Are You The Happiest Person You Know?
When I first started the Society over two decades ago, I remember chatting at a mental health conference with a therapist who asked why I had started the Society. I responded with something like, “Our culture seems to reward us with positive reinforcement when we talk about our problems, but if we talk about being happy, people really don’t know how to respond. The conversation gets silent.”
He responded, “What’s wrong with that?” All I could think was, “The point of self-help is to experience more happiness.”
Obviously, when we’re happy then we should naturally talk more about the times when we experience happiness. It’s not that mostly happy people don’t experience unhappiness; they do.
However, the difference between someone who describes themselves as mostly happy instead of mostly unhappy is how they manage happiness zappers.
Most people who consider themselves happy look for the silver linings in their challenges instead of seeing unhappy experiences as something destined to make them always unhappy.
[Tweet “Happy people look for the silver linings in their challenges.”]
If this describes you, then you may find yourself being the happiest person you know.
Being The Happiest Person In Your Tribe
Being the happiest person you know can sometimes feel a bit lonely. If the majority of the people you spend time with see the glass half empty, then sharing your happiness with them probably doesn’t feel good. You know that the other person will either rain on your parade, or you’ll feel like you’re contributing to their unhappiness because they compare their happiness to yours and everyone else’s—even strangers.
Although happiness is scientifically known to be contagious, so is gloom. If you’re the one happy person in a group of six, you probably won’t be able to elevate the group mood.
Unfortunately, for some people, staying chronically cranky makes them happy in a twisted way. They carry their “what’s wrong” magnifying glass with pride.
To clarify, a chronically cranky person is someone who doesn’t acknowledge their happy moments and is happy raining on other people’s parades. It’s not someone who’s having a bad day, or maybe several bad days strung together because they are dealing with a genuinely unhappy experience. As we mentioned above, unhappiness happens to even mostly happy people.
3 Tips To Help You Keep Your Happy
In our Society member Happiness Handbook, we provide 6 Ways to Stay Happy When You’re the Happiness Person You Know, but we’re sharing a few of the tips here too:
- Connect with other happy people. This may mean making new friends with people who are as happy or happier than you are to create a “keep your happy” tribe.
- Do not try to make a chronically cranky person happy. They are happy in their own way – being unhappy. If someone is having a bad day—it’s okay to be a smile maker and cheer them up—it’ll probably make you smile too. But recognize the difference between a chronically cranky person and someone having a bad day.
- Encourage happy sharing. When someone makes a comment about something that makes them happy, be genuinely happy when you respond and ask questions to get the whole story.
When you feel like you’re the happiest person you know—you may be.
Since they say we become the collective sum of the six people we spend the most time with, then it’s important to increase the amount of time you spend with other positive, happy people.
You may even need to spend less time with the cranky people in your circles—of course, that may be complicated with it comes to family members, long-term friends, and co-workers.
If you need professional advice before making decisions about navigating any of these relationships, seek it.
In the meantime, the Society of Happy People is a great place to start increasing your happy friend tribe. Our members even have their own FB group so they can communicate and get to know each other more easily.
In the spirit of sharing happiness, what’s the happiest thing that’s happened to you today? Please share below—we really want to know.