To the Editor:

Happiness, certainly a desirable trait, is a product of developing friendships, so say the experts. Yet, as a society, we come up short in recent history in achieving and living this happiness trait.

In 2021, an American Enterprise Institute survey found the number of Americans who said they have no close friends had quadrupled since 1990, with COVID-19 and working from home making significant contributions. 

Jody Carrington, psychologist and author, details reasons in her book “Feeling Reconnected in a Disconnected World.” Supporting this study is a Harvard study that concluded that people’s happiness, or lack thereof, extends to others in close proximity to them.

In May, the Reader’s Digest article “Let’s Be Friends” highlights how healthy friendships can help us age better, cope with stress, and live happier lives. The article gives tips from Relationship experts including these:

• Be proactive; “friendships don’t just happen.”

• Be optomistic; a positive attitude helps make friends.

• Reach out to those you would like to be closer too.

• Branch out; don’t limit yourself to just a few friends.

• Expect awkwardness; it’s normal.

• Embrace vulnerability; be able to accept criticism.

• Practice developing social skills.

Above all, Lowcountry friends, know that happiness through friendship is a work in progress, something we all need to work on. The personal satisfaction and rewards can be endless.

Earle Everett

Moss Creek