Why Do We Hate Happy People?

    g.82bw why hate happy peopleDo you find being around extremely happy people unleashes your violent tendencies, where you gnash your teeth to keep from yelling “Put your Happy where the sun don’t shine!,” or clenching your fists so you don’t smash their faces in?

    Do you ever find yourself saying to a Happy Person, “Get off it, no one can be that happy all the time”, “Quit faking it”, “Get the [beep] out of here, you’re irritating me?”

    Do you equate being a Happy Person with stupidity?

    The Mayo Clinic has written of the health benefits of positive thinking, yet to be called Pollyanna is an insult. Eleanor H. Porter’s heroine, a young orphan (Pollyanna) had been taught “the Glad game” by her father. It was a way of finding something to be glad about in a disappointing, upsetting, or sad situation. With time and practice finding the glad (i.e. positive) became second nature. What’s wrong with that?

    What’s wrong with choosing to focus on the bright, the cheerful, the living, versus mulling around in the muck and morass thinking about the dark, the dreadful, or your own death?

    What’s wrong with realizing “When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will” and turning that around, so you look for the good and find that?

    Common everyday expressions we’ve used or heard include:

    “Wipe that smile off your face.”

    “What have you got to be happy about?”

    “What, you think this is a laughing matter?”

    [Other expressions include: “Putting on your happy face” and “Find joy and happiness in the little things.” Plus there is not only laughter yoga (with a Laughter Yoga University), there is Laughter therapy. {The contradiction may explain why we’re such a mixed up bunch.}]

    It seems millions are spent annually on books, webinars, seminars, audio recordings, conferences, and events to see the bright side of things, look for the good, and be optimistic. Yet when a person doesn’t need any of that and is simply a naturally happy, cheerful person, they are demeaned, derided, and degraded. I don’t get it.

    A couple popular “reasons” I’ve come across are:

    *Being jealous because they are happier with life than you are.

    *Devaluing what comes easy. If a person is “naturally” happy, it can’t be real or a good thing. After all, anything worth having requires struggle.

    I’m no Pollyanna. I can holler, yell, moan, and complain with the best of them. Do I like it? Not particularly. Do I feel good while doing it? No. So why do I do it? I don’t know. If you have any theories, please share. Truth is I’d love to be a Happy Person.

    From my observation, Happy People seem at peace with themselves and their surroundings. They appear to enjoy whatever is going on around them. They look to be in a good place. In a “now” and “centered” place. It’s said they have stronger immune systems. When the Happy People I’ve known experienced sad (as humans they experience the entire gambit of emotions, it’s just they handle the negative side of the emotional spectrum differently). Their sadness doesn’t go as deep. It doesn’t seem to sink into that dark, dark place of crippling despair.

    Maybe by becoming and being a Happy Person you become one of “Them.” A pariah, deserving of vilification.

    Maybe it’s only the striving toward this seemingly untenable place which is “acceptable.”

    Maybe it’s like a good story. Without conflict there’s no story.

    Maybe it’s the perception Happy People lack conflict. Lack drama.

    In the end, I don’t care about the “Maybe.” Whatever the reason — or lack thereof — Happy People are targets to be hated, vilified or at the very least, treated as extremely annoying, I wouldn’t mind giving Happy a whirl. They seem to have an inner wellspring of harmony and strength which appears to carry them through any challenges that come their way.

    Should we meet, I’ll take that as a compliment if I see you gnashing your teeth or clenching your fists. I’ll know I’ve become a Happy Person. After all, the only reason you could possibly have for such a reaction is I’m simply too happy. And that my friends is something I could live with.

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