Jan 22, 2007

Importance of Happiness

Close relationships are so interesting because all of the important issues in life - happiness and heartache, cooperation and competition, trust and betrayal - all get played out on a very small stage, providing a certain amount of clarity and focus.

And when people lie to each other, it is often about their feelings. Fortunately, most people know better than to take words at their face value; it is important to pay close attention to how messages are conveyed.

And more often than not, people pay special attention to the face, believing that facial expressions convey information about one's true emotional state. But at the same time, people are aware that others are watching their faces for clues to their inner feelings. So, people are pretty good at masking their emotions - putting on their poker face, so to speak.

But as it turns out, one of our most basic emotions, genuine happiness, is hard to fake. Generally speaking, signals which are hard to fake are also very important - the fact that they can't be faked usually indicates that important information is being exchanged.

To me, it is reassuring to know that there is real value in letting people know when you are happy or not - that at some level our happiness, or lack thereof, is important to share with others, so important, that it is one of the few things we can't easily hide.

No comments: