Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Be kind to happy people too

“It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.” G. K. Chesterton.

I have to admit that I used to be one of those people who shy away from enthusiasm. I feared it would make me look dumb. I didn't realize the power of enthusiasm until I decided I want to be happy and enthusiastic and just did it, and saw the effects.

It made people ease up around me. It made people feel welcome. Best of all, it made people feel enthusiastic about the same goals.

That being said, there are downsides. When people are in a good mood, people around them immediately assume that it's because they have it good. It's not a person's first instinct to assume that a person WORKS to achieve happiness, they assume that the person is happy as an effect of good things happening in their life without any effort on their part.

When you communicate that you have it better, intentionally or not, you subsequently assert power over them, like stated in this Cracked article. And that makes people want to assert their power, to soothe their ego.

Unhappiness is also way to assert power because

  1. people who are critical tend to be perceived as more discerning and smart
  2. when you don't ride someone's flow, someone's enthusiasm, it's like saying "you don't have power over me", regardless of what the end point is to you cooperating with their goals. (PROTIP: cooperating towards a single goal yields better results for everyone)
  3. to say you are unhappy is a way to tell people they have to cut you some slack, to take it easy on you.
Only, unhappiness is easier to maintain than happiness. Happy people are normally treated like shit because they are perceived as shallow, dumb, and bereft of substance. Therefore, a lot of times, being happy is a huge social risk, and intentionally choosing it is actually very brave, for someone who naturally isn't this way.

This is the fear I found is attached to the fear I keep encountering in trying to make this project I have for Valentines work. I feel silly having to act enthusiastic about my own product. I feel stupid having to promote my own creations. I feel dumb having to promote myself.

I exposed too easily. I'm an introvert and need to be on my own a lot. It's easier for me to talk about ideas, and at most my discernment of them than to paint a very detailed picture about my life and experiences everyday, as you can maybe sniff out from this blog of mine. I just often can't risk exposing myself.. I don't like feeling like people are picking me apart.

But I want to believe that that's how everyone feels when they put themselves out there. Every artist feels this way when they paint, draw, write, etc something. It's something we all have to eventually face. And even though I was a very exposed person in higschool, I have to go through the process of opening up again, because I've changed a lot from that time, and my goals and missions are very different.

And choosing to be happy is a way of choosing to put one's self "out there"... You're choosing to expose your happiness, allowing other people to put you down for it. And it's not dumb as it may seem. You need to wrestle with a lot of challenging mental exercises in knowing how to deal with people effectively and kindly.

So if you reader, if you're someone like this, if you're one of the happy ones, and if you're struggling because of it, I want to tell you that I appreciate what you are doing. I want you to know that there are people who understand how hard it is. And I hope you don't let people bring you down. Stay happy. Stay strong. Surround yourself with supportive people and support people like you. We need more people like you in this planet.

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