Jump to content

Unhappiness Is The Ultimate Form Of Self-Indulgence


Recommended Posts

i saw this on FB today and thought it was very telling and true (at least for me):

The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer her up, because that means she has to stop dwelling on herself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you're unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the focus on unhappiness vs unhappiness in Western culture is very weird. It's like an obsession with finding all sorts of unusual causes for and interpretations of things that aren't very complicated in order to try to exert control over what people are upset they can't control (other people, other people's feelings, other people's problems, other people's mental health).

After all, if they can come up with a reason why people feeling emotions they don't want them to feel are solely responsible, fully in control, and doing it on purpose because they're big babies, then problem solved - right? They just need to stop being such big, self-centered babies and let things revert to their natural state of happy and troublefree.

They're just emotions, though, and aren't really anything in and of themselves.

When you're cut, you experience physical pain. When you're without support, you experience loneliness. When you fail, you experience shame, disappointment, or embarrassment. When someone crosses your values, expectations, or boundaries, you feel anger. When you lose something you were emotionally attached to and needed for comfort, you feel sadness or grief. All of these alert an individual to something about their life that isn't as it should be or goes against their expectations, values, goals, wants, or needs. They're just the body and brain's way of saying, "Hey, something's up! Pay attention/be careful/fix this!"

I know when I'm unhappy I often think about everything but myself because I want to be away from the source. The emotion just exists in the background as a slow drag on my thoughts. Emotions don't dictate my thoughts or my actions... but I can't simply will them away.

Edited by Licorice
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My understanding of depression is quite the opposite of what was initially posted here. Leaving aside the huge fact that depression is an illness that is unwelcome and unasked for, I was taught that depression is linked not to self-indulgence but to the very opposite; a very harsh form of self-criticism [beating oneself up mentally:] over-valuing and over-estimating "external" objects and under-valuing and under-estimating the self.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to agree with the excellent posters above. Self absorption in depression is agony. Tell a Facebooker it's like saying to someone with a broken arm "you sure complain about arm pain a lot. You're pretty self indulgent" Perfect Facebook medicine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strongly disagree that unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. We can choose to indulge in eating, drinking, reading, sex, movies - whatever, there are plenty of things that we can actively choose to indulge in and I don't think unhappiness is one of them. Why would anybody choose to be unhappy? Also, why are we supposed to accept that unhappy people pay any more attention to themselves than happy people?

The only thing I almost agree with is the bit about resentment. Depends on what the effort actually entails though. If I'm surrounded by people who'll come out with stuff like "oh but you're better off than you were this time last year, you should be happier", "get over yourself", "look at the bright side" etc then I am definitely going to resent that. If the effort is more substantial and maybe subtle, that's great. Sometimes I need to be persuaded to do stuff that I used to love doing, and I'm glad I've got people around me who know that and are willing to do that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Indulgent" may not be the right word, but I do agree that depression is very self-focused. It makes us highly focused on ourselves, our pain, our struggles, our worries. It's like having a headache that just won't go away and takes over your life except the pain is not physical...

It has been my experience that part of the solution was to engage in activities that forced my mind to focus outward, to other people, to the world around me...

So while indulgence is not the right word since I'm pretty sure no one derives pleasure from feeling depressed, I feel it is a form of self-centeredness, one that is detrimental to oneself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Indulgent" may not be the right word, but I do agree that depression is very self-focused. It makes us highly focused on ourselves, our pain, our struggles, our worries. It's like having a headache that just won't go away and takes over your life except the pain is not physical...

It has been my experience that part of the solution was to engage in activities that forced my mind to focus outward, to other people, to the world around me...

So while indulgence is not the right word since I'm pretty sure no one derives pleasure from feeling depressed, I feel it is a form of self-centeredness, one that is detrimental to oneself.

I concur - I wouldn't say depression is indulgent, but depression is very selfish because we become so wrapped up in our emotions and our pain that it becomes difficult to focus on anything else. However, that doesn't necessarily make the person selfish. Depression is an illness and one that should be taken seriously and not dismissed.

Ugh. Facebook. That's all I have to say about that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

i saw this on FB today and thought it was very telling and true (at least for me):

The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer her up, because that means she has to stop dwelling on herself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you're unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously.

I completely disagree. You can be unhappy (or rather depressed) over many different things, not just yourself or your own situation. You can be unhappy because you don't like the way society is or because you don't agree with how people generally treat one another.

It just sounds like an overly simplistic view of something so complex - and I agree with the poster who said that clearly the person who wrote this has never experienced depression.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i saw this on FB today and thought it was very telling and true (at least for me):

The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer her up, because that means she has to stop dwelling on herself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you're unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously.

First of all, paying attention to yourself and take yourself seriously is not self-indulgence. It is simply taking responsibility for yourself and your own life.

I wonder if a person who wrote this on FB has ever experienced really really rough, horrible times. Probably not. I wonder how happy this person would be after a few months of insomnia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...