Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just musing on happiness

Are people who are happier in their own lives more "tolerant" of the way other people live? Less judgmental about other people's lifestyle choices?

I'm thinking of things like working mom vs. stay-home mom, homeschooling vs. private school vs. public school, professional life vs. working in the trades... not lifestyle choices like choosing to be a cat burglar or drug dealer for a living.

Are happier people just more secure in general?

Do unhappy people have to prove that their choices are the best?

C'mon, all 10 of you who read here... whaddya think?


SmallWorld said...

Yes, I think that happier people are more secure in general, and secure people are generally happier people....

Gillian said...

I'd have to say I think if you're happier, you are less judgemental. Maybe it's due to being too busy being happy to have time to really think about other people....

vital core said...

Are people who are happier in their own lives more "tolerant" of the way other people live? Less judgmental about other people's lifestyle choices?

I think people who have felt the painful consequences of another person's lifestyle choice tend to be more judgmental about things.

In other words, the kid with divorced parents might judge divorce harshly as an adult, but those who never experienced it not see the big deal. The victim of abuse likewise. The kid who's dad is always working might grow up to be a tad judgmental about hard-charging career types later in life, etc.

Perhaps non-judgmental people are those who have had a good life and are thus happy?

And those dang children are the most judgmental and happy types I know: Chesterton said, Children are innocent and love justice, while most adults are wicked and prefer mercy. It's only when they get older they turn wicked themselves :-).

Edward said...

Nice thought. I tend to leave my judgements at the door — we are who we are. Do something bad, hurt someone or an animal intentionally, and you may feel some wrath judgement.

Religion. Politics. Schooling. Lifestyle. Job. That's your choice.

Regarding whether or not that sense of judgement defines happiness, who knows. I find myself in the dulldrums every now and then, even on a day where everything goes swimmingly. That's just life, I guess.

Mrs. Darling said...

Jealousy breeds unhappiness. If you are happy with your life you wont be so judgmental. If you are judgemental and unhappy it often stems from jealousy!

Brumbemom said...

Very thought-provoking. I think if you are secure and contented with who you are and what you do, then you feel no need to judge or criticize others. Most judgemental people I know are judging others because they want to make themselves feel better about their life choices. I was raised in, and still am surrounded by extreme judgementalism(?), and I HATE it. It is so not what God describes in the Bible as the 2nd greatest commandment; loving others as yourself.
Thanks for getting me "all stirred up" this morning. :-)

Edward said...

And we must not forget John's thoughts on the matter: "Happiness is a warm gun."

LynAC said...

happiness is a warm gun? lol

Most judgemental people I know do not seem happy/joyful. Perhaps because being judgemental is sin? Hmmmm

I think I'm happy. I still can get angry sometimes over the choices others make. Or just sad or irritated. That mske me judgemental?

Marbel said...

Wow, thanks for all the responses.

I see so much criticism of others' lives and it seems that those making the criticism are just unhappy people.

I don't think John Lennon was talking about what I am. :-)

LynnAC - we're all judgmental to some degree, on some things. I'm thinking of things that just shouldn't matter to other people.

DADvocate said...

I have to respond so you have all 10 readers' thoughts.

I agree that happier people are less critical in general. Not that they don't see the same things but that they react to them differently. In my experiences one of the most effective ways to shape another's behavior (child, team member, etc.) is to focus on what they do best and get them to do more of it.

This often eliminates much of what you don't want. The rest of the undesirable behavior can usually be eliminated through redirecting the person. Criticism creates a barrier to improvement and resistance on the part of the other person.