We all have different personalities. Some people are more introspective and calm, and others are more outgoing and gregarious.

I tend to be more introverted, and because of this I have had to put effort into developing lasting relationships. I have to be intentional with my interactions and work to put myself out there.

As well, I have learned that the quality of my interactions with others depends significantly on how I’m feeling and the mood I’m projecting.

In order to expand and build relationships, the place to start is with us. We must learn to manage our emotions and foster more joy and delight to connect with others.

In a previous post I mentioned how the trait of extroversion relates to happiness and life-satisfaction.

People with a wider range of social connections tend to be happier. We are social creatures, and expanding and building deeper relationships is in our best interest even if we’re not comfortable with this.

Experiencing more joy in our life can provide us the opportunity to build and grow deeper more meaningful relationships as it opens up more genuine and welcoming channels of communication.

Here are a few ways to connect with others more naturally.

The power of laughter

When we live with joy and delight we are able to laugh and relate in a lighthearted and good-natured way. Even in difficult times we can lighten the load by laughing and remaining untroubled.

Bring more humor into your life by engaging with people or media that can make you laugh. Learn to find the humor in situations that might typically steal your joy.

A genuine smile

Making a likable first impression is important to building our social network. Having a friendly and genuine smile, also known as the “Duchenne” smile relates to relationship outcomes and happiness levels.

Practice smiling more on random days and explore the impact this has on how you feel and how people respond to you.

Bonding through amusement and play

We are wired to build attachments and bond through play and merriment. Think of entertaining and amusing experiences you have had with friends and family. These are shared memorable moments that deepened your relationship.

When we can be amused and laugh with other people it builds the social connections in our life.

Spend time in activities you find enjoyable and work past the serious exterior that shields your true joyful nature.

All in all, find ways to spend more time with those you care about and when you are with them be engaged and enjoy the moment.

Photo by: Pink Sherbet Photography



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    Last reviewed: 16 Jan 2012

APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2012). How to Expand Your Relationships and Make Connections with Others. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 1, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/positive-psychology/2012/01/how-to-expand-your-relationships-and-make-connections-with-others/



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