What do you think makes other people believe that someone is happy? | INFJ Forum

What do you think makes other people believe that someone is happy?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by lefsboroboto, Mar 21, 2011.

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  1. lefsboroboto

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    This has been something I've been curious about for some time. I have a friend in my group of friends that is a fraud. She is very unhappy, depressed, low self-esteem, and feelings of self worthlessness. She is intimate with a wide range of men to make herself feel wanted and worthwhile. She is ESTP. What frustrates me is that I can see right through her to the core of her problems and I see the real person she is, weak, hurting, and miserable. All of our friends, who range from immature to unobservant (with unknown types) praise her because she exhibits a happy-go-lucky attitude constantly. She laughs, giggles, talks about the love of life and success, and is great at holding up her facade... to others. My question doesn't have to do with the psychological details of my friend, but of the people that surround us. Are people really so easily fooled into believing that happiness has to do only with how much you smile and the things that come out of your mouth? I am astonished constantly that the people around us are so THICK as to buy her bullshit. Don't get me wrong, I love this friend and wish her the best, but she is as fake as a $3 bill. Can someone shed light on their theory of why some are so easily fooled into believing an act like this? They constantly praise her and celebrate the fact that she is the "vision of happiness". Are some of us so eager to be happy ourselves that we let a cheap show become our standard of happiness? "If she can do it, so can I?" type of thinking? Or are some people just too dull to see past appearances? Maybe some just don't care to look close enough to see past the outside. As an INFJ I am very perceptive of this girl and what she truly means by what she says and her honest to goodness personality. But I am confused and downtrodden by the fact that no one else sees what I do. Any theories would be appreciated. Also, I am new to the personality typing terms like "Ni" and "Ne" and do not immediately understand all that goes into each personality type, so please bare with me in using any jargon. Thanks!
     
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  2. bickelz

    bickelz BOINK

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    Being an extrovert. Western civilization thinks that a person who is very outgoing and is comfortable with people all the time is more successful and happier than those of us who don't make it out as much. The default mood for introverts is content and/or melancholic in my opinion but the default mood for extroverts is happy since the majority of them only think about things that have little depth and importance in the world. Not that extroverts don't think about serious stuff but 99% of the shit that comes out of their mouth is wasted energy. Most of human communication comes from body language and tone anyways.
     
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  3. Candice_XX

    Candice_XX Regular Poster

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    Are people really so easily fooled into believing that happiness has to do only with how much you smile and the things that come out of your mouth? YES. And if you are thoughtful they think you have depression.

    People judge the other people only by comparing. People who don't feel very good themselves are prone to qualify as happy a person who can smile.There is also a small percentage of naive people who can't believe that somebody is pretending. But the huge majority are people who either don't care to go beyond the surface because they will have to think for their own behavour or either understand that this smiling trick is applicable to the masses and they choose to appreciate it and use it in their turn.
    Watch TV see who are the stars and try to understand why people don't feel sorry for them.

    Keep in mind that maybe your friend has not realised the inconsistency in her feelings and her behavour. Maybe she thinks being happy is the only accepted social behavour, or she doesn't want to admit she is not happy.

    Lastly, in my humble opinion I think you are wrong having those friends, because they are not very clever or they do not like the truth. They may keep you back.
     
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  4. Gaze

    Gaze What am I mixing? Well . . .
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    i don't think it's that they are fooled. I think it's that we are socialized to focus on presenting a more positive impression of ourselves than a negative one, because outwardly it's easier to be around and makes those around us feel better. But it's too often taken to the extreme. I think there is too much emphasis on presenting a positive face or facade to make others feel better, when it's really more damaging to the person inside. There has to be more acceptance or least tolerance in our culture for variations in how we can behave in social situations. Forcing someone to put on a smiling face to the detriment of their emotional health isn't good.
     
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  5. Oranguh

    Oranguh Community Member

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    lol, this thread. I don't know what to think!

    Anyways, let's add some enfp-extroversion-happy-go-lucky-"bullshit" into this and see what kind of conclusions will be boiled out!

    I just love how people define what's important in this world and what isn't important. I also love the fact that the conclusions drawn out about "extroverts" is always being happy because...... "they're scared" "don't know how to express otherwise" or whatnot.

    I like to be as vain to comment that I am gracious in my ability to masque feelings of anxiety, depression, and the likes. But the trick is to not "hide" your feeling, the trick is to become happy for the duration it is required! Being with other people and talking is actually one of the ways I gain energy. It's not a waste of energy, on the contrary, it's actually a very good way of numbing the negative feelings. This is how I "escape" feeling bad. I can imagine that introverts have "their" ways of dealing with their negative emotions. But really now, are we all that different? Why the hate for how people go about their emotions? Is it somehow inferior? Really?

    Somehow I am inclined to draw the conclusion that some people just have lots of rage against other people and any kind of way to "vent" will do.

    Anyways, If I had a choice I wouldn't want other people to be contaminated with depression, seriously, that's just egocentric. But, I do feel I owe other people the opportunity to help me in ways they feel are appropriate. It's all about balance in the end. A healthy extrovert will be able to deal with his/her emotions appropriately. (although being depressed usually means you're not healthy, lolirony)

    -------------------------------------------------

    And now some personal commenting @bickelz

    You do know you're not making any friends.... Now I'm not really specifically taking about the extrovert minority here on the forums.... But you should really try.... to.... "tone it down?" People might think... things about you :p Anyways, I get the impression you're guided by something along the lines of "rage". Perhaps there's a reason that I'm getting that impression? Perhaps it's something to look into? I don't know, I'm just an extrovert, 99% of this is probably bullshit.

    aaah gawd, so much humour in this world xD

    :m183:
    DISCLAIMER: (all passive aggressiveness was intentional and serves comical purposes only)
     
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    #5 Oranguh, Mar 21, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  6. DrShephard

    DrShephard Community Member

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    As Machiavelli so eloquently put it:

    "men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, because it belongs to everybody to see you, to few to come in touch with you."

    As long as someone isn't that close to her and she puts up a front, they're likely to go with their heuristics and believe it. It would fit into their reality that their friend is a happy person... and that they can dismiss what their "negative" friend (you) is saying about how she isn't really how she seems. We all put on acts in an attempt to seem other than how we are, and we dismiss our authentic self in the process of attempting to be someone who we're not. Men in suits talking about how they're experts in a certain field, religious officials who are simply humans underneath it all, judges and lawyers, police officers and politicians put on fronts, masks, and facades... they're just people playing a certain role. Some of them have gotten rather good at it. It's just like snotty girls and douchebags in clubs.

    We're somehow inclined to believe them though. It's in our nature, I'd suppose. Sometimes, when we start to see things that are deeper to the person, our cognitive dissonance flares up and we start to see both sides. Most of the time, however, people (including us) aren't looking and don't really seek to look. At times it really is a matter of "It seems fine at first glance, so why expend the extra energy to delve further? It's fine underneath it all too."

    Incidentally, I have to add something else... if you want to rescue her and are thinking about doing so, it's not within your power to change a person. She has to save herself. You can be there for her when she wants help, but she is the one who has to make that decision and you cannot help her along at all. Well, you could, arguably, but that would involve setting her up with men worse than the ones she's dating now so she can hit bottom faster, or poking holes in her facade so her real self shows itself - but then she'd probably hate you afterward and so would your other friends!
     
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  7. Oranguh

    Oranguh Community Member

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    Exactry! In the end YOU have to save yourself, whether you're introverted or extroverted.

    Oh~ and might I add. If you're depressed and show it by sitting alone and being openly depressed. People* may approach you. But the majority will probably pretend nothing is wrong and just ignore you.... so uuh :p yea~ Isn't that ironic?

    *These people are probably close friends or people that feel entitled to responsibility over you e.g. parents, teachers, etc. Right? Right? Well, maybe random people as well... but... Would you spill your heart out to them or go for the casual "everything fine, really" (but surely everyone knows that "I'm fine" means: "I feel horribad")
     
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  8. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    yes that is how my extraverted friend behaves. She isn't a happy person and she carries at least as much as pain as I do but she pretend to be happy and by doing so she becomes happy for a certain period of time. In fact as long as she is surrounded by people who give her attention. When she is alone again the hurt comes to the surface again and she needs to get out again to meet people. While I'm playing sad songs to let say live through my unhappiness, she avoids unhappy songs because and I quote "they make her feel unhappy". It is not that they make her feel unhappy, they bring up her unhappiness.
     
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  9. OP
    lefsboroboto

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    Thanks for the insight. I suppose I'm stubborn and want to trick myself into believing that some people care enough about others to look past appearances. I am hungry to find others like me to be friends with, but have trouble finding them, so I continue to be around the people I do. And yes. Not to sound full of myself, but they do hold me back. But it's better to have fun friends than no friends, eh? I do have thoughtful friends, this is only one friend group. But they drive me crazy with how near-sighted they can be.
     
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  10. OP
    lefsboroboto

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    Thanks for the input Oranguh. It's very nice to hear an extroverts point of view on the topic. I think it's great that extroverts draw their energy from other people, but I have to confess, like some other introverts, I too have some stereotypical ideas about being an extrovert (ahem happy-go-lucky BS). I know this is not true of all of you, but I'm sure you'll understand as there are also many stereotypes about introverts (ahem depressed social hermits). In fact, this is exactly how this particular extroverted friend treats me. Whenever I point out that maybe she should work out the parts of herself and her life that make her unhappy instead of devoting 110% of her energy towards masking it for others, she ridicules me for being an "angry, unhappy" introvert. I personally believe that I am a happy person with the exception of natural human depression from time to time. Much happier than she is... But anywho. Just wanted to thank you for the comment and add some details to the situation and our personal introvert/extrovert situation.
     
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  11. bickelz

    bickelz BOINK

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    In case this was not entirely humorous, people perceive extroverts to be happier for just this reason, because you guys just put on your happy face and become happy. I also think I saw somewhere that a study showed how extroverts are happier than introverts. Outgoing is an American ideal that everybody "should" be in order to obtain"success" and "happiness".

    I also never said that the way extroverts mask their negative feelings by talking about something else was inferior to the introverts way of wallowing around in our pre-conscious for hours on end. The introvert's way of dealing with things is just not perceived to be the way of a happy person. That's all I was getting at.

    Oh and [MENTION=3323]Oranguh[/MENTION], I do try to make freinds. I appreciate the humor but for the introverted population, this can be a frustrating issue since many people think there is something wrong with us.
     
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  12. Galileo

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    I guess also not everyone is a mind reader or something similar. not everyone in the world has the ability to see beyond the smiling laughing atitude some people project. I think some people also don't think of others perhaps as much as they should, hense they give a person the slightest consideration without thinking of how he/she might actually feel or trying to see deeper into their thoughts.
     
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  13. IndigoSensor

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    Happiness is defined the individual who is experiencing it, or desires to experience it. What one person perceives as happiness, does not always equally translate to another person. The understanding of happiness also comes from the individuals understanding of their own person, and the understanding of human nature in general. The stronger that is, the higher the chance is that they will be able to understand what can make them truly happy.

    What one thinks would make another person happy, does not make them correct in their assertion of that. They very well could be correct. However, if the other person is unable to understand this alternative perception of what happiness is, they will not be able to intergrate it, and there fore it will do nothing for them.

    So really, its individual by nature and case by case, and is contingent on the person experiencing's understanding of different perspectives on what happiness could be.
     
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  14. Candice_XX

    Candice_XX Regular Poster

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    Thanks for the comment. I was hungry too but, since I realised how small life is and that special people are really rare I do not care about the vast majority of the population. But the thing you ask it's your choice, you can befriend whoever it pleases you. Just see the truth all the time and don't put on them value they do not have. If they are just fun friends they shouldn't make you think on their behaviour. Since you are doing it you are looking for something else. It's nobody's fault. There are two choices: either you can change and learn to live with them either you can pursue a more compatible relationship, having the risk of being alone. Anyway, I do not want to give advice that's my take on the issue.
     
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