The Happiness Project

Quiz: Do You Make Other People Happy?

Every Wednesday is Tip Day … or Quiz Day.
This Wednesday: Quiz: Do you make other people happy?

As put forth by the Second Splendid Truth :
One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy;

one of the best ways to make other people is to be happy yourself .

Everyone accepts the Second Splendid Truth, Part A; however, Part B often isn’t as clear to people. But to focus on Part A here—how do you know if you’re making other people happy? What are some signs?

Are the following statements true for you:

  • Do people seem to feel comfortable confiding in you?
  • Do people follow your recommendations?
  • Are you a source of material comfort or security for someone else?
  • Do people whom you’ve introduced often go on to have a continuing relationship?
  • Do people seem to drift toward you? Join a conversation that you’re having or sit down next to you at a meeting?
  • Are you providing opportunities for other people—job leads, blind dates, contacts in a new city?
  • Do people whom you hardly remember go out of their way to greet you warmly? Say, an intern who worked in your office three years ago or a former student?
  • Do people seem to want to connect with you—by making plans or by e-mailing, calling, or texting?
  • Do people seem energized by you? Do they smile and laugh in your presence?

Notice some items that are not on the list:

  • Do people remember your birthday?
  • Do people give you presents (say, for Mother’s Day, or in recognition of an important milestone)?
  • Do people express appreciation and gratitude for your efforts?

Even if you’re making people happy, they don’t always respond by making these gestures (which can be annoying).

A while back, I posted a quiz, ” Are You the Person Whom Everyone Else Finds Difficult? ” It was a lot easier to think of signs that you make people unhappy than you make people happy —perhaps because of the negativity bias . What am I missing? I feel like I’ve overlooked some obvious indicators. What are some other good signs that you make people happy?

* Many thoughtful readers have sent me the link to a fascinating article from The Atlantic , ” What Makes Us Happy? ” It’s a great piece, plus I know the writer, Joshua Wolf Shenk, a little bit, which made it even more fun to read it.

* Yes, superfans, the Web site is ready! You should have received an e-mail from me with the link to my new site. Thanks for helping with this prelaunch phase—I’m so grateful. Soon I hope the site will be ready to be made public.

Superfans, let me ask you an additional favor. Unbelievable as this sounds, there are more than 2,400 superfans, so it would be an enormous help if, instead of e-mailing me directly with your suggestions or comments, you’d post to the Discussion Page on Facebook. That way, the Web developers can read what you’ve said without me having to act as an intermediary, and it’s much quicker for me to read everyone’s comments. Also, other users might be interested to see your response. Again, thanks . Have fun with the site!