The Happiness Project day 7
I am going to skip over writing an entry post consecutively with each chapter. Between my you tube channel and this I am falling behind. My you tube videos have been happening everyday so if your interested in checking those out I will leave a link down below.
What the happiness project has taught me thus far are things that I have known intuitively but have never sat down and made constructive toolboxes for how to work on some of those things. For example, being more mindful and taking the time to slow down and analyze a situation. I took a test that was recommended in the book, it is called The Newcastle personality assessor created by Daniel Nettle. The idea behind it is that amongst all the people that live in the word all our characteristics can be labeled under 5 generalized categories. Those include extroversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness.
When it comes to extroversion, I knew that I would be low because I just sink in a shell kind of like a timid turtle. I don’t necessarily fear interaction with other people, it’s the body language and facial expressions that get to me the most. For example, I can be in a conversation with someone and it can be a wonderful topic, but I feel their eyes wondering, I feel them looking me up and down, I can sense that they actually don’t care what I have to say. I get this vibe from my mom. She doesn’t look me up and down, but she fiddles with things while I am talking, and this tells me that her mind and attention is completely focused on something else. I feel this way with a lot of people I interact with on a day to day basis and I can only hope that I don’t do this to others because it really doesn’t feel good. Some days I feel like conversing and other days I don’t. I find it extremely hard to find people that bring me enthusiastic cheer and happiness. My older brother gets annoyed with me easy, but I don’t mind listening to him crack jokes, it, makes me laugh. IN other words, there are times when I feel better just watching rather than interacting. There are people at work that I absolutely love because they always give me hugs and smiles and make me feel important. Some of these people I have vented to during hard times and I always leave feeling heard, validated, and cared for. I have a lot to say to people, but I am the last one to start a conversation. I like to go to events, but I will be a wallflower and just keep to myself. I don’t know how to be not awkward. What echoes in my head are all the negative comments my brothers would make about me or all the nasty looks I have ever gotten from people. They are all looks that matter to me because it supports my insecurities. My biggest quest in life is to see the brighter side of things and to get over the negative and not let it destroy the special spark that I have.
Neuroticism was a new concept for me because I have heard of people being called that, but I had no idea what it actually meant. People who scored high in this area are prone to stress, they worry a lot and carry a lot of negative baggage with them wherever they go. Gretchin Rubin made it a point to say if you think your happy then you are. If you think you are unhappy then you are. What thoughts run on through your mind on a day to day basis are extremely vital for the way that your days are going to be lived out. It’s all a shift in perspective kind of thing. Instead of jumping down my boyfriend’s throat about going out with his friends, maybe I can be thankful that he has friends to hang out with anyways. I can feel appreciative that these people he surrounds himself are making him happy. Yes, its hard to be thankful when you don’t have those type of friends in your life, but I have not made efforts, I complain without fully understanding my role in the whole thing. In other words, I have found that just by taking a whole step back from the “ supposed” situation ask yourself if you are truly in the right state of mind or did you just have a rough day in general and your taking it out on others. Are you just tired and are not having patience for those around you? I find that when I have a rough day at work very little patience is conserved for the ones that I love. I have to be more mindful of this and really take the time to create strategies to better prepare myself for when little “annoyances” pop up. For example, before going out greet my boyfriend when he picks me up, maybe go to the bathroom and say to myself in the mirror “ you are enough, you are loved, you are his choice, he loves you, he cares about you, he is devoted and loyal to you, he treasures the time he gets to spend with you, he waits 2 hours sometimes just so he can pick you up, remember his time is precious too, be mindful that he may have had a rough day too, breathe in and out and allow yourself to feel reenergized, vitalized, and enthusiastic to see him.” These kinds of things may seem silly, but even just writing that made me feel GREAT! In fact, it made me smile. My boyfriend always tells me that happiness is a choice and that life really isn’t that bad as it may seem. The only reason why it seems so out of whack is because we constantly CHOOSE to dwell on all the things that went wrong that day. We must hold ourselves accountable for our reactions to situations.
Conscientiousness is one that I was sure I understood, but boy was I wrong. In my mind, I thought it was the awareness you have about certain things. Like how well do you know yourself and how well do you relate to the world around you. Conscientiousness is a person who is organized, self-directed, and successful, but has controlling tendencies. As you can imagine I scored low in this area as well. I tend to be very spontaneous, careless, and am prone to addiction. If it wasn’t for some bad experiences with alcohol, I would have become a hard-core alcoholic no doubt. While I do tend to say that I was more of an emotional drinker to try and get myself of the hook. I just realized that might be one of the worst types of alcoholic you can be. My behavior was selfish, indulgent, and immature. I was so close to trying other things since alcohol was beginning to stop being so magical. What I was doing was trying to escape from myself, trying to escape having to live with this woman that was me, but I no longer recognized. Since September 2018, I have been sober, but the truth is I question why it had to take something so tragic to happen for me to stop what I was doing! Why do we wait for something bad to happen before we finally pay attention! The weird thing is, I feel like we give more attention to the people who don’t give a shit about us, to the things that are harmful versus the people that love us and the things that can enhance our lives. To some extent, I believe that the majority of people experience these things because they are truly stuck like I am. This is why I wanted to created a blog like this in the first place because one, it is helping me sort out my thoughts, I already feel tremendous benefit from it, and second I believe that when we take time to listen to each other’s stories it can be really helpful if we can just take the time to listen.
Agreeableness include people that are trusting, empathetic, and complainant, they are not usually quick to engage in an argument. Lower scores in this particular area are uncooperative, hostile, and find it hard to empathize with others. I am medium high which I believe is pretty accurate. I do tend to be very empathetic and compliant at times. However, if I feel triggered in any way, I am quick to be hostile and angry. For example, if I feel like people are seeing right through me and not giving me the attention that I feel I need in that moment I kind of snap. It’s very rare that I snap at people in public, but I have voiced my opinion to people before and it’s mainly because I feel unheard at the time or taken advantage of. I like to do things for others, but I hate when people expect it after a while just because they get used to the kind gesture. Then, eventually I start to feel guilty when really I have nothing to feel guilty about. I am a weird person, I can admit that, but that’s not permission for anybody to treat me like I am less than. Again, history presents itself when it comes to my relationship with my brothers. My point is, no, I will not agree with everything you say and do, and I don’t expect you to agree with me either. However, I would hope that whenever you interact with others, you show them the same respect you would want. It’s not about being right, its about being compassionate and looking at things in a different way.
Last, but not least openness is about being creative, imaginative, eccentric, and open to new experience. Do you try and use difficult questions? Do you find yourself examining social questions and being philosophical? I answered yes to both of things. The most open person that I can think of is Walt Disney! How much creativity and imagination he had? How brilliant he was to take such horrific and tragic stories and mold them into ones that were happy and nothing short of extravagant!! Experiment with life!!! I want nothing more than to explore and not be scared to do the unthinkable in a way that sets me forward on a path to true greatness rather than murky waters!
As always, I love writing these blog posts and I hope that something in my writing has helped you! If not, that’s okay, hopefully one day I can! Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and have a wonderful day!
Here is the link to my you tube channel as promised!