We live in a society that demands we always be happy and smiling. “Negative” emotions are generally unacceptable, and we are told over and over again via pop psychologists and the mass media that constant happiness is not only our birthright, but our responsibility! People are encouraged to stuff their feelings and wear a smile, no matter how they are really feeling.
Some people are more naturally given to cheerfulness than others, regardless of their circumstances. We are all different; and those of us who aren’t naturally inclined to be upbeat and perky all the time are made to feel like we are somehow defective and our darker emotions aren’t okay.
So we seek out therapists, read self-help books, recite affirmations, pin up positive-thinking posters, and beat ourselves up if we don’t or can’t conform to the pervasive “don’t worry, be happy” ethos.
But what if not…
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