Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

~ Sir Winston Churchill ~

Stop! You’re Not Allowed to Be Happy!

February 4th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 37 secs

Stop that happy stuff!

Something is wrong when people blame you for being happy. You might be chuckling over something funny one moment; then being dragged over hot coals the next. You can get into a lot of trouble being happy, and I have the scars to prove it.

Consider when you were a kid at school. You thought it was fine to talk to your friend in class. Perhaps even send her a secret message under the desk. That was, of course, until your mean teacher decided to make an example of you. This roughly translated into something like making you walk the plank or feeding you to the sharks. Either way, it was a nasty end to a happy moment.

Then there’s that nickname your colleague called your boss. You know the one. It usually got a giggle or two at the watercooler. But when the supervisor found out, feeling happy wasn’t exactly how your co-worker felt. Fancy something so simple becoming so complicated.

What about laughing at funerals? Most people tend to frown on this. So it’s better to make it look like a cough if you can. Consider it a matter of taste; a sort of meat and potatoes issue. Some people like mixing them together on their plate whilst others prefer keeping them separate.

If being happy means laughter, then that’s most likely going be what land us into the frying pan. Try defending yourself and it will be a short hop, step, and jump into the raging fire. So best to apologize and stop any riotous behavior at once.

The problem is, of course, that happiness is contextual. It’s okay to be happy and show it if everyone else pretty much is. Otherwise, to be happy in a situation regarded as serious, somber, or just plain sticky is like tying a pork chop to your neck and hurling yourself into a lion’s den. They’ll happily eat you alive.

Better to hide your happy feelings if you can. Naturally, that’s easier said than done though, isn’t it? Like getting the giggles. You know how it is. One minute, sitting quietly but appropriately bored in a formal gathering. Next minute, your friend reveals something ridiculous, making you want to erupt with laughter. The more you suppress it, the worse it gets. That’s the giggles for you. Guess in the olden days they had you burnt at the stake for it. Unless of course you were a vegetarian. Then you would have been tied to a stick of celery.

But I digress. To be happy can sometimes be a risky thing. Yet is in all of these events remains one long, unraveling thread. Whenever we allow our happiness to come at someone else’s expense a certain selfishness is revealed. To be happy without considering the needs of others is hardly kind. Most often, it’s just plain rude. So if your old teacher did have you drawn and quartered as a kid, maybe it was because they saw your happy antics from another viewpoint. Like your colleague’s supervisor, the mourners, and the attendees at the meeting. Being happy without care can be surprisingly antisocial.

Does that mean you can’t be happy without written permission? Do you have to tick off the checklist before you allow happiness to rise inside? Nope. We can be happy whenever, so long as we factor in the needs of others too. As you know only too well, some people get their jollies from actually being nasty. So it makes sense that consideration is an important factor in expressing happy feelings.   There’s a balance there, somewhere. When I find I can straddle it on a day-to-day basis without crashing off the counter, I’ll let you know. Meantime, carry on.

There, I hope that makes you happy!



Comments are closed.