Do you ever feel like other people are happier than you? I have a dear friend who is one of the most positive and happiest people I’ve ever met. She is always upbeat, energized, and optimistic.
I generally think of myself as a fairly positive person, but I can’t begin to compare to her. When I’m feeling down or unmotivated, I can feel guilty. My friend would never struggle with these feelings. She would know just how to lift her mood, assuming she ever needed to.
And she’s not the only person who I would consider happier than me. How can I be more like them? Or should I even try?
Here are two things I’ve learned that I’ve found helpful.
- We don’t always know what people are really feeling on the inside. Some individuals are skilled at acting as if they’re doing great, but if we knew the truth, we would discover that they struggle, too.
- We all have different “set-points’ for our baseline positivity. Studies on fraternal and identical twins show that a significant portion (around 50%) of our ability to feel upbeat is due to our genetics. Wow!
The important takeaway is that we should NOT compare our level of happiness to others. Instead, we should realize we are all different. And no matter where we are starting from, we can take small steps to spend more time in positive emotions. It’s not about trying to be like someone else; it’s about working to be a little more optimistic, grateful, and enthused next week compared to today so we can enjoy a higher quality of life.
Are there people who seem happier than you? How could you use these ideas to help you stop comparing and just focus on your own journey?
Wishing you peace and much joy in 2019,
Tina Hallis, Ph.D.
Chief Positivity Officer of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures.