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"Are You Happy?"
#1
People will sometimes ask me, "Are You Happy?"

It is a question that I have never been able to answer with any amount of clarity. 

Usually I say, "I guess," or even more accurately, I say, "I dunno," and shrug my shoulders.

And honestly, I am not sure what happiness is. What is the state of being happy? Is it the accumulated good feelings one gets about his or her standing in life? Is it the feeling of completing a task, fulfilling a promise, or making someone smile? Is it the feeling you get on a roller coaster, or the quiet of an empty room, sitting on a comfy couch and reading a good book? 

Clearly, I have a hard time quantifying happiness. 

I differentiate "happy" with "happiness." Being happy, one can have a moment of positivity, or laughter, or a good feeling. I can laugh at a sitcom, feel good when hugging someone I love, smile when I'm playing with a dog, etc. But those feelings end quickly. "Happiness" seems to be more of a longer term state. A feeling that lasts longer than a single moment.

Up to now, I have defined my own "happiness" as "The lack of pain." I would always say, "Well, I don't feel unhappy, so I suppose the opposite would mean I'm happy, right?" Or, would it?

Certainly, I enjoy certain experiences. I enjoy my quiet time. I enjoy the occasional night out with a friend. I enjoy sex, when I have it. I enjoy staying in and binge watching a TV series. If I enjoy something, is that happiness? 

I believe my entire life has been like UK weather. Mostly overcast, sometimes rainy, sometimes snowy, with the very little chance of clear blue skies lasting more than 5 minutes at a time. See, I imagine those clear blue skies as happiness. And I wonder if I am mis-categorizing my own feelings.

I perceive happiness to be the extreme upper part of the behavior scale. And I only reach that state maybe, if I am lucky, once in a year. So, I wonder if I feel the same as other people do, and they use different labels. What I would consider "Hoe hum," someone else would consider that to be happiness. But that doesn't feel right to me. Maybe I just don't feel happiness as much as other people. I see the joy in people's eyes and on their faces and I wonder, "When was the last time I felt that way?" And I don't have an answer to that.

Anyway, how do you define happiness? Do you believe it is simply the absence of pain, or is it a much stronger, longer-lasting feeling?

TL : DR - I am not sure if I understandi my own happiness, and I wonder if I am either not a happy person, or if I am mis-reading my emotions.
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#2
I agree that the state of being happy and "happiness" are completely different things. I think happiness is better defined as contentment or satisfied. Happiness, I suppose, is finding satisfaction and peace in the way life is. People who aren't happy tend to be those who can't accept the world and life as it is, want it to be better and despair when, no matter their efforts, find that it can't/won't be.
I held death's hand this evening.
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#3
(04-05-2018, 06:14 PM)jean-vic Wrote: I agree that the state of being happy and "happiness" are completely different things. I think happiness is better defined as contentment or satisfied. Happiness, I suppose, is finding satisfaction and peace in the way life is. People who aren't happy tend to be those who can't accept the world and life as it is, want it to be better and despair when, no matter their efforts, find that it can't/won't be.

Yes. At the moment I am typing this, I am a bit stressed as I have things to do. But overall, I have an okay attitude.

Am I happy? I would say no, but I am also not unhappy, if that makes any sense. Maybe it is just my own personality quirk, but if nothing is happening, if there is no stimuli that can affect my mood up or down, then I am neither happy nor unhappy. I am in a middle state. Perhaps you may call this my default state. If someone asks me how I am feeling in this default state, I would say, "I'm here, so I guess that's okay." Raise my spirits significantly, and I may say I am happy. Otherwise, I simply exist with no discernible emotion. 

Not sure if that is good or bad, really.
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#4
Happiness is dependent, it is not worth chasing.
________________________________________________________________
Smile   Toungue
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#5
I am less happy when people ask me that question. I interpret it as a passive aggressive question, as if they are saying I shouldn't be happy because I'm not fitting their definition of happiness.
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#6
Happiness is subjective.
Am I happy? No.
What would I need? The ability to have a quiet, boring, uninteresting life where financial concerns don't exist.
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#7
Am I happy? ... At times yes, other times no, yet other times I'm meh.

I do not have everything in life that I want, one aspect, the human interaction, companionship and relationship side is quite lacking, but I'm not unhappy.
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#8
I laugh a lot and find quite a few things amusing. Am I happy though? Honestly, no.
I feel mostly numb these days and perhaps I do feel happy when I laugh but it's fleeting.
Happiness to me is being fully present in whatever you're doing no matter the situation is around you. Total focus, no worries from the past or of the future being a distraction.
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#9
I never know how to answer this question either. I'm in a relationship with someone, and I'm happy with that. Other than that though? Not really. I feel... stuck. I'm way too curious to be stuck here on this planet at a time when we are now aware of how vast it is beyond it, yet unable to yet explore it. I don't relate to hardly anyone. I feel stuck here with people still afraid of the dark that still want to replace the unknowns of life with old, bad ideas from the infancy of our discovery of our surroundings that they want so bad to be true because apparently bad answers are better than no answers for most people. It makes it hard to relate to and talk to people. And I know that that's on me to some degree, but it's woven into so many facets of our lives that it eventually comes up somewhere. I don't understand taking pride in things that I never chose or accomplished. Which constitutes my entire physical person. I'm not patriotic and I don't see how anyone could be at this point. I don't understand nationalistic mentalities because it causes people to take pride in things they had no part in making. I don't understand reducing basic human decency to political and economic ideologies that are not prioritizing general health and well being and education. I don't understand...people. Because most of them seem to do these things. Humans are inherently indifferent towards anything outside there little bubble of existence. Outside their brief time here. And I'm disappointed in myself because seeing no resolution to this in my lifetime has made me SO apathetic.
"Once you assume a creator and a plan, it makes us objects in an experiment." - Christopher Hitchens
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#10
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