Everybody wants to be happy, but how many people can say they are? A recent study shows that only one out of every three Americans is actually happy. On a list of the top 20 happiest countries in the world, America just barely ranks at #17. This is kind of ridiculous when you think about all the freedoms and conveniences Americans enjoy that less wealthy nations will never experience. Even if you are not happy, it is likely you know someone who is. Think about how much you adore them and why. Observe them closely for a while and you might notice a surprising amount of room for growth in your own habits. Here are some of the things happy people do to make life better for everyone around them.

They Are Nice

It might seem like an overly general term, but happy people are usually nice. They are well-liked and pleasant to be around. They are respectful, warm, considerate, and helpful. They don’t get jealous. They don’t waste time gossiping and complaining. They seem to have infinite patience and give freely of themselves. Traits like these can only stem from a deep-seated sense of contentedness. Nice people create a social climate that puts everyone else at ease.

They Are Honest

True happiness cannot coexist with lies. Those who lie to themselves are more likely to lie to others and struggle with unhealthy relationships. Honesty starts with an informed sense of self. Happy people know who they are and aren’t afraid to show it. They are consistently themselves and do not feel the need to wear masks or pretend to be something they are not for any reason. Life is a lot less complicated when you allow yourself to be the same person at all times. By letting go of lies, happy people set an inspiring example which encourages those around them to flourish.

They Are Cooperative

Happy people are not overly concerned with dominating, yet they tend to come out on top. Victory is meaningless to the happy person without a team to share in the glory. There is a reason why it is customary for people who win awards to stand up and give a speech about all the people who helped them along the way. It is because nobody gets there alone, and taking all the credit for yourself is just mean. The idea of winning or dominating denotes pushing other people down on your way to the top. Those who recognize the efforts of others and freely share the joys of success tend to live much happier lives.

They Have Beautiful Smiles

There is a huge difference between smiling for the camera and smiling as a function of happiness. Anyone can show their teeth. Happy people smile with their entire bodies, and sometimes with all the energy in a one-foot radius. A real smile cannot be faked. When you run around emanating a radiant glow in response to all the joys of life, you are bound to attract some admirers.

They Are Well Adjusted

Happy people revel in life’s small pleasures. This gives them access to sources of joy that pass most people by. At the same time, they don’t get bogged down by the petty little details that seem to keep plenty of others stuck in the dumps. They know what is worth savoring and what to disregard. Happy people have a rational sense of scale to keep them grounded. The resulting positive perspective can turn any problem into an opportunity for growth.

They Surround Themselves with Happy People

Whether they actively seek out other folks with similar habits or they have the effect of raising the positive charge everywhere they go, happy people do not often stand alone. Glee is contagious. Groups of people tend to observe each other and subsequently imitate the most attractive behaviors they find in those around them. If enough folks agree to treat each other the way they would like to be treated, the result will be infectious and irresistible to bystanders.

They Are Spontaneous

A good relationship with the value of each passing moment is an essential component of happiness. If living in the present is so easy to do, why is it so many people are preoccupied with thoughts of the elsewhere, the future, and the past? Happy people are comfortable in their skin. They are content and aware in whatever moment they inhabit. This allows them to see opportunities for fun and adventure which others might overlook. It is part of why happy people are always the life of the party.

They Are Good Listeners

Communication is about more than just barking a bunch of orders and wondering why nobody is listening. Harmony cannot exist in a vacuum. Can you imagine trying to sing in a barbershop quartet without being able to hear the other singers? In order to create a resonating chord, you must listen to what is happening around you and find just the right place for your own vibrations. Happy people are always looking for new perspectives as a way of informing their own. The feelings of others matter deeply to them because they know the greater good involves far more than just their own desires. Happy people have made a lifelong commitment to constantly learning, and they know the only way to do this is to be quiet and listen.

They Expect Less

It stands to reason that if you expect less, you will be satisfied with less. This mindset allows a more sustainable and unmaterialistic approach to life. Those who focus on what others should be doing for them are often disappointed more often than they are satisfied. True happiness comes from within, not from deeds or objects originating outside the self. Happy people know this, and they expect more from themselves than they do from external sources. They are more likely to accept than to demand, simply because a state of acceptance is a much healthier place to be than one of constant unmet demands.

They Don’t Judge

Nobody likes being judged. This is because the majority of judgments we make about each other are false and misinformed. Happy people understand through their own experiences that life is a perpetual learning process and everything we go through changes us in some way. With this knowledge, it just doesn’t make sense to hold a bunch of grudges. Happy people accept that we all struggle with different weaknesses, and everyone has the potential to figure things out in due time. This makes happy people better and more patient companions than those who are always judging others for their weaknesses.

The road to happiness is not an easy one to travel. It requires a sense of humble honesty which does not come naturally to everyone. Happy people are popular and successful for a reason. Anyone who smiles that much has got to be doing something right. It’s time you realized how much you have to learn from them. Happy people do not want you to be jealous. They want you to share in their joy by opening yourself up to the lessons all around you. They want to learn from you while inspiring you with their example. This is why we love happy people, and the world would probably stop turning without them. Hug your local happy person today. Let them take you by the hand and lead you toward a better life.

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Featured photo credit: NYCArthur via photopin cc

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