advertisement
Question
Posted by: Peaches | 2012/06/28

What defines happiness?

Hi CS,

I have come across a lot of grumpy people of late and am trying to figure out why this is so. Do you think their lives are so dull that they have no reason to smile anymore? Do you think it is a mind set? Is there such a thing as true happiness? There seems to be a lot of people just waiting to die, where is the fun in that?!?

Do you get the same feeling of late or is this an age old happening?

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

YOu are, of course, speaking to the National Chairman of G.O.M.U., Grumpy Old Men United. I don't think its about dullness of life, but chronic disappointment, when you start to get on in life and find that the things, whether in your own life or in the nation or the world, which you hoped would get fixed or changed for the better, seem to be getting worse.
And so, it does indeed partly depend on personality types and style of handling challenges and disappointments.SOme of us see difficulties as just more invitations to grumble, other see them as challenges to be overcome. And some see them as needing to be overcome - but by someone else.
On the other side, some people are Pollyannas, seeing everything in a rosy hue as marvellous and impossible to improve further, and they are even more annoying and less useful. After all, the electric light wasn't invented by someone who sat around at night, clapping their hands and singing about how marvellous darkness is !
We need to be cautious about judging others, too, as they may appear to be just grumpy for no good reason, when in fact they are facing severe stress or grief. I entirely agree with Phil that in many very real and common situations it is not possible or even desirable, to ignore grim realities and just "choose" to be happy. People who so totally inore real life are called psychotic, not wise.
Yes, Queen is describing an optional way to handle grim situations and some people are blessed with that talent, but not everyone

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

11
Our users say:
Posted by: Mia | 2012/07/17

A message from David to Daddy Ronald and Mommy DaiseDaddy pselae don''t look so sadMommy pselae don''t cryCause I am in the arms of Jesusand He sings me lullabies.Please try not to question GodDon''t think He is unkindDon''t think he sent me to youAnd then he changed his mind.You see, I am a special ChildAnd I am needed up aboveI''m the special gift you gave to himThe product of your love.I''ll always be there with youAnd watch the sky at nightFind the brightest star that''s gleamingThat''s my halo shining bright.You''ll se me in the morning frostThat mists your windowpaneThat''s me, in the summer showersI''ll be dancing in the rain.When you feel a gentle breezeFrom a gentle wind that blowsThat''s me! I''ll be therePlanting a kiss upon your nose.When you see a child playingAnd your heart feels a little tugThat''s me! I''ll be thereGiving your heart a hug.So, Daddy pselae don''t look so sadMommy don''t you cryI''m in the arms of JesusAnd He sings me lullabies.

Reply to Mia
Posted by: Phil | 2012/07/01

Jenna  the people making such stupid comments are just people that have bever reaally been on the receiving end. That''s very obvious. Let''s hope they never will....

Reply to Phil
Posted by: Jenna | 2012/06/29

You, Queen, have obviously never REALLY struggled. When I was 16 I was very depressed- and I cut myself and contemplated suicide MANY times. Why would such a young person be depressed? My mother was depressed due to a messy divorve. She took her moods out on us kids. She earned enough money to pay the rent. Only the rent. We went hungry. We couldn''t afford food. When we got sick, we had to wait until we DIDN''T get better until my mom could gather the money and take us to the doctor (I struggled with laryngitis for nearly a month before I got to the doctor). I needed braces, I was being bullied because I had skew teeth and we were poor. I had no friends. NO friends. So to summorize- no money, no food, angry fighting parents, bullied. But one must just choose to be happy?! Because it''s FUN getting your beds repossed! Because it''s FUN to not have electricity! Because it''s FUN to go to bed hungry! Because it''s FUN to be sick and not be able to afford medication! Your mothers cancer is obviously treatable- what about those who are given one month to live? How can they be happy knowing they are going to be leaving their children motherless? What about those who huddle in drain pipes in winter because they are cold? How can they be happy to be alive when they are freezing to death? Happiness is a choice? Be happy to be alive? Sometimes it''s better to be dead and if you are so short sighted to think that people choose to be happy no matter what then I do hope that you never have to suffer because happiness, as someone said, doesn''t keep the hungry pains away.

Reply to Jenna
Posted by: Sage | 2012/06/29

Optimists are either woefully ignorant or have found a way to ignore the problems facing the world.

Reply to Sage
Posted by: ICE | 2012/06/29

I agree with Queen. Happiness is a choice...

There are too many so-called " depressed"  people sitting around these days feeling sorry for themselves. These people have got jobs, decent but not extravagant houses, cars etc. Enough to eat and some luxuries but maybe not all the luxuries they want Then they are " depressed"  because they don''t have the smartest car, don''t live in the largest house / best neighbourhood, don''t get the recognition at work that they think they deserve, are irritated with their children''s " noise"  and " intrusiveness"  when they decided to have children, etc. etc. These people (and I know many of them personally and regularly hear their life stories) are healthy. They have never been victims of crime. Their families parents, spouses and children are healthy. So what do they have to be depressed about?

I know of one man who is depressed when he has got a very nice wife and kid, earns R50,000+ per month, drive a new car, has paid off his home and has got lot of disposable income, is healthy himself, his family is healthy, yet he feels depressed - his reason is that he is doing work that is below him (at R50,000 + a month while he has got only a Bachelors degree - he has got nothing to complain about in my opinion). I think he is depressed because he has got to work and has got no excuse to sit around at home doing nothing!

I think the problem is that too many people feel " entitled"  to too many things these days. They do not understand that life and the world owes no-one anything! They do not understand that they can choose their own purpose in life - life does not provide one with a purpose if you sit on your backside and feel sorry for yourself!

True happiness comes only when you decide to be happy with your situation in life. No it does not mean that you never feel sad, don''t experience upsetting events etc. But really - who looses a family member / pet every day? Which is something to be depressed about and completely understandable but time limited. Who likes to go to work every day? No one I know - but consider the alternative!

Constant negativity has got no excuse! And many people these days, especially in the work environment, complains constantly with " a bread under each arm!''

Reply to ICE
Posted by: Phil | 2012/06/28

I guess we are both saying the same thing..... There willbe times and stages  but you should strife and choose to be happy ENENTUALLY...lol

Reply to Phil
Posted by: Queen | 2012/06/28

Yes Phil, happiness is definitely a choice.
My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago (that was a few years after my father had passed on). During her chemo sessions when her hair was falling off and nails rotting, not for once did she ever feel sad or sorry for herself. Instead she found humor in the whole situation. She knew she had no control over the situation, whether she gets mad or not, things will still remain the same. Her reaction made the whole sickness atmosphere go out the window, there was no sadness when we went home.

Yes, when a loved one dies we get sad, no denying that. That is why we grieve. But wallowing in self pity and being miserable years after that loved had died does not do anyone any good. And that''s when choosing come to play. You can choose to be sad for years to come or you can choose to live your life as it comes.
That is why its important for us to lift our eyes every now and then and look at the sky. That way you realise what a big &  beautiful world we live in and how small your worries actually are.

What good does choosing to worry about life do anyway?

Reply to Queen
Posted by: Phil | 2012/06/28

Queen sorry but you are so wrong. Yes one has to make an effort to be possitive  i get that and I am fortunate to be a happy person.

But Peachy has a better understanding. Let me inlighten you Queen  and you then pelase xplain how these circumstances which a hell of a lot of people are experincing will " CHOOSE" to be happy - since you say it''s a choice.

l know of people that lost a child  they are very sad and unhappy.

I know of people that don''t know how to tell their kids tonight  that they don''t have anything to eat.

I know of people jsut don''t see any hope  because of loosing loved ones. Or being unable to survive in these difficult times.

I wish  it was a choice - sadly it isn''t always that easy.

Reply to Phil
Posted by: Queen | 2012/06/28

Happiness is a choice, and most people make the mistake of thinking that if they could have more money or more that then they would be happier. I''ve seen poor people who are happy and thankful just to be alive. Most poor people are more willing to share what little they have compared to those who are well off. Giving enriches your soul, there fore makes you happier.

I think what makes people miserable is worrying about all these things they can''t control. Like worrying about crime, unemployment etc. Worrying about the problem does not make it go away or even make it better, you only get sicker due to high stress levels but the problems still remain.

Life is not as complicated as we make it to be. All these high standards we''ve set for ourselves contribute to our unhappiness.

Reply to Queen
Posted by: Peachy | 2012/06/28

There may be there a reason for their grumpiness as you call it! When someone is feeling the pressure of work, finances, family problems, illness, crime etc. it could be that they do not feel like smiling or feel that they have no reason to smile. Not smiling does not mean one has a dull life - this is a very silly comment to make or are you so young that you have not felt any of life''s pressures yet!! It is not a mind-set, wake up and see what is going on around you, life is becoming extremely expensive, people are finding it more difficult to find work, the unemployment rate in this country affects all races, our children are facing a very bleak future if things don''t change for the better, the list goes on and on! Please don''t tell me that if people smile more, they would feel better! A smile does not put a roof over ones head, food on the table nor fuel in the tank! So please, wake up from your dream world and face reality - this country is not the happiest place to be at the moment! When last have you been exposed to people living in squallor and extreme poverty, no food, no running water or electricity?? This is the real world, not Utopia. Before you make comments about people having dull lives and not smiling, maybe you should try and find out what has wiped the smile from their faces or what of life''s pressures are becoming too much for them to deal with! I feel some of lifes pressures every day of my life and more often than not, I don''t feel happy enough to smile.

Reply to Peachy
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/06/28

YOu are, of course, speaking to the National Chairman of G.O.M.U., Grumpy Old Men United. I don't think its about dullness of life, but chronic disappointment, when you start to get on in life and find that the things, whether in your own life or in the nation or the world, which you hoped would get fixed or changed for the better, seem to be getting worse.
And so, it does indeed partly depend on personality types and style of handling challenges and disappointments.SOme of us see difficulties as just more invitations to grumble, other see them as challenges to be overcome. And some see them as needing to be overcome - but by someone else.
On the other side, some people are Pollyannas, seeing everything in a rosy hue as marvellous and impossible to improve further, and they are even more annoying and less useful. After all, the electric light wasn't invented by someone who sat around at night, clapping their hands and singing about how marvellous darkness is !
We need to be cautious about judging others, too, as they may appear to be just grumpy for no good reason, when in fact they are facing severe stress or grief. I entirely agree with Phil that in many very real and common situations it is not possible or even desirable, to ignore grim realities and just "choose" to be happy. People who so totally inore real life are called psychotic, not wise.
Yes, Queen is describing an optional way to handle grim situations and some people are blessed with that talent, but not everyone

Reply to cybershrink

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement