10 Widespread Myths about Happiness—Do You Believe Any of These?

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A while back, each day for two weeks, I posted about Ten Happiness Myths. Here they are, for your reading convenience.

No. 1: Happy people are annoying and stupid.

No. 2: Nothing changes a person’s happiness level much.

No. 3: Aggressively venting anger relieves it.

No. 4: You’ll be happier if you insist on “the best.”

No. 5: A “treat” will cheer you up.

No. 6: Money can’t buy happiness.

No. 7: Doing “random acts of kindness” brings happiness.

No. 8: You’ll be happy as soon as you…

No. 9: Spending some time alone will make you feel better.

Note: I wish that in this post, I’d made it clearer that I wasn’t talking about restorative, peaceful solitude, which most people crave to a greater or lesser degree (I certainly need enormous quantities, myself)—but rather the drained, can’t-get-off-the-couch kind of isolation that sometimes sets in when you’re feeling too blue to connect with others. In that state, pushing yourself to see other people is likely to give a lift.

No. 10: The biggest myth: It’s selfish to try to be happier.

Agree? Disagree? Am I missing an important myth?

From 2006 through 2014, as she wrote The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Gretchen chronicled her thoughts, observations, and discoveries on The Happiness Project Blog.

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