same and are sharing their opinions on it. After all, if you feel you are the only one unable to do stuff and credit your entire year with being smarter than you, you cannot be happy but will place enormous pressure on yourself. Most people find their degrees challenging and there will be a lot more people than you think spending a week or more on an essay rather than getting through an essay the night before it’s due in. It is the same about most things in life; if people are going through the same things as you and share it, you no longer feel alone. If they can keep on going through it so can you.

Most students love updating Facebook, sharing their thoughts and activities with all their friends – usually as a form of procrastination which makes them cheerful. For some people their thoughts and statuses provoking responses or whole conversations can make them feel very happy and cared about. Personally, I really enjoy reading some of my friends’ statuses which always make me smile. For people stuck in their rooms all alone working, knowing that sympathetic friends are out there can mean a lot. On the other hand, two people being very lazy and talking on Facebook whilst in the same room or house can be very entertaining. It’s comforting to know you can get in touch with friends so easily, especially if most of your friends live far away, especially when you are at university. On other occasions, when someone unknowingly changes their friends’ statuses and info, usually at least the guilty party is quite happy with themselves – their friend, well, depends on what they’ve done, really. Titles of pages can spark off memories, like old TV shows you used to watch. It’s also satisfying to collectively complain about things – politics, films, Facebook changes, exams, anything really. Sharing an opinion with your friends can make you happier.

Occasionally, though, it is nice just to keep a thought or memory to yourself, making it extra special. And sometimes sharing can be bad, like discussing your answers to an exam the moment you come out of the exam hall. But on the whole I think sharing is a positive thing and can bring great happiness.

Having used the word “sharing” a million times, I thought I’d give you a link to a clip from Friends which may mention sharing part-way through.

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