Do perpetually happy people come across as fake to you? Also, do those seemingly happy-all-the-time people annoy you?

So, in my little circle of friends, we have this one friend -- a dude -- who we'll call him William. William projects that he's happy 24/7, that everything is great in the world, etc. Even when things don't go his way, he covers himself with this cloak of "I still feel great!" Basically, he's the kind of dude who, if you pissed on his head, he'd be the one to tell *you* that it's raining.

As an aside: he's also exuded some doormat tendencies in the past, especially in regards to women. As a friend of his, I often find myself infuriated by it, to the point where I can't hang out with him.

Anyway, rant over. My question is this: do you know anyone like this (someone who acts/is happy 24/7)? And do those people seem less genuine to you, or do you see the behavior as them trying to create a new, happier, genuine (to them), reality?

I rarely post personal questions like these, but I'm kind of at a loss here. We've been friends for almost 20 years, and sometimes I feel like I don't *really* know the guy. And to top it off, I've tried gently to coax some sort of realness out of him, and I've given constructive criticism in the past vis-a-vis his doormatness, but it's all in one ear, out the other.


Most Helpful Girl

  • i couldn't be friends with someone like that... he doesn't seem real at all. i wonder if he's really that happy though. might all just be a huge cover and really, he's miserable as hell inside but just thinks if he pretends he isn't, he won't be. i too wouldn't feel like i really knew the guy if he always came off as cheerful, never seemed to be worried about anything. that kind of outlook makes no sense to me. i don't really know people like that, i avoid them lol.

    • Yeah, it's SO HARD. I think because we've been friends for so long, I'm more willing to try and work on it. On the other hand, longevity a good friend does not necessarily make.

      When we do hang out, I feel like I'm conversing with someone's shell. And it's only gotten worse with time. Like, I've actually prodded him to try and get a reaction -- anything. LOL

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    • I have so many ideasssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss, and so few hiding places. :)

      Seriously, thanks for the advice. I appreciate it.

    • under the floorboards :p

      no problem :)

Most Helpful Guy

  • Well... I'm just like William! I tend to hide my problems, unless I know the other person very well. Only then I open up. And it's usually these people who are actually going through a lot more than others.

    Here is a little 'slogan' I have made about myself:-
    "Look at my face, and you'll see a smile that'll brighten up your day.
    But look into my eyes, and you'll see deep pain that never goes away".

    • Thank you for sharing this.

      May I ask, why don't want to open up? And do you think that by not opening up, you contribute more to the pain you feel inside? Do you feel connected to people?

      Lots of questions. Sorry.

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    • Thanks a lot, pal! This is one of the reasons I decided to move away to a different country, and start my life and career over from scratch, with new hope. I just hope I can erase the bitter memories and experiences of the past, and start with a clean slate. :)

    • Thanks for MHO! :)


Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 9

  • "Hedonic set point" is a thing. Google it.

    Most people's inherent satisfaction level is pretty much constant. No matter how much life shits or shines on them... same degree of happiness.

    If you think about the people you know, you'll realize this is true.

    • I like your username. Red eyes always leave me feeling tricked and confused when the sun comes up as we approach the East coast.

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    • I've only befriended one Mormon person in my life, and yeah, he was pretty happy-go-lucky. Of course, he's just one person, so who knows.

      I don't know -- I guess the weird thing is that I myself am quite a happy person, but I don't buy this whole 24/7 happiness business. Like, sometimes life is sucky, and in it's own twisted way, experiencing the suckiness is kind of great, too.

    • @sjoes006 Yeah, well, I'm 6'2" and I'm a woman with a woman's hips. Hey fun fact: FAA standards are designed for a man who is 5'10". And men's hips are way the fuck narrower than mine.

      Not fun.

      Luckily I do not have to sleep every 24 hours.

  • I knew a girl who was always smiling despite being very disabled and I thought she was strange at first cause she seemed to lack the intelligence of knowing how bad her situation in life actually was but then I discovered she suffered an extremely painful injury the week before I saw her and she didn't mention it all in our conversation - she kept talking about the good parts of her life. Being happy takes effort and is reflective of having a good and sacrificial attitude towards life - it is a sign that you are a good person who wants to be grateful for what you have.

  • I know the difference between people who act happy all the time and people who are happy all the time.

    People who are perpetually happy do lose their cool every now and then but it doesn't last long before they are back to their natural disposition.

    Faked happiness comes across as get superficial. They may smile a lot but not with their eyes. These people are fake in just about everything they do and have shallow relationships as a result.

    • You make a great point. The eyes never lie, do they?

    • Exactly I don't trust people who smile all the time but not with their eyes. It is creepy.

      I wear my heart on my sleeve sure I smile a lot but it is because I find joy in the small things and try to see the upside of things. But if I'm unhappy you are going to know it. I only give fake smiles to people I don't like and I assume they know it.

    • I'm the same way. I'm genuinely happy the majority of the time, but when something's bothering me it's *so* easy to tell. I think that's a good thing for me, actually, as it forces me to kind of open up.

  • I always think they are like that in public, but behind closed doors, they are just a completely different person.

    "William" lol definitely has put a different meaning of being optimistic on the board 😅

    • Ugh. So many people who hide themselves behind closed doors, right? Jerks! LOL

  • People who pretend to be happy all the time... I don't really have an opinion of them because I don't know anyone.

    People who genuinely are always happy... I'm extremely jealous and sometimes they make me angry since they have very few problems. But I should just be happy for them.

    • Yeah, it sounds good in theory but it's pretty frustrating in reality. LOL

      I guess I kind of see this perpetual happiness as the inverse of depression. Neither feeling is grounded in "reality," and it's probably not healthy to get stuck in either one.

    • I would rather take the perpetual happiness sometimes. Maybe it isn't happiness, though.

  • I don't like people or rather when more when people wear rose coloured glasses all the time and don't acknowledge bad things and choose to look the other way all the time. That purposeful ignorance really bothers me.

  • people are usually made up of 2 or 3 sides of a coin. given that, i would find one-dimensional people like your friend disingenuous.

  • The best way to hide pain is pretending it doesn't exist.

  • No, not really. I don't know their private life... is it a coping mechanism? Are they genuinely happy all the time? I don't know. I am optimistic, but even I have a few low days.


What Guys Said 5

  • They don't come across as fake, considering that's who they really are. Some people are perpetual cynics that see the worst in every scenario, so it would make sense that some people turn to the bright side even when that attitude doesn't suit the situation. As hard to imagine it may be, that's really them.

    As a friend, all you can do is offer your advice and support if you feel he is suffering from problems he's incapable of conceiving. Which, you are doing already.

  • Well, I'm inclined to say that if a person is happy 24/7, then he/she probably isn't very deep, probably doesn't contemplate the world very much, and might not be very intelligent.

    However, if a person TRIES to act pleasant and happy, yet when asked will tell you that he/she has had some problems, then I would say that person is still a genuine person because he/she doesn't want to go around trying to make other people sad or depressed. May I say, DodgersGM, that you are someone I would say falls into this category. Mind you, I don't know you well, but you do seem to TRY to put a positive foot forward, however you seem very aware and sensitive of other people's unhappiness and your own life's imperfections.

    • Well, thank you. I do try to promote positivity, that's true. I personally think happiness is *somewhat* of a choice, and choosing to put forward happiness does much more good than harm.

      Like with anything else, though, there are limits. Sometimes the world fucking sucks ass. Sometimes shit's not fair. Sometimes you get your heart beaten down like a drum. And it's okay to allow for the unhappiness that accompanies these letdowns. Actually, it's good and cathartic, I think, to allow for that.

      The more I write about it, the more I realize that it frustrates me.

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    • "By the way, thank you for sharing your wisdom here"

      Thank you for saying so. My first inclination however, is to reply, "I sure fooled you." ;)

    • Of course it is. Your wisdom is matched only by your humility. :)

  • I know both always happy people who fake it (a big turn off...) and others who simply are happy and enthousiastic, and I love that attitude :D
    It's so good to be around the second category of people :D

    • You are so right, Hans. Genuine happiness is infectious, isn't it? :)

      And yeah, the fake happiness is actually kind of a downer.

    • We fully agree on that one Dodgers :D

  • I only really have one friend like that.
    I'm less worried that I don't know him, and more worried that he's just going to completely snap.
    It's always the ones you least expect.
    I've never really met someone who is both a "perpetually" happy person, and is pretty doormat-ish.
    The doormats I know are the least happy, and don't even try to act like they are.

  • I'm that person in my group of friends, but in reality it's because I find it too difficult to address my negative feelings. My friends had no idea that anything was wrong with me, thought I was the happiest guy alive, until I attempted suicide. Once I got out of my 5150 hold they all said they were shocked by what happened and had seen zero signs, since I was the happy-go-lucky one.

    As the former "happy friend", I can tell you that there are people who seem happy who aren't being genuine at all. Don't blame yourself if he can't unburden his feelings to you: chances are he can't even get his own head around how he feels.