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Why are all the happy people happy?


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Just looking around me... i see happy people and i see sad people. I also see stressed people and concerned people. The point i am trying to make is that there are people out there who look like they've got some well-kept secret or something.

 

Just to clarify what i mean by 'happy'. They are the people who seem to be surrounded by other people, who have this air about them like nothing can go wrong, like they are inpenetrable in some way. They just seem so... happy!

 

I am just wondering... how many of you are happy? And do you think these 'happy people' are actually happy?

 

I am wondering what their secret is, because i have surely missed the point.

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First, that may be the cutest avatar I have EVER seen.

 

Second, I think happiness is in the heart of the beholder. Each of us has a different definition of being happy.

 

Mine would be to "be the duck". I want to feel good enough to just let things go, including my ex.

 

My ex seemed to always be happy. She seemed to let everything just go. Of course looking back and taking into consideration some of the calls I have received after the breakup, she just swallowed a lot of stuff when she was stressed.

 

You gotta open up. I think talking to yourself is good.

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i don't know if there is a secret to happiness. i think that certain people are happy when they around the people that they love. i think it depends on what makes you happy.

 

i think, if i were to say in general, if i were happy, i think i would say i am.

 

and there is no secret to it. you just gotta take the best out of life. and make it what you can. you really are the only person at the end of the day that you have to please.

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My definition of being happy differs from yours. I love my friends to death and I do like to go out and have a good time.. But if I was always surrounded by other people I would be MISERABLE. Small doses of socialization is good for me. I've always been very much a loner.

 

And I'm happy that way. Being happy is a choice I make too. Sure, I've had my struggels with depression but overall.. I might not be jumping up and down but I'm happy.

 

I read this book once when I was a little girl called Sideways Stories From Wayside School. There was a chapter in it about this little boy who never stopped smiling. At the end when he was asked why he always smiled he said that you need a reason to be sad but you don't need a reason to be happy. It's so true and I've remembered that ever sense.

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At some point in my late 20's/early 30's, I realized I had to overhaul my attitude or life was going to be one long, dreary, depressing, miserable ride. Given that both sides of my family have tended to live into their 80's and 90's, that didn't sound like a real pleasant way to pass the time.

 

So, I started making a conscious decision and conscious effort to focus on the good.

 

It's not easy. One of the first things I had to do was quit watching the news....it was nothing but a nearly constant parade of "what's wrong in the world." A plane crashes and you hear all about it.....yet there are thousands of planes that make it safely to their destinations (and on time to boot) every day and you never hear a word about it. So eliminating exposure to the news was a crucial step for me in changing my focus.

 

Something else that changed my attitude was working with affirmations. One I started repeating (mentally & writing in my journal) was actually started with a very sarcastic tone. "I am one of God's favorites." But the more I said it, the more I wrote it, the more I chose to notice the good in my life...the sarcasm started to fall away and I came to believe that it's very true. I am one of God's favorites.

 

Things always have a way of ultimately working out for me. This, I think can be traced back to my other all-purpose used-it-thousands-of-times-over-the-last-15-years affirmations, "Everything always works out for my highest good."

 

So, believing and repeating (to myself) those two statements ("Everything always works out for my highest good" and "I am one of God's favorites") does tend to put me in a more positive frame of mind than many people I encounter. Which means I tend to notice the positive side of events, and since like attracts like, I also tend to draw more positive things to me as well.

 

Instead of creating a self-defeating, downward spiral for myself (which is very, very easy to do), I chose to create a self-affirming, upward spiral for myself. Yeah, it might be a little more difficult/challeging (especially at the beginning and if you tend toward pessimism)....but the payoff is worth the effort.

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Thanks Shes2smart, I am going to read over your post again (and everybody elses) later and make some affirmations for myself.

 

It is the people that seem to 'thrive' that i do not understand...

 

What makes them so happy?

 

Did they have a good start at life?

 

Have they not suffered any heartbreak or loss?

 

Or are they better than some at dealing with it?

 

Or, are they better than others at masking their true feelings (that's if they are sad)?

 

I don't know... just curious.

 

PS. Thanks for the comment on my avatar Need2bme! I thought i would include a picture depicting how i want to feel! And that would add an air of happiness to those how view it.

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I am probably one of those people that you defined as stressed. I am always concerned about my life and that things will not turn out the way that I want.

 

I think happy people are those that realize that good things happen to them and bad things, and good things, and life is not so black and white. They are those people who are responsible and do what they need to do without getting their panties (or briefs) in a wad. They roll with the punches, so to speak. They have good relationships, love, and are loved. They have balance in their lives between all the major areas (social, intellectual, professional, spiritual, emotional, etc.). They know what their boundaries are with other people and respect other people. Happy people also get laid often!

 

I don't think I know anyone who is truly happy. Sometimes I think my sister is one of these happy people, but she's a chameleon, so she could be faking it.

 

Have you ever read, "Tuesdays with Morrie"? I think Morrie is one of these happy people that you are talking about.

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What makes them so happy?

 

Personally, I think it comes down to making a choice against being miserable.

 

Yeah, yeah, I know....some people's brain chemistry is such that they're depressed or anxious or high-strung or whatever. But even those folks can make the basic decision to play the hand they've been dealt (by getting therapy or taking meds) or to let that problem define who they are.

 

I've had chronic endogenous depression my whole life. There've been points I needed to be on meds to manage it. It's a small part of who I am...but it is not the whole of who I am.

 

Did they have a good start at life?

 

Not necessarily. My family was financially stable, but most of what I remember from my childhood is my mother screaming about how I wasn't good enough. She really wanted a more girly daughter and she got a tomboy...this was somehow my fault, and I was reminded of it frequently in many ways as I was growing up.

 

Due to a variety of events, I no longer have any relationship with my parents at all (my choice). If I had come from an emotionally/mentally good background, I suspect completely cutting my parents out of my life would never have been a viable/desirable option. However, I look back at the termination of that relationship to have been one of the healthier choices I have made.

 

Looked at one way, you could say I had a bad start in life...verbally abusive mother, a father who looked the other way...but from where I'm sittin', that start gave me a lot of the personality traits I like best about myself -- I'm independent, I'm fairly self-sufficient, I tend to look inward for approval/validation instead of outward, and so on. Had my parents been "better," I might not have developed those traits as strongly as I did.

 

That's what I mean by changing one's focus. Someone else with a similar background to mine might choose to blame every perceived failure in their life on the dysfunctional family they came from. I'm sure you know people like that....they hang on to their bad childhood (or a bad relationship) as an explanation as to why they "can't" have a good relationship or happy life.

 

They sell themselves short and they ultimately end up hurting themselves more than their bad parents or lousy exes.

 

Have they not suffered any heartbreak or loss?

 

Lessee...my own history includes 2 suicide attempts before I turned 21, a dandy little eating disorder/body image problem in my late teens & early 20's, no real bf/gf relationship til 20ish (but plenty of sleeping around due to self-esteem issues....see comments about childhood above)...I'd go on, but I think you get the point.

 

Very often you'll find that people you perceive as happy have gone through various levels of hell. What I've found to be true is that the more life has knocked me around, it has also served to make me more tolerant, kinder and more considerate toward others.

 

The book I credit with starting my attitude overhaul is "Life 101: Everything We Wish We Had leanred About Life In School -- But Didn't" by Peter McWilliams. No need to go dig up a copy to browse through it and see if there's something useful in it for you, 'cause it's free to read online (sort of a "parting gift" from Peter before he passed away in 2000) here: link removed

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There's no real concrete definiton to what "happiness" actually is. We all apply that differently from others and also have varying ways of expressing. Some people might displyed it by their gestures and they way they're talking while others showed it by their good actions and a smile on their faces.

 

Second, I think at some time stress does play a role in our life and we can get kinda down once in a while. It depends on hwo we all handle the situations. Some people get very emotional and start sharing every bit of their secret life with others. Then on the other hand, there are those who rather keep their problems to themselves and thus, no one notice they got their own troubles also b/c they are tend to be seen as overly happy while within themselves they are hiding their real emotions.

 

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I am probably one of those people that you defined as stressed. I am always concerned about my life and that things will not turn out the way that I want.

 

You don't seem stressed to me!

 

I think happy people are those that realize that good things happen to them and bad things, and good things, and life is not so black and white.

 

Hmm... maybe realising life does have shades of grey does make you a more relaxed or happier person. I have just been reading some literature on patterns of limited thinking and the black and white one sounds like "polarized thinking"...

 

They are those people who are responsible and do what they need to do without getting their panties (or briefs) in a wad.

 

The point is, that when you are not happy, you tend to get your knickers in a knot over everything... then it becomes a vicious cycle.

 

They have good relationships, love, and are loved.

 

This is great if you have a good start in life, but hard to find love if you don't. I think.

 

They know what their boundaries are

 

This helps, but i think you have to be happy, or at least not depressed or down to be able to set boundaries. When you are depressed or down on yourself, it is difficult to set boundaries for yourself b'cos you tend to let anybody in, or more people than you should, due to bad judgement, i think. Not saying i do this now, in the past maybe.

 

Happy people also get laid often!

 

Well, i would be happy if i was getting laid often . Lol.

 

I don't think I know anyone who is truly happy.

 

You know... sometimes i wonder this too. I think i know 1 or 2 people that are, but not everyone around them are happy, their partners included. I want to be happy... My aim is to be happy. When i think about this one particular 'happy' person, i would describe her as free-wheeling, a little selfish (this is not necessarily a bad thing... watching her has made me realise i need to be a little bit more selfish... look out for my own best interests etc.), has had a hard life in terms of her mother being sick, but generally has a sunny view on life. She also thinks about things a lot.

 

Have you ever read, "Tuesdays with Morrie"? I think Morrie is one of these happy people that you are talking about.

 

I think i might go and borrow this. I started to read Crime and Punishment the other day, but i feel it is a little depressing for me right now. I really need something light.

 

Thanks for your response I hope everything's going well. I read your u-haul lesbian post... too funny.

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Wow, Shes2Smart, thanks for the post. I won't respond because it is long, but i am going to read every point in detail. I think you are right, it's all about making the decision to see the bright side of things. I am consciously doing this. I bought an exercise book today and i am entering every good thing that happens to me on a daily basis into it.

 

Thanks also Ailec1987... it does depend on how you percieve things... and some people do hide things better than others... but some people just look so darn happy! And it drives me crazy. I want to know what their secret is. Getting people's feedback here gives me food for thought and brings me closer to my answer.

 

In the meantime, i am meditating on happiness. Nothing is going to stand in my way.

 

For me it would mean letting go of the past and looking to the future. and also honoring who i am.

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I think a lot of people put on a facade/mask because they want to impress others and have everyone think they are really happy. It is mostly genuine and real people who are more true and real in their personality. There are situations in professional roles where you have to put on a happy act eg sales for the sake of getting results.

 

People may be blessed to have happy moments or seasons in their life but in the world we live in how can anyone with any spec of compassion be truly happy, when so many innocent people are suffering I feel it is more realistic that if you have energy to spare use it to help others.

 

I need to watch a decent comedy and lighten up

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If ya look around yes you will see alot of happy people but alot of them just act and say they are happy well inside they are dying. I go everywhere with a smile, so my friends and family dont stress over me

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sometimes happiness comes from appreciation of the world around you. i often see people who are unhappy for one reason or another because they don't have this, they don't have that, that they forget what they do have! my ex-g/f always said i was so simple because of my approach towards life. i've had the "lucky" opportunity to live in multiple countries, move 21 times in my life, not had the greatest childhood in the world... but you know what i learned from all this? that all i needed in life was good people around me (like i told my ex when we were breaking up "you, me, anywhere anyplace in the world, that's my life"). money, material goods are nice and all, but they don't make me anymore happier, just give me more freedom to do things in life.

 

i recommend taking a trip (hiking trip, not living in 5 star hotels and staying at tourist spots) to a 3rd world country like in south america or asia and you will come back more grateful, more energized, more excited about life than you ever will be. it's amazing the lifestyles that people in less wealthy countries live, i really admire their mental strength and their fight to survive.

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