Depression isn’t an alien condition to me, given that I’ve been through that wormhole before (and been treated for it). But, by and large, I am considered a “happy person.”
By definition, that would be someone who’s always cheerful, has a smile on their face, is cordial and friendly with everyone around them, and rarely ever seems to have any problems.
If my track record is anything to go by, thanks to the life I’ve led and the privilege I have, I can say I might fit that mold, somewhat. Or at least people find it easy to come up to me and say, “dude, you’re such a happy person! How are you always so cheery?”
But here’s the thing. Happiness is just another emotion, right? So technically, as a regular human being with a well-wired brain, I am bound to feel other emotions within the spectrum.
And here’s where the crux of this little piece lies —
Every time I don’t have a smile on my face, or I am just a tad bit upset, there comes the familiar question: “Hey, why so low? You’re always so cheery!”
And the worst part is, I don’t have an answer to that. Because I almost feel like I lose allowance to displaying any other mood but happy, because that’s the perception that seems to be largely accepted one when it comes to me, and people like me.
I’m not exactly complaining. I’m glad people find me pleasant and pleasing. But to think that expressing my emotions might come with additional criteria of “does this fit with your happy person perception” is daunting. I might learn to mask everything with a shade of happiness because it seems almost criminal to feel otherwise.
But that’s the case with people who are constantly irritable, or perpetually grumpy, too. They seem to surprise the people around them with their one-off pleasant mood. So much so, that when they smile or express anything but grumpiness, it prompts people to make silly jokes like, “oh, has the sun risen from the west, today?”
But the case with happiness seems a tad different, perhaps. We all yearn for and search for happiness and signs of it around us. It is perhaps the driving force behind why we fascinate about celebrity lives, or we crave holidays, or we’re nearly jealous of influencers and their free gifts. So when we see happy, we gravitate towards happy, and if it goes away for just a second, it feels like we’ve lost a source of happiness of our own.
So, if I’m someone’s “Happy Person” then that means I might have a “happy person” I look up to, too! It’s a cycle, isn’t it? And perhaps a vicious one, if it means someone might have to train themselves to exhibit just one emotion all through. Perhaps, we need to reflect on the fact that maybe, we don’t need to bracket people into emotions. Happy people, sad people, angry people grumpy people — people are people, and they need to be okay to express and feel their emotions the way they come to them. The average person’s emotional spectrum is like a rainbow, and it would be a shame if you chose to just see one color.