Attracting Happy with Happy
As promised, here’s the follow-up to my original post about Supreme Happiness. My first goal was to focus on cultivating the habit of surrounding myself with other happy people. Here’s how it went:
This was challenging because I’m a stay-at-home mom, and let’s be honest, I don’t spend a lot of time with people other than my son and my husband.
I belong to a mommies group and attend events to socialize my kiddo and to get an hour or so to talk to other adults. But stay-at-home moms are an odd group: it’s a mish-mash of various education levels, career histories, friendliness (i.e. bitchiness), and social skills.
It usually involves at least one woman whipping out her boob without warning to breastfeed. Attending these events can sometimes be painfully awkward with everyone sitting around silently because we don’t have anything non-baby to talk about. But other times, I meet really nice women whom I wouldn’t mind getting to know better.
So in real life, my resolution to surround myself with other happy people translated to being friendlier and more open with the other women in my mommies group. Rather than focusing on the things I don’t like about some of the mommies I’ve met, I’ve been trying to be positive and friendly. Rather than declining invitations to picnics at parks and trips to the zoo, I’ve enthusiastically accepted.
The payoff? I’ve met two other mommies that seem super cool and who seem to like me, too. Now I just have to cultivate those relationships and see what happens there.
Another challenge I faced was that I realized I’m already in the habit of surrounding myself with other happy people by doing the inverse: Purging my life of the chronically unhappy.
When people in my life are chronically unhappy, I cut them loose. And this habit may at first appear cold. But this doesn’t mean I have no capacity for empathy or sympathy; I’ve just found that chronically unhappy people aren’t seeking to become happier, and they often try to drag you down with them.
Cutting folks loose is a challenge in the sense that I’ve been cultivating this habit for years. So for the last two weeks that I’ve been consciously pursuing the habit of surrounding myself with other happy people, I’ve found myself trying to be the kind of person I’d like to have in my life.
Recently, a friend of mine went through a rough patch, and I was there to support her. I avoided talking s@#$t about her ex and opted to say only positive things. The payoff? Exhibiting positive sympathy cultivated more positivity, which led to happy thoughts/feelings/actions for both parties.
In short, this habit will require continued effort on my part to ensure I walk the line between self-preservation and empathy, and to ensure I don’t become a hermit.
Next up: Smiling When I Mean It. They say conjuring up a happy thought and smiling about it will improve your mood. Let’s just see about that…