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C09P28 – Price of Royalty

C09P28 – Price of Royalty published on 6 Comments on C09P28 – Price of Royalty

There are few things I find as frustrating as the obsession with happiness. Or, perhaps better phrasing would be, with the appearance of happiness. I’m not saying that we should not strive for happiness in life. And it’s always good to avoid negative self-talk or other behaviors that propagate an unbalanced, negative world view. However, tough times happen. Negative emotions happen. And I’ve always felt that it’s horribly invalidating to be told to “just smile.” People should feel what they feel, and be able to express it without being shamed for it, as long as they’re not doing so in a destructive way. Sometimes it’s important to honor the dark. It’s not particularly fun, but sometimes sorrow can have an almost beautiful quality to it. It’s aching and bitter, but often somehow…sweet? At the very least, a melancholy kind of meaningful. It feels important, to dwell sometimes in that feeling. To give it space and time. To listen, and to talk, and explore.

In general, I’ve found that emotions of all kinds are far less damaging to one’s self and others when we just acknowledge them and ride them out, than when they are fought.

6 Comments

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I agree with you there. I get tired of the insistence of happiness in culture. It never seems to be that people can have bad days or even moderate “meh” days. I have always thought that being honest is a good thing, especially since knowing someone’s mood before working with them is always a good thing. Of course, I might take after Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory too much. I also think that it is better to respect someone’s emotions than to have them put on a face of happiness, since I think it shows someone respect and a certain level of care for them (even if you don’t know them well). Also, how can anyone know someone’s true mood, even in relationships, if the social stigma is to always pretend to be happy. They blame women for being miserable about “never saying what they actually mean” but I think it is more widespread than that. Then people wonder why there is a lot of depression. I think that part of the reason is that people “have to hide” it. I also can’t think of anything more disturbing than a depressed person always being told to grin an bear it, even from friends (I have seen that a bit). But, what else can we do in an extroverted world?

And this, of course, is something she couldn’t necessarily tell Zhiro and Tama…

I think you’re completely right about that. The emphasis on feeling no negative emotions in our society is really destructive–if you want to know why more and more people get diagnosed with mental illnesses, ask what coping strategies we teach people. Hiding it? Acting happy until it sticks? Avoiding confiding in other people so you don’t bring them down? It’s not healthy.

Oh, but haven’t you heard? Laughing makes us happy. Laughter prolongs life. The smiles must flow. Just laugh it all away. Don’t worry, be happy. Why so serious? Smilex for everyone! 😀

Well, personally I go with a certain demotivational poster that said something like “it takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile, but it takes no muscles at all to just sit here with a dumb look on my face”. My (now retired) dentist said that keeping a relaxed face didn’t make me ‘look cool’, but really, I’m just that lazy.

I have no doubt genuine laughter makes us happy. But I’m not sure forced laughter is really worth the psychological cost for the temporary endorphin gain.

I much prefer the idea that a study was recently done on about a way people increased happiness. They found that thinking of a person that means/meant a lot to you, and then writing down/verbalizing specifics on how you thought of them and what they did for you, created a slight increase in happiness. It had an even larger effect if you called them and conveyed what you’d written/said directly to them. It wasn’t a huge jump in most cases (The general range was 4%-19%) but there was some improvement. What I liked about it was it also connected people to support structures, good memories, and personal values that were all a real part of their past. Not an imposed mood. I think those are good connections to cultivate at all times, regardless of whether you’re happy or not.

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