Friend, Human

Gifts

Both giving and receiving gifts are paradoxical activities. On the surface, they're signs of generosity and gratitude. However, forced-gift-giving events (birthdays, Christmas exchanges, house warmings) can be troublesome. When you're the giver, you have the time pressure of buying something before the event combined with showing that you give a damn.  That adds a lot… Continue reading Gifts

Human

Joy is not all ponies and rainbows

The last two posts make it sound like choosing happiness is easy - just a matter of programming ourselves to always do so. Let's be realistic, and not buy completely into the hype. First of all, many people are playing life on "hard mode," as they fight chemical dependencies, depression, or other neurological illnesses. Those… Continue reading Joy is not all ponies and rainbows

Human, Marketer

Using consistency to choose happiness

In my last post's story, the always-happy friend is concerned about self-consistency. That's not surprising, because consistency is a great tool to persuade our brains to behave the way we want to behave. Psychologists will tell you that, as humans, we want to be (and to be seen as) consistent with our self-image. We want… Continue reading Using consistency to choose happiness