In one of his many brilliant articles, Mark Manson stay that happiness is not the same as positivity:
“Chances are you know someone who always appears to be insanely happy regardless of the circumstances or situation. Chances are this is actually one of the most dysfunctional people you know. Denying negative emotions leads to deeper and more prolonged negative emotions and emotional dysfunction.
It’s a simple reality: shit happens. Things go wrong. People upset us. Mistakes are made and negative emotions arise. And that’s fine. Negative emotions are necessary and healthy for maintaining a stable baseline happiness in one’s life.”
What an important and ever so relevant point to the San Francisco culture. While often induced by alcohol and drugs, the most common reason that so many people try to act so damn bubbly, positive is out of their desperate desire to come across as happy and out of sense of social obligation to make others feel better with that same pathological positivity.
While Mr. Manson says that being positive is not the same as being happy, I will take it a step further – acting positive does not actually mean that you are positive.
How many people do you know who talk a lot of shit and are super sarcastic or even cynical, yet they are clearly positive and happy. Just think about your favorite comedians, and surely one or two will come to mind who are perfect examples of that. On the other hand – how many people have you met in your life who would always point out the beautiful flowers, and stars on a clear night and yet merely being in their presence was so depressing, that it would take you a few good hours to recover.