What is the key to true happiness? A study done by the University of Harvard is finding what many of us happy people already knew: True happiness comes from meaningful relationships. All my life I have worked to form meaningful relationships with people. Now that I am older, my relationships with the people around me have only become stronger and much more significant to my everyday life.

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For me, forming meaningful relationships has always come naturally. I don’t find it difficult to open up to people, and care about what they have to say as well. Many people don't form meaningful relationships because all they want in life are buddies: a drinking buddy, a smoking buddy, a sex buddy, a partying buddy, etc. They have all these buddies, but they don’t have any friends.
These buddies aren't allowed to know the person beyond what they do together. These people have them like that because they don't want to give their buddy the opportunity to get any closer. They will say, “You're just my smoking buddy, you don't need to know anything else about me beyond that.”

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A lot of times, people take on these mentalities because they are afraid. They are afraid of letting someone in because that can give their buddy the potential to hurt them. This unfortunately leads to a very lonely and sad life.
Find people you can trust, to know if that person is worthy of your trust test them. Tell them something mildly personal, that you aren't too afraid of other people knowing, but that still has a sense of "it is not your business to tell." If a person can keep this, then they can typically be trusted.
However, you also need to understand forgiveness. If you go looking to have a relationship with someone who is never going to fail you, then you are not looking for a human relationship. You can't expect a person to never fail you, that is impossible. Just like you will fail, other people will too, so learn to forgive. Every meaningful relationship tends to have some form of tribulation to it.

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I remember a fight that happened when I was twelve. I missed school for a week because I was sick, and during that time my best friend started hanging out with a girl who she knew disliked me. I was greatly hurt by the situation because she began to push me away.
Most people would have chosen to end the relationship then and there, but I didn’t. I had to let go of my ego and acknowledge that I was not a perfect angel and that I too had hurt her. She and I talked about the situation and forgave each other.
We are still friends, although we have grown apart because she works, and I go to school. Despite this I know she is someone I can trust and that when I needed her most she helped me get through whatever situation I was going through.

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Test it out. Make some meaningful relationships, let people in, be open to failure and forgiveness. Do this and I am sure you too will lead a much happier life.


Ted Talk of the study