Because I'm the Mom

How mothering pervades all relationships in life.

I Failed the Happiness Test

Depressed by the 'Happiness' fetish? Read More

I fon't buy into a lot of Positive Psych's kool-aid

People need different things to be happy.
My mother and I both need lots of quiet "alone" time. Yet "Positivists" say the more friends you have the better. Poppycock. I prefer quality, not quantity.
And this is NOT a slam against medication, but your brain/body might just not be getting something it needs. I started taking 6,000 IU's a day after my dr said I had a chronic deficiency.
Low and behold, the Effexor I'd been taking for two years suddenly started working again; so well, that I was able to cut my Effexor dose in half.
Exercise does not make me "feel good". I suspect many people feel the same way, and humans are quite adept at knowing what "feels good". Sex feels good, and there are no advertising campaigns reminding people that sex "feels good" and to please have sex; any teenager knows this and would think it bizarre to advertise a fact as obvious as water being wet. And yet—it seems equally bizarre to spend millions of dollars to convince (not remind) people that exercise does feel good, despite the wholesale failure of such efforts. Americans are heavier than ever, and the exercise lie will never convince us.

Life nowadays is mostly lonely.

I got a c- and it told me to

I got a c- and it told me to find a faith. I suppose it doesn't matter that I think I am contented and reasonably happy.

Back-door religious and marital discrimination

It's very easy for an employer or HR person to give such discrimination the cover of legality like this; because it's NOT illegal to discriminate of the basis of attitude or personality.

The happy requirement

Somewhere along the line the mommy clique decided it was mandatory they should be happy, crave happiness and seek constantly to be happy. Blogs popped up like mushrooms demanding people dump their unhappy friends, quit associating with unhappy circumstances and only surround themselves with happy situations. Happy was of the utmost importance.

Life satisfaction and personal fulfillment went out the window, and happy is now the big priority. If you buy into this load, Pamela Cytrynbaum, then you are too concerned with going with the flow and behaving like a Stepford wife. I and most other people are too smart for this stupidity. But good luck with it.

Not just the mommy clique.

You won't get hired by the likes of Tony Hsieh of Zappo's, either; because he says he only hires happy people.

Relationships, faiths and hobbies should NOT be turned into emotional fitness merit badges.

Great post!

Thanks for your amusing corrective to the happiness gurus. It cheered me up immensely! Now I can get back to my Schopenhauer . . .

Yeah, I got a C+, in which

Yeah, I got a C+, in which they told me to find a partner and a faith. And although, I do eventually want a partner, there are reasons I do not have one and I highly doubt that a partner could make me any happier. I may be lonely but that has nothing to do with not having a partner. And as far as faith is concerned, it asked me if I attended faith services not if I actually had any beliefs. Bah, I just have a beef with organized religion, so sue me. Lol. Thank you for your article.

This gets serious in the armed forces.

There have been a number of military personal who were deemed "failing spiritual fitness" if they did not claim a faith, and referred to chaplains, etc.

I wonder how many were also deemed "insufficiently resilient" if they either didn't have a partner, or were simply introverted?

Having a partner doesn't magically make one happy

Bella DePaulo already looked at the data. When one marries statistics say that your happiness will increase in the year after you marry. But after the year is over your happiness level returns to wherever it was before you married. This counters current social acceptance, that marriage will make you healthy, wealthy and wise. It doesn't.

Suddenly finding religion won't make you any more happier either. Those who find comfort in religious services become much happier when they are attending church. If religious services aren't a big priority for a person then they won't make anyone happier, just disappointed they wasted their valuable time doing something that didn't have any benefits.

I suspect that eventually...

... they'll just run cheek swabs on us and flag everyone who doesn't have enough serotonin and oxytocin.

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Pamela Cytrynbaum teaches at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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