Living your best life isn’t all about…happiness!

Living your best life isn’t all about…happiness!

Here at The Happiness Institute we focus, mostly, on … happiness! 

Well, that's actually not completely true. Here at The Happiness Institute our goal is to help as many people as possible live their best possible lives; to thrive and flourish. 

Now a bit part of that is enjoying positive emotions, like happiness, as often as possible; but negative emotions are also part of life and how we deal with them also goes towards how we experience life. 

So what's the best way to deal with negative emotions? Read on and learn…

by Todd Kashdan via Psychology Today

When I went to a Ford dealer to shop for a car, the salesguy was attentive and caring. He let me test drive three cars. Instead of showing me how to use the stereo, he let my kids be the pupils to teach me later. He directed me to me an empty parking lot to test the steering control at rapid speeds. He lined up these events so that nobody was ahead of us for the 1.5 hours of paperwork with the finance officer. But just before he left us in her hands, the experience changed.

He casually mentioned, "I hope this is the 5-star customer service treatment, which you'll be asked about." An hour later, still completing forms, he popped in to ask if there was something else he could do for my 5-star experience. By this point, the sun had gone down, my excitement had dimmed, and I just wanted to get home. When we walked to my brand new car, he no longer smiled nor showed curiosity for me, my family, or life beyond this visit. Instead, I was given a soliloquy on how he doesn't get paid much and his salary is determined by 5-star customer service ratings ("I need you to answer that email and answer each question with a 5. Nothing but 5s. I have a family to take care of."). What can I do so that you don't put down a 4? In this 20-yard walk, I moved from surprise to compassion to pity to disdain. Some of this disdain was toward him, for pushing the emotional burden on me, and some was aimed at the system. What happens to frontline workers when they are tethered to false metrics? What does it do to me, the customer?

In this 4-hour event, I could describe a series of specific emotional experiences that influenced a desire to take action. I could separate the interlocking events at the Ford dealership, and my feedback reflected this with a wide range of numbers on the 10 question form (I let him know that pleading for the 5 is not the best strategy to get it (link is external)). This type of emotionally nuanced event doesn't get discussed much by researchers who tend to be interested in events that are pure negativity or positivity. In the real world, blended emotional events are common. And in the end, this is what we should be studying and trying to help people with – what happens in the real world.

There’s an abundance of work suggesting that negative emotions are associated with poor outcomes (link is external) but the question is whether this is dependent on something else. After all, we don't have poor outcomes everytime we feel distress and people high in neuroticism are not destined for loneliness, underemployment, and deficent  productivity, curiosity, creativity, friendship, love, and meaning and purpose in life…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE