Why is our society so consumed with feeling happiness and so afraid of the other emotions?
People want to feel happy all the time. That is simply not realistic. Have we lost the ability to feel? Are we afraid to grieve because then we'd have to admit we've lost something/someone? Do we equate loss/grief with failure?
I definitely think that alot of people are afraid to feel. Let's face it. Feeling reaches deep and causes hurt, pain, disappointment, anger - and those feelings are scary. Not many people know how to handle those feelings so it's easier to push them down. Repression works for them - at least for awhile. Not healthy but perhaps if we who aren't afraid to feel reach out to those who are, they'll learn to handle their feelings.
This is the most intensive and thought provoking question I have seen, read, heard in a very long time.
I have no true answer, only personal observations to offer.
Positivety is promoted, anger, fear, disappointment, grief, jealousy etc are not. It is a fairly recent event, to see those who encourage crying as an emotional release.
Having never been one to 'wear my heart on my sleeve', and growing up with brothers who would jump at the chance to call me a 'crybaby', I learned young not to express such things openly.
But, I felt them. ( I think that may be a part of why I respect the written word).
Even as a wife, my hubby rarely sees my tears, and he does not handle them well. Still, they must fall.....the shower is a good place. During my walks with the dog is a good time.
Tears fell like raindrops on a Thanksgiving Day on a lonely San Antonio bus stop bench. My dog and God were the only witnesses.
We feel, but we do not reveal.
There is NO comfort for grief.....there are no words that touch it. Perhaps, people feel inadequate in it's face. I prefer to be alone with mine, it belongs to me, it is intimate, it is a validation, pain, loss, grief........I embrace them, they mean I am alive. But, they are personal. They do not belong to you, my hubby, my neighbor. I own them.
Feelings are not facts, they can not be seen by others, nor can they truly be felt, though others have similiar feelings.
My own daughter offered the best summary, I have yet heard.
She says, " get IN your feelings".
FloBe......I did not intend to write a hub !
I think we all feel, but as you say, we dont show it! If you want to bee seen as strong and successful, it is not considered to be ok to be sad and sorrow! Strong and successful people should bee happy! Even if we know that happiness doesn´t come with success! I think we equate sadness with failure. But grief could happen to anyone. That is more accepted.
This is such a wonderful question, and one I have wondered about myself for a very long time.
I have given this a lot of thought over the years, and have come to the conclusion that rather than face the pain of loss and grief, and going through the healing process, many would prefer to dismiss their feelings, and pretend they don't have them. Over a period of time unfortunately, many times their hearts become so hard, that they actually don't even feel them anymore. Unfortunately, once they have reached this point, they are also unable to empathize with others pain as well. So sad.
Well...I think that most people in the world are shy about their emotions, such as sadness, anger, rejection, frustration, etc. Personally, I like to save that kind of emotion for those to whom I am closest.
We humans are extremely emotional beings. Have you ever noticed how wonderful a good cry feels at times? Good, stormy rages also feel great in their place. But not all the time.
These emotions give us contrast and make life exciting. They show us what joy is. And the "negative" emotions, acted out in positive ways, actually release blocks to our joy.
Joy is the essence of us. Pure joy is deep spirituality. When people look for "happiness" I think that feeling of pure joy is what they really want - that feeling of expression from the depths of them, of deep connectedness.
It doesn't come from money or things. It comes from openness to life, itself. I've felt it river rafting, lying alone on top of a hill, lying on a warm beach after having almost drowned, jamming at a kirtan, doing the Buddhist walking meditation with a small group of friends. Happiness is a lighter form of joy.
I often wonder the same thing - people seem to have this same attitude towards a lot of things. Like the economy - so my politicians are talking about how they'll make sure this never happens again, which is impossible. It's like saying that we'll never have winter again.
I guess people want to feel happy because it feels a hell of a lot better than not being happy. The danger comes when people confuse a natural, healthy reaction (stress in a stressful situation, sadness in a sad situation) with clinical illnesses such as depression and start medicating a problem that isn't there, and erode their ability to be happy by clouding their brains with chemicals they don't need. It's kind of Brave New World of them...
My view is that my highs are that much sweeter because I've had the lows. I appreciate my happiness because there have been days without it - if you were happy all of the time, would you really be happy, or would it just turn into a constant neutral state.
I agree with ultimatekboxing. Constant happiness would probably become somewhat soul-numbing but general happiness is certainly the most important state to reach in a life in which only a fraction thereof can be said to be free of physical or mental hindrances.
Our first few years of life are forgotten. Once we reach a certain age we become less attractive and physical issues grow.
The earth is billions of years old. Life on it of some form or another will continue to exist for millions of years.
The span of the longest human lifetime doesn't amount to a flicker by comparison. It is virtually nonexistent.
Do we really want to waste that small amount of life we are given preoccupying ourselves with guilt feelings for being or wanting to be happy?
Being happy can also mean being courageous enough to take risks, love other people (who may disappoint you). Or having a character that is strong enough to maintain your politeness in the face of others who don't appreciate it.
There are different kinds of happiness.
When your soul is elevated by the beauty of a good piece of music, snowfall or the colours of spring, that too, is happiness.
When your soul is elevated by the voice or smile of someone you love, that too, is happiness.
We shouldn't reduce that to the mere feeling of getting a raise or of packing out a new IPad on our birthday.
Real happiness is much, much more.
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