Forced Happiness

forced happiness

How often do you say you’re ‘fine’ or ‘OK’ when really, you’re tired, angry or sad?

I thought it summed up perfectly the pressure felt to be happy all the time.

You might say you‘re ‘fine’ but would you say anything else? Are you allowed to? How would people react if you said you were sad, upset or depressed?

Youtuber, Pewdiepie, recently released a video on forced positivity

We live in a world of ‘fine’, so as to avoid having to address being upset.

Society teaches to always be happy. TV, films and even Youtubers, all talk about focusing on the positive and eventually obstacles will be overcome, and if you don’t you are not doing it well enough. Is this right though?

Pewdiepie brings up a good point about cancer. Some believe that positive thinking will overcome any disease. It reminds me of the book Smile or Die in which Barbara Ehrenreich writes that Western society tells, wrongly, that we are rewarded for thinking positively whether that be with health, riches or love. However, the actuality is far from the truth, it needs to be taught that thinking things will be fine is not enough. Infact when things are not fine it’s OK, as long as we address the issue and do something about it.

Masking Sadness

Pewdiepie he says that he would put on a brave face playing games he didn’t like, making it seem as if he was having fun yet when the camera is off, he would feel upset and disappointed.

If you don’t show you are happy, even when you are not then you are perceived as either: lacking, not trying hard enough, or there is something wrong with you.

Think about that, even when you are not having fun, you have to pretend you are so others don’t think badly of you. So you are not seen as a failure and this leads to you never addressing what’s wrong in the first place. You keep putting on a brave face, pushing the sadness down and masking your unhappy feelings. You are never addressing what is wrong and always looking for distractions from the pain of unhappiness and felt helplessness, such as watching TV, spending money or dare I say watching Youtube.

Deal with those issues

Negative emotions mean that something isn’t right and something needs to change. By running from these emotions, we will never sort it out. We will rely on that short term relief and bubbling under the surface will be your genuine unhappy self.
Learning to deal with difficult emotions results in resilience, and being able to deal with not just tense emotions, but tense situations, allowing growth rather than running from things that are uncomfortable to deal with in day to day life.

It is important to feel them, to understand and change the situations and yourself.

It’s OK not to be happy all the time, it’s OK to be sad or upset or to just feel ‘fine’. When you do feel sad, think about why it is you feel the way you do, and what needs to change to make you happier.

 

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