Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Impress-ion me! happy?

Imagine what would happen if everyone was completely honest.

Would we be better people? Would hurt and anger be more short-lived?

What about first versus long-term impressions? There are really four permutations, in a complete black and white world.

1. Good first impression, good long-term impression
2. Good first impression, bad long-term impression
3. Bad first impression, good long-term impression
4. Bad first impression, bad long-term impression

Category one is always good, and I believe/sincerely hope most people do fall into this category. Two is tricky and deceiving, and more likely to be the cause of anger, betrayal, hurt, confusion, and frustration. Three is in an unfortunate, challenging position, he/she must work to change the initial impression. It's like wanting to learn how to ride a bicycle, but only owning a unicycle. Sometimes I fear I am number three because I occasionally come off as an idiot, rude, quiet, or shy when I meet people, primarily if it's somewhere noisy and I can't hear very well and have to play the deaf card.

The fourth is pretty much not desirable at all. I suppose it is more straight to the point than number two though, which may cause less misery in the long run.

And this is why first impressions should not be used to judge someone entirely. You never know what's happening behind the scenes in their head, lives, anything really. I suppose one silver lining could be that different people react differently and interpret differently. The first impression one person has on different people may be entirely different, even if they all met at the same time.

I was reading a "Happy" special the CBC did awhile back. Quote: "I didn't know that if you gave people nasal viruses that will produce colds in 50% of the people the people who had a lot of positive emotion don't get the colds. The people who don't have positive emotion do get the colds." (http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/howtobehappy/psychology.html)

"Close relationships are an essential factor in happiness, because they bring meaning to our lives. "The most clearly potent source of happiness is satisfying, meaningful connections with other people. You just cannot get away from the importance of social relationships. And it's not the number," says Todd Kashdan. "It's not the density. It's not having a cell phone filled with a hundred people that you can call. It's having people that you can confide in and people that you could effortlessly be yourself."" http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/howtobehappy/makes.html

I feel there is nothing ground breaking in this that I haven't read before other than the virus thing. I think being unhappy takes a lot of energy, because you are so focused on the unhappy (and it's exhausting), that your immune system doesn't have the proper energy to function as it should. One who is unhappy is probably not eating well, thus depriving the body of essential nutrients/minerals/vitamins required to allow the immune system to properly function.

The relationship quote clearly separates quality versus quantity. I'm lucky; I have many fantastic friends and am very close to my family. That being said, especially in the past four/five months, it has turned out that most of my fantastic friends are far away... which, frankly, sucks.

I also am a huge believer that place plays an incredible role in happiness, as per "Who's your city?" by Richard Florida. If someone said I could live anywhere in the world, I would be completely overwhelmed. Distance home is a factor, but let's say that distance was equal to all places, and 'home' was easily accessible. Visas and passports would not be an issue, nor would language (unless one wanted it to be an issue, such as go to China because of a desire to learn mandarin).

I have no idea where I would go. Clearly a place where one does not experience 14 months of winter per year. I can survive winter... but it's just so long. It's the end of January and there are still two months to go, and even then, summer in PEI is still ages away (early July) and will last for, oh, four weeks, take a three week break, then maybe last for another three weeks in a weaker form.

Global warming forgot about PEI, you see. That's why 'climate change' is the issue, ha. It has been consistently below seasonal here for AGES, with the odd above seasonal day. Very few days are actually "normal" (as per Environment Canada).

I have/want to leave now.


Stephen Brun said...

I don't know if the world would be a better place if everyone was completely honest. I think some non-truths are essential in our lives. Sometimes being brutally honest can be just that - brutal.

Interesting about the positive attitudes and the viruses. I'm a big believer in that. I find the times when I'm sick (which are few) are the times when I'm down on myself or feeling negative for some reason.

Cool blog!

JG said...

"I'd rather have an unhappy truth than a comforting fiction." - paraphrasing Carl Sagan