I have to admit, I’m guilty of this. I often delay reaching out because I’m afraid of bothering people or because I just get busy and forget how important it is. Even though I, like most of us, love it when people reach out to me. Go figure.
“Overall, they found that people reaching out reliably underestimated how much their gesture would be appreciated.
“We hope that our findings will encourage people to reach out to their social contacts more often, ‘just because,’” write the University of Pittsburgh’s Peggy J. Liu and her coauthors. “Such small gestures are likely to be appreciated more than people predict.””
You should read the whole thing. There’s more. Not just about how much other people appreciate it when we reach out but how much having a conversation with a stranger makes us happy, and a host of other things that appear to make us much happier than we anticipate.
We’re not very good at knowing what makes us happy. Perhaps more importantly, we’re not very good at recognizing the mental health benefits of being connected in small ways to other people. Those little connections can make a huge difference.