The world is full of unhappy people. Not the ‘unhappy for a particular reason’. Generally unhappy. Always complaining. Perennially depressed, annoyed, angry at the state of affairs – and not exactly sure of what that is. Ironically, all these people constantly state their need for happiness, but if you sit back and analyse the situation a bit, you realize that they are unhappy not because of the circumstances, but out of choice.
This might sound silly, because who would do things that would make them unhappy? No one. But that’s the thing – these people are not actively doing anything to cause their unhappiness, they are just being so – unhappy. Which, by the way, further proves the age old cliche – that happiness is a state of mind.
In the last year, I thought a lot about this syndrome – discussed it with a few, even wrote a long frustrated post about it; which I didn’t publish because it was what I said it was – long and frustrated. And a vent out of the sort did not deserve to be online. But today, I am revisiting the same thing, with a calmer, clearer mind. Why do we have so many people pitying themselves constantly? And talking of every small thing that they think isn’t working out well for them?
One of most obvious reasons why everyone seems so unhappy all the time is that they choose to share the unhappiness more than the happiness. One reason I can think of is that maybe they truly do believe that they deserve a better deal than the one they got. Most of these people will constantly compare their state with others. Mind you, the comparison is between all things bad in their lives, and all things good in the others’. It conveniently ignores the other halves of both lives. But of course the end result is a lot of self pity and sighing and statements about just how perfect someone else’s life is. In short, unhappiness. What else do you expect?
The other reason I can think of is, the fear of jinxing happiness. The worry that if you are constantly portraying a happy state, maybe an evil eye will destroy it. Fed into our heads from when we were children, while there is no scientific truth behind the concept, why would one take a chance? Ok, so you shared your brilliant vacation pictures in Tuscany on Facebook and got a 1000 likes, but to fix the evil eye – why not talk about how tough it was to handle the child when you were there? Or the terrible time you had finding vegetarian food, which killed most of the fun. Like I said, the Drishti Bommai of talks.
Whatever the reason is, I worry for these people. And more for the former set than the latter. Reason being that if you are putting up an unhappy facade to protect your happiness – while you are extremely annoying and negative to the ones you interact with – the eventual state of mind you are in, is actually happy. But when your unwavering focus on the ‘don’t haves’ in your life is really overshadowing the ‘haves’, you are actually extremely unfortunate – only it is not for the reasons you have concluded upon, but in general. Because if this doesn’t change, there is nothing that will make you happy, ever.
I know, I am sounding like a preachy old maata here, but in this regard, maybe I have become one. Happiness attracts happiness. Positive brings positive. And just the same way, focusing on your sadness, will only make it more prevalent in your life. All these shitty, cliched notions that we have scoffed at all our lives have some bit of truth hidden in them. It’s no Secret, it’s definitely not magic, but it is, I assume, something that people have said because they have experienced it.
So no, we will not have perfect lives. No, things will not always work out. You will have to deal with people and situations that suck. There will be traffic jams, and annoying relatives, and beautiful things that you cannot afford. Your child will not always listen to you, you will lose money in the stock markets, you will put on weight faster than your colleague even though you eat lesser. There will always be things that are unfair, not cool, even horrible.
Yes, things could have been better. But they aren’t. So suck it up, move on.
And for heaven’s sake, try not talking about it all the time.