I recently had to answer these two questions in reference to the condition of being "Very Happy" and the need for social connections to become very happy. The other question asked of me was, how I thought these social relationships helped create this happiness and what role it might have in my emotional experiences and meaning and life satisfaction.
I had to take a bit to really think about this and this is how I answered:
I sincerely believe that social connections and in general human connection with others is a great contributor to being and becoming happier. I also believe I need to bring my own level of true sincere happiness into a social relationship and they must also bring a certain level of happiness and optimism for it to have a greater contribution or else it can become a one-sided happy/unhappy relationship.
Social Connection is very necessary not only to bring us this said happiness, but even the human connection by way of touch, laughter, discussions, shared coffee and conversation is a part of a commitment we choose to create. There is also social connection of knowing we are all in the same boat or we were and can help one another find our way out.
Social relationships for me also foster great happiness when we gather as women and men who are single, married, widowed, divorced, diverse ages or parents, we can contribute to one another's joys and hardships of life and parenting and feeling supported and heard. Therefore, almost a consoling sense that you are not alone or a bad parent after all.
In addition, these types of strong social relationships, particularly among women friends, lead to a more caring and supportive group when we are physically ill or in the midst of an emotional crisis. There is a sense of being needed and trusted with your most vulnerable stages in life in which we must learn to accept help and be of greater service as well.
I believe there is also this great contentment and sense of security when creating such friendships and social relationships with a few quality people. This strong social relationship becomes a bond and you can picture yourself growing old and still have a friend to call on and visit and enjoy a game of poker or a night out to the theater or a backyard bar-b-que or road trip or a hand to hold at your death bed.