I don’t know about you but, happy people give me the shits sometimes. There’s something about it that seems fake and put on.
We all know people like that. They’re the ones who try to make everything you say or do some kind of jolly experience and beautiful life lesson. No matter what you do or say, they say “keep smiling!”
For a long time I wondered what these ‘silver-lining’ people were like behind closed doors until I came across human behavioural studies. That’s when I began to understand that people aren’t only happy without being sad and that’s what you should be searching for in life.
It’s usually the happy people that are masking or hiding some kind of unhappy or painful experience in their life. So they go around projecting happiness onto other people, not really listening to or understanding the people around them. Incapable of empathy.
When I say empathy, I mean true understanding. Knowing what someone is going through or experiencing in order to help them come up with a way forward. Not empathy in the sense that they’ll just experience your pain with you and be miserable until you feel better. That’s useless and unproductive. Pity parties are great, but should only last a short time.
In my fortunate experience so far, I’ve met, surrounded myself with and befriended some really inspiring people. Some of which you’ve never heard of and others who live a life on stage. These individuals have come into my life and contributed immense value through conversations, hugs, a listening ear and in a lot of cases, straight-up honesty. Most importantly, they haven’t projected happiness or the illusion of it onto me.
What they have done is stayed grateful for their lives. Both the good and bad. And when the odds have turned against them, they haven’t gone all ‘positive thinking’ about it. They experience the pain and suffering that comes with struggle and then have worked towards finding ways to learn from it which leads them to be thankful for whatever it is that’s in their way.
That attitude or perspective is why I value them so much. They don’t try to make me feel happy when I’m down or frustrated. They tell me the truth – whether I’m being a d*ckhead or not and if not, they humbly help me find solutions that will solve my problems.
Rarely do they try to solve my problems for me and more rarely do they try to tell me how I should feel about something.
Another thing that I’ve taken from these people is that they have’t hidden their ‘dark’ side from me. They tell me about their crappy experiences in life, their failures, mistakes and mishaps.
That’s what we really learn from in life. It’s not the amazing rags-to-riches stories that seem like there should be a default template in Microsoft Word for them. It’s the real stories of stumbling way too many times on the same mistake and then having a moment of insight, followed by another mistake. That to me, is real. It’s no fairytale and it’s no illusion. It’s the truth, unedited.
Those stories, whether close friends or family, have been the most liberating ones told to me. Because they tell me that I’m a human being capable of messing my life up and that I’m also capable of bouncing back from that, if I want to.
So next time a happy person projects any of their unicorn, fairy dust, silver lining magic onto you, be sure to tell them that you’re allergic to it and insist that if they continue, they risk inducing an uncontrollable face-punching reflex.
It’s normal to get frustrated when people tell you to stay happy and positive. You’re really getting frustrated at the fact that they’re not showing any form of understanding.
At worst, if these people are showing no understanding, go seek your own. That may be exactly what you need. So I’ve experienced so far.