When you scroll through your social media feeds, don’t you feel that everybody but you has a charmed life? Others may or may not get the same impression from your profiles, but that’s a topic for another day. In reality, we are living in a ‘Richard Cory’ world. Most of us are exactly like these people in Paramore’s Fake Happy video:
Like the song shows, humans have mastered the art of looking happy on the outside. Why? Because it’s easier to lie and say ‘I am fine’ instead of talking about whatever is troubling you. Since the former is socially acceptable, we don’t talk about negative emotions.
Despite increased mental health awareness, being honest about one’s feelings still makes most people uncomfortable.
If such confessions are regular, they even alienate friends+family and ruin relationships. Nobody wants to be ignored so we resort to pretending to be happy. Besides, we were born with the desire to be happy, which is why we chase it just like any other goal. In the meanwhile, we fake it till we find it.
But here’s the catch: its this very denial that’s making you even more miserable. Negative emotions exist so we are able to make choices that steer us away from them. Sometimes, they cannot be avoided, and we have to accept that.
Even then, happiness cannot be chased, trapped, or bought because it is impermanent, keeps changing and too much is never enough. The only way to experience it is to stop caring so much about it and focus on living your purpose instead. That’s when happiness will find you, at least in small doses. The one thing to remember if you want to be happy is that happiness only arrives on occasion in the span of your life. The sooner you accept that it isn’t permanent, the happier you will be.
Personally, I think happiness is overrated. I’d rather be content instead. What about you?