For some people, feeling like shit is a way of life.
It’s their brand. It’s what they’re good at.
In fact, even the act of telling other people that they’re miserable actually gives them a shot of happiness. It’s like the pellet that makes the rat feel like himself.
But that’s perfectly fine. I respect people’s right to be miserable. I empathize with the inevitable low feelings of life. And I don’t judge others for the sad movies their brains might be playing. Because I understand that everybody is fighting a battle that I know nothing about.
What’s hard, though, is when other people’s misery starts to influence my behavior. When they become so miserable, that I find myself having to hide my joy around them. Having to curb my excitement just to be sensitive to their feelings, lest my cheerful disposition send them further down into their depressive tailspin.
That bothers me. Nobody should have to feel guilty about their own happiness.
I once worked in an office full of cold, unhappy, unhealthy people. Six months into the job, the girl at the desk next to mine pulled me into the hallway and alerted me that I was smiling and laughing way too much during the workday, and that it was upsetting people in the office who were under a lot of stress. And so, if I could just keep those feelings to myself, she said, they would all appreciate it.
I wouldn’t call myself an angry person, but in that moment, I wanted to bash her teeth in with a wireless keyboard. How dare she make me feel guilty about being happy?
Not to be insensitive about the stress of other people, but I will smile and laugh as much as I want to, thank you very much. Don’t lash out at me because you’ve made the choice, I repeat, the choice, to be unhappy.
Yet another reminder never to take things personally, because people are only talking about themselves.
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Are you stifling your enduring bliss because you don't want to appear too happy?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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