happiness

Happiness haters: Why?

Grumpy CatIn my post last week on how we’re too used to debt as a society, I got some great comments. (Love how you guys really engage with the posts! It makes a blogger happy.) 🙂

One comment in particular really struck me…Janine from My Pennies My Thoughts said:

When I have coworkers telling me that I’m just going to have to get used to debt because everyone has it, I cringe.

I can so relate to that. There seems to be this mentality in our society that life sucks, that’s just the way it is, and if you try to say or live otherwise, you can bet people will try to bring you down!

What’s wrong with wanting to like your life?

As a Pollyanna, Susie Sunshine type, I’m always looking for ways to be happier, whether it’s at work or in my daily life. And I know that this annoys people. I’ve actually had coworkers tell me, when I try to look on the bright side of a situation, “Why do you have to be so perky all the time?”

My answer (at least in my head) is always “Why wouldn’t you want to be optimistic? Would you rather be miserable and cynical?”

Unfortunately, the answer seems to be “Yes” most of the time.

The best I can figure is that these people are afraid I’m going to make them look bad, or that if I show them it’s possible to be happier about things, they’ll have to try a little harder to break out of their cynical rut, and they don’t want to do that. But I’m not trying to be a suck-up or put up a false front…I just genuinely live my life with as much happiness as I can find. Because I don’t see the point in being miserable when you don’t have to be.

But that doesn’t seem to be the general opinion.

I have a friend who recently worked super-hard to start her own business, which she loves and she’s so much happier now (even though it’s a ton of work.) And the whole time she was working on creating this business (while she still worked her full time job), everyone kept telling her to just be happy she had a job to begin with, and that “everyone hates their jobs,” so why didn’t she just get used to that like everyone else?

Why get used to being unhappy?

Just like Janine pointed out in her comment, so many people seem caught up in the idea that life is supposed to be tough and that we’re supposed to compromise a lot once we become adults. We’re supposed to hate our jobs, go into a ton of debt, never really be satisfied…and then grumble and complain about that like it’s some sort of accomplishment? And try to “take people down a peg” if they want to be happier?

There is something seriously wrong with this way of thinking. It makes me sad, angry, and frustrated all at once…and even more determined to try to live a happy life just to show others it can be done. (Whether they want to believe it or not.)

What’s your experience been? Have you encountered this awful “why be happy?” attitude in your life?

 

~Heart,

Em

About the author

Em (The Blonde)

7 Comments

  • Fortunately I don’t have too many happiness haters in my life and most people around me support my quest to be as happy as I can be. Still, I know plenty of people that have resigned themselves to living a less happy life because they think that’s just how life is.

    But I think the reason they think life is ultimately unhappy is because these people view happiness as something that happens on the outside. For example, they perceive happiness happens when something good happens and stress/frustration/anger/sadness is what happens when something bad happens. If this is their perspective, then they are only being realistic to believe that life isn’t going to be happy.

    Those of us that live happy lives know that happiness comes from the inside. It’s all about my attitude, perceptions, and actions. It’s not what happens TO me, it’s what happens inside me.

    However, I also think it’s important to mention the people that go on and on about following your dreams as if following your dreams will make you happy. While I agree it’s good to follow your dreams, happiness still comes from within, not without. Your dreams, themselves, don’t make you happy or unhappy- they just give you purpose. A person isn’t happy because they work for someone else or because they work for themselves- they are happy because they choose to be.

    🙂

    Chrysta

    • GREAT points, Chrysta! You are so right about people relying on outside events to make them happy. Bad things will happen to all of us, but if you can practice happiness as a way of life instead of a reaction TO life, you’ll be able to see the positives more. I’m a big believer in happiness being a choice, not a mood or something that magically lands on you when you get A, B, or C.

    • So right, Chrysta ~ There is no “Magic Happy-Wand”!
      If there’s anything that even resembles one, You gotta wield it for Yourself – nobody else can bop you on the head with it.
      I’m always on the lookout, though, for tips and pointers on how other folks’ve found theirs (Cordelia and her peeps are a great source, BTW – that’s how I got here!) Honest answers to those little “How do you think about x?” and “How do you *talk about* y or z?” questions can yield the big Ahah!s we’re always on the lookout for.

  • I hope that most folks who *seem to be* Happiness Haters aren’t doing it on purpose – it’s just their “default setting” – based in their family’s and/or peers’ outlook and language. Unfortunately, it’s also constantly reinforced these days!
    Bright Blessings (and I *will* be back!)

    Karen (they say I’m a red-head, but I don’t see it) 🙂

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