a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by lil
lil  ·  2283 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How to be Perfectly Unhappy

I was telling mivasairski recently that in a Venn diagram where one circle shows my sorrow and the other my happiness, the two circles would completely overlap.

What that means is that happiness/sorrow are not a binary. They coexist in what some people call cognitive dissonance, but I just call life.





b_b  ·  2283 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't understand why "happiness" is considered the objective of life for the majority of people anyway. My best guess is that it's something that people don't really think is attainable for themselves, but is for others, so that it gives them something to complain about, which is really what most people want. What's so great about being happy? When we're happy, we're unmotivated. A burr under the saddle is a good thing, because it's what drives us to create (at least those of us who are inclined in that direction). It's nice to be happy sometimes, but it's inhuman to be happy all the time. The best part about being a human is having the ability to observe a state of being, decide how that state could be improved upon, and come up with a plan to implement your putative improvements.

mivasairski  ·  2283 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I once heard about a wise woman who said that happiness is a choice.

Being happy is not the same as being a happy person.

Being happy is in the moment. Being a happy person is a personality trait.

It's important to be just who we are.

OftenBen  ·  2017 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On re-reading, thank you for this bit of wisdom.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2283 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Being a happy person is a personality trait.

Is there really such a trait?

_refugee_  ·  2278 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Some people call it "optimism," for instance.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2278 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Optimism, a positive outlook that it is, does not entail happiness in itself. People can still be sad or feel down if they're optimistic about the outcomes. Emotions still have strength over people, whether they aim to see good or bad.

_refugee_  ·  2278 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Is being a happy person the same thing as being a person who is always happy? Is it a state, or an attribute?

Being constantly happy is a state. Being a happy person, to me, is an attribute. I don't think you have to always be happy to be generally a happy person. I do think you have to have a positive outlook - also known as optimism.

Emotions are passing stages. If I am sad today, that doesn't make me a sad person.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2278 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I do think you have to have a positive outlook - also known as optimism.

I don't feel like I'm equipped to fully agree or disagree with that statement. Still, optimism seems to be major component of happiness.

Do you think you need more than optimism to be happy, though?

_refugee_  ·  2278 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yes, I do think that you need more than simple optimism to be happy. I also feel that someone with a negative outlook can refuse to experience/block potential moments of happiness because of their perspective (like an Eeyore).

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2278 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Yes, I do think that you need more than simple optimism to be happy.

This means that optimism is not the "happy person trait", even though it certainly allows for happiness.

Sorry. I can be prickly like that sometimes.

_refugee_  ·  2278 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Did I say that it's the single trait required to be a happy person, or did I say "I do think you have to have a positive outlook to be a happy person"?

At no point did I say being optimistic was the recipe for being a happy person, or that there was a single trait which guaranteed happiness.

I said I thought you needed optimism to be a happy person, but that is like saying you need flour to make bread. Flour isn't the only ingredient in bread, but you're going to be hard pressed to make bread without it.

You can be prickly all you want, but try being prickly without twisting my comments.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2277 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Did I say that it's the single trait required to be a happy person, or did I say "I do think you have to have a positive outlook to be a happy person"?

You said that some people call the personality trait of being a happy person "optimism". Would you still say that?

OftenBen  ·  2278 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Eeyore checking in. This is very real.

OftenBen  ·  2283 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    in a Venn diagram where one circle shows my sorrow and the other my happiness, the two circles would completely overlap.

Can't have one without the other? Or something more than that?

lil  ·  2282 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not exactly. What I mean is recent events have resulted in both great happiness and sorrow. I'd be happy to have one without the other, but it didn't work out that way.

OftenBen  ·  2282 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thank you for teaching me so much.