The trouble with happiness…a different & interesting perspective!

The trouble with happiness…a different & interesting perspective!

Is happiness always good? 

Well, mostly…but like everything, it depends how you interpret and define it AND it depends on the context and other variables such as timing. 

Pretty much everything, even happiness, has a flip side and it's important to consider all the various issues to do with happiness so we can fully understand it. 

Accordingly, I thought you might find this different, interesting and thought provoking article from The Huffington Post, of interest…

by Carol Smaldino 

The trouble with happiness, as I see it, has to do with happiness as a goal whose urgency of achievement can overwhelm shades of feeling that are necessary for growth. We have heard much from neuroscience lately on the fact that we as human beings are wired for attachment. And now there are newer movements in psychotherapy to train children to think before they act, and how to act so they can be more effective and happier. This tone that you might sense has nothing to do with neuroscience, but rather the sense the mental health practitioners and our culture as a whole discounted long ago magnificent findings of psychologists and anthropologists having to do with raising healthy children with empathy and warmth.

We risk, here, falling into what I see as a terrible habit of judging a book by its cover, as in judging a state of mind by behavior. Sometimes nothing could be further from the truth in that we have seen and heard of cases of people who acted happiest before committing suicide, or who acted content and who conformed before committing some horrendous crime. But on a day-to-day basis, without worrying immediately about the worst possibility, I'm thinking more about certain episodes of sound developmental health that involve temporary periods of depression, distress, anger and general unhappiness.

The easiest example for me that merits our attention is a developmentally "organic" disappointment that emerges when we realize that we cannot have everything we want (okay, fair enough, some people never learn this one). It marks the beginning of getting to know that reality disappoints as well as provides contentment or rewards. That is the easier part of a phase that for many comes after they get ready to give up the inner convictions of being responsible as children for the happiness of significant adults. When children are blamed for every disappointment or limit that has been set, or when they feel responsible for the break-up or the making up of their parents or caretakers, the giving up of that sense of responsibility is much more painful and full of mixed feelings.

Yes, it's true that it's sad for kids to feel responsible for their parents' trials and tribulations, but on the other hand therein lies a sense of power, that tempts and deludes us that maybe we didn't have the strength to make things better then — whenever "then" is — but we can do it now. We can do it even in surrogate form, we think, with a boyfriend, with our children, with our patients (this is a well-known occupational hazard), or with whomever. What is also crucial is that if we have success and become a factor in the happiness of others, we have to contend with the emptiness left in us. We, in this case, don't only want to make other people happy; we want to fill up the emptiness and loneliness and correct the assumption that our worth is/was dependent on our ability to save another…

…if you're enjoying this and interested to read the full & original article then JUST CLICK HERE