Working On Your Own Happiness Is Not Selfish
Posted on December 14, 2015 in Fulfillment, Happiness by Sandra Bienkowski
If you had the choice to spend the day with someone who exudes happiness or someone who has a martyr thing going, it wouldn’t be a tough decision, right? How about your super upbeat friend vs. your chronic complainer friend? Not a challenging choice there either. Spend time with someone who exudes positivity, and you are more likely to feel positive. Hang with someone who acts like life’s number one victim, and guaranteed, Debbie downer is going to rub off on you. It’s called emotional contagion, and it means the emotions of others can influence us. So if happy people make other people happy, why is it that happy people are sometimes thought to be selfish?
“The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided,” says Gretchen Rubin, happiness expert and author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. “It’s more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted.” Put another way …
Happiness takes work.
Happy people are taken for granted because they are thought of as naturally happy people or born happy, yet upbeat people have to work at being resilient, bouncing back, rising above, and staying positive. The outside world only sees the happy person and not the effort behind the scenes, so positive people don’t receive credit for creating their sunshine-like dispositions. “Happiness is a work ethic. You have to train your brain to be positive, just like you work out your body,” writes Shawn Achor is his book, The Happiness Advantage.