Why are we expected to be happy for others even when we're miserable?

Why are we as a society always expected to be happy for others when we aren't happy in our personal lives? I'm not saying people should be bitter but why are people not entitled to their own feelings anymore? It's like if you lose your job, you have to get over it because your friend is having a birthday party or if you get a divorce, smile anyway because your friend is getting married. But how come the people who are hurting aren't allowed to have their feelings be acknowledged the same way?

Very rarely is someone who is ever happy told "It's not about you" yet we say it to depressed and hurting people all the time. Why?

By the way, none of those things happened to me. Those were just examples and I was just curious why we as a whole tend to act that way.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Story of my life... every day. I try to be happy for people but my life is miserable. I've never had someone who can snuggle with me every night or see every day. It's hard to be happy for other people or feel bad for them when their relationships don't work out. I have such a lonely life and I feel totally worthless to every girl I encounter.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I think it comes from being taught that we should put others first and ourselves second, and we should hide our problems from other people as to not bring them down. Most people are taught this from a young age and its considered "nice" to put others first. Maybe it is nice I guess but I agree that we should put ourselves first. We should just draw the line at being unnecessarily negative.

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    • 24d

      Thanks for actually reading the question before commenting. Good response.

    • 24d

      Thank you :) I think some other people gave good answers too though

What Guys Said 11

  • Well, it's something we call care about others. We're living in a society. Others don't responsible for your misery. Whenever they celebrate something happy, they have every right not to be get upset by seeing you grieving and stuff. It will destroy their mood. If you don't want to be happy at the moment, stay at home. It's simple as that. Others don't deserve an upsetting moment on their special day because of you. So a goodwill, people tend to act like that.

    One another thing, I have seen moments like there's a wedding and there would be some attendees who is mourning over a death in their family. In such a situation I have seen that hosts share their sympathy with them for a moment while welcoming them and so on. It's also a way of showing goodwill towards people.

    Society is sharing. It works both ways. You HAVE to be sensitive about other people. But it all depends on the situation, people and behaviours. Time is running fast enough to us to be sad and happy in the same moment. :)

    Isn't that cruel? No I don't think so. Sometimes those moments help to ease the sadness what we are in. We can sometimes forget about it for a moment. Sometimes when talking to people gathered, you may find a way to get rid of your pain. Like a jobelss could find a job via a contact. Who knows. Life is full of surprises. :)

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  • If you want to be miserable, go do it by yourself instead of ruining someone else's happiness.

    Empathy goes both ways.

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  • I think "Expected" is a bit harsh maybe strong - I know for me I act happy if things are going wrong so I don't bring anyone else down.

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  • It kinda goes both ways. I mean if you were getting married, had a birthday, or some big event in your life that made you happy, you wouldn't want a friend or family member bringing you down regardless of something bad happening to them right?

    I mean not to downplay your issue or theirs for that matter but everyone goes through bad things in their life but don't take it out on others who are happy. Not that you're taking it out on them but no need to ruin their happy moment.

    Even when I go through shit, friends are empathetic and say move on or keep trying. Easier said than done when you're depressed or miserable but I think they mean well in the sense that they want you to turn your life around and think positive instead of dwelling on the negative.

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  • It's not expected, but the reasoning being that your unhappiness is no reason to bring down others' happiness. Almost no matter how bad your own turmoils are, there it's not impossible to find some happiness in your life or to the point where you feel the need to bring someone else down by injecting yourself and your problems onto them. And yea, I have depression, but I'm not going to mope around and ruin everyone else when I feel extra mopy

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    • 24d

      I didn't say ruin someone else's happy moment. Just asking why we are expected to always put our feelings second to someone else's just because ours aren't always happy.

    • 24d

      I know that's not what you said, but you asked "why,?", so I gave you a "why"

  • Because you care for your people enough to NOT ruin their happy moment, because your life is shitty right now.

    Or maybe you don't care for others.

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    • 24d

      Eh, I don't, not really, I feel how I feel and if I'm happy, I'm happy and if I'm not, I'm not. I don't expect people to change for me, either, though, mostly because I know they won't. But it's only one sided from what I've noticed.

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    • 24d

      I don't trust you, but thanks for the comment.

    • 24d

      hmmm... starting to see what you mean.

  • The way I see it, at least someones life is going right,
    Even when I'm ready to put a gun to my head

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  • We try and put on a happy face for others. Most of us are strong willed even if we are hurting, we dont ask for help. We want our friends to be happy so we are happy for them

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  • It's a "keep up appearances to not let them see your 'weak' (sorry, still looking for a better word than this) side" thing.

    I just tell people that ask how I am at the time of them asking. Along the lines of "I'm hungry", or "I'm sleepy."

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  • Yes, the world doesn't owe us jack shit.

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  • ehh I don't know wut u talikin bout. When I'm miserable my family and friends do something to cheer me up.. When they're are happy I get happy too cuz we share a connection.. Also it's far more easier to feel happy for others I'm closed than be sad.. And there's really no expectation. Empathy comes of naturally unless you have a crab mentality

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What Girls Said 9

  • Nothing in Life should Ever be "Expected," when it Comes to One's Feelings, but Come from One's Heart from the Start.
    Simple as that.
    Good luck. xx

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  • It's our job to find happiness for ourselves first and be supportive of our friends next. If everyone behaved this way, everyone would have a better life.

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    • 24d

      But wouldn't being supportive also mean support your depressed friend? Why does the happy friend only get the support?

    • 24d

      It's like if you've ever been on an airplane and the flight attendendant goes through the safety drills. Put on your own air mask first then help children or those around you who need it.
      If you are not in a good place yourself yet, you need to take care of yourself and while there will always be someone in a worse position there will always be someone in a better position. These things will ebb and flow on a day to day basis. So when you've got extra to give one day, do it. If not, we all hope to have a friend who is in a better place to reach out to us.

  • I guess it's more about trying to not bring down others on a daily basis, even if we're not feeling as good as we could. Just because our lives aren't fantastic doesn't mean we have to treat others poorly or not share in their happiness when they get good news. Of course, I'm not saying you have to put on a happy face all the time either.

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  • I don't think it's about not being entitled to how you feel. I think it's about having one flip those feelings around. Nothing gets done being sad and being consumed by our sadness. When we allow is misery to effect us, we have a way of seeing everything that way and thinking that way. It is not good for our heart, mind and soul.

    As far as having to stay happy for others, I'm not too sure about that. I would like to say you wanna at least be happy for others. What good is to have that person who is in a shitty mood on your special day? No one would want you around!

    While we are getting kicked into the dumps, I don't think you should let it eat your heart, mind and soul. We wanna be happy for others. Even when we are feeling like shit, we don't want them to feel what we feel. Misery loves company, so if you care enough for that person, don't bring them down while you are. Instead, consult to someone who is better fit to help you at that moment in time.

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  • Girl, I am wondering the same thing.

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  • you don't have to try to look happy all the time

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    • 24d

      I know you don't HAVE to be, but it's typically expected.

  • Noine can tell you how to feel. When im not feeling up to doing something or just want to be left alone. I left them know kindly that Im just not in the mood. Simple as that. I dont go into detail because most people are just noisy and want to be in your business. Some may care and its others that dont. They just want you to return back to the person that they feel comfortable being around. Not every person is happy 24/7 they may issues that they dealing with

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  • I don't care about others. During my tough times, no one were there for md

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  • So basically, why be happy for others instead or wrapped up in myself only and being self absorbed... Well, because other people matter too. It's called being a normal human, with love and empathy for others, and caring what happens in others lives not just our own.
    And obviously goes both ways. They should feel bad with you or happy with you for your things too.

    And it's true "it's not about you" like if you're gonna go to your friends wedding or bday party to mope and miserable and take away from her huge day, just stay home and meet your friend another time to congratulate her... or don't congratulate her because you're sad and so nobody else matters...

    Like seriously, there's a time and place for things. And going to your friends happy events to moan you lost your job is just inappropriate.

    But I'm guessing you'd expect people to care if you got married though...
    You know what they say though, misery loves company.

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    • 24d

      Um, no, that's not what I said but nice try with the manipulation of word technique.

      Here's a tip, maybe take words at face value before making asinine comments.

    • 24d

      It's not manipulating anything. You said why should we be happy for anybody else if something is making us sad... because that's what good friends and family do. And if you don't care about their good times, why should they give a fuck if you're sad about anything? Or ever even congratulate you for the good things.
      It's literally normal friendships, normal politeness etc to do those things otherwise, like I said, stay home. Don't go to your friends weddings or bday parties to sit there miserable and complain you lost your job or got divorced. Seriously, who'd want to ever invite you again even.
      There's a time and a place, and that it not it.

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