You see predatory lists like this on Facebook all the time. “21 Pictures So Creepy You’ll Barf” and “You Won’t Believe What This Dad Beat His Child With at Disneyland!” and “15 Sexually-Harassing Text Messages So Obnoxious You’ll Fart a Hole Clean Through Your Underwear.” George Takei seems to have made a career re-posting these clickbait lists that exist primarily to install spyware on your computer. Most ludicrous are the ones that clearly have no factual basis behind them: “18 Secrets to Being An Awesome Parent” and one of them is “Encourage your child.” I decided to do my own take on one of these banal lists in hopes of encouraging your actual happiness, and not to make you feel shittier because projecting self-satisfaction is yet another thing at which you fail abysmally. So here are nine things that happy people know and employ in order to maintain their status as a happy person:
9. They Delude Themselves Into Believing Fate Exists
“Everything happens for a reason,” stated some dumbass who is coping with the death of their newborn child due to hospital negligence. And that person believes that because they are a self-important idiot. No ethereal agency or half-baked belief in cosmic justice is employed when things happen to you; things happen to you because time and space exist. In a cosmic sense, your fatal cancer is just as big an occurrence as a cow pooping, but if you want to appear happy and full of yourself, then you should believe that there is actually some causation between your existence and random, uncontrollable events. This is the way schizophrenics think, and they seem to be a jolly bunch!
8. They Outwardly Embrace Change Even If It Is Inducing a Panic Attack
One way to appear happy is to never be caught complaining, and the easiest way to do that is to appear as if you accept change even if it is making you insane inside. While people are bemoaning the weather, or some horrible news item, the happy person will just shrug and say something meaningless like, “When God closes a door, He opens a window!” Which is total bullshit, by the way, God is technically the arbiter of galactic equality so if He decides all the windows and doors should be shut, they will be shut. Or he might close a door on Earth but open a window on Planet XB-331 where the windows are more like intelligent sphincters that react to certain stimuli. The trick used here by happy people is the same one used by teenagers to seem cool and disaffected. Just brush off whatever comes and announce your unfounded belief that it is all part of a grand design of which they are a vital component!
7. They Pretend Not to Need Validation
You might hear someone refer to themselves as a “free spirit,” and, as those of us who are tethered to this dimension know, self-reflective announcements like this are almost always lies. It’s important to appear as if you don’t need anyone’s collusion or approval even if it is the very thing you crave most, and one of the shortest routes to get there is to be outwardly cavalier about criticism. “I march to the beat of my own drummer,” says the dilettante, and pretends not to notice the awe they have inspired in the plebes around them. This is an especially useful trait if you like to consider yourself an artist without actually practicing or producing any art.
6. They Act Supportive of Others’ Accomplishments While Silently Dying Inside
Not much will get you as many accolades as supporting and promoting other people in your field, because it makes you seem uncompetitive and therefore non-threatening in general. Secretly, you can wish death upon the author who got published before you, or the colleague who is newer to the job but got promoted ahead of you, but in public it should be all smiles and handshakes. What a great person you are, because you are so self-satisfied that you don’t need recognition or money, and you seem to be ridiculously buoyed by the accomplishments of others! This is also a good tactic because it will take some suspicion off of you when that accomplished person dies in a suspicious fire.
5. They Say That They Only Live In the Now
This must be pronounced at least once a day to someone within earshot: “I don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow,” or “I live in the present, not the past.” Of course unless you have severe damage to the memory center in your brain, you likely torture yourself with the stupid things you’ve said and done years prior. That’s what we call human nature. This idea that we should willfully not regret anything is like pretending not to know English when bill collectors call. Again, it’s how you appear to others that matters here, not how you actually feel, so make sure a few people know that you are a right here, right now kind of person every single day, and they probably won’t detect your many crushing life regrets.
4. They Don’t Act Like a Victim While Explaining How They’ve Been Victimized
If you catch yourself complaining about a situation, you must be sure to pepper that discussion with a lot of dismissive phrases like “whatever, though,” and “but really, I’ve got no one to blame but myself!” People will consider you very independent and resilient even if you are seething with revenge fantasies against every person you believe to have slighted you. Your parents are probably the most to blame for your current misery, so be sure to talk a lot of shit about them while rolling your eyes and muttering, “Parents, right?” If the person you’re talking to starts looking horrified, you’ve probably gone too far and should interject, “But parents are parents. I still love them to death.” This phrase will work well because then you can imagine their deaths which will put a noticeable spring in your step.
3. They Are Very Body-Positive Even if They Are Moments Away from Adrenal Failure
If you’re fat, make sure you exclaim how you will not be fat-shamed and how much you love yourself even though you often eat an entire gallon of ice cream while crying. If you’re skinny, then just act really smug about it even if the lack of nutrients in your blood stream makes you feel like you’re on a robust LSD trip every day. The gym rats and people that revolve their lives around having a certain body type often have the worst body dysmorphia, so they are often the most vociferous about their look while be condemnatory of others. If you are not one of these people, you can put one on the fast track to suicide by commenting, “You look great! You really have lost/gained a lot of weight,” and then walk away. They will hang on that idle phrase for the next ten years.
2. They Feign Having Faith In a Higher Power
This one seems tough, but it actually very easy. You don’t need to subscribe to any of the available Gods and Goddesses that are regularly worshiped around the world, you can just claim to believe in a nameless “higher power” or just say you are very “spiritual.” It’s all meaningless, no matter how you slice it, but people are always amazed by what appears to be blind and unflagging faith. Many of these people project their own blind faith to others but will still be mesmerized by yours. Another good trick is to say you believe in the God of a specific religion, but then strip away every aspect of that religion so it appears you are actually communing with this all-knowing ghost. “I don’t think God is really against gambling, despite the evidence presented in this book containing the things God said.” It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole by disassembling the puzzle and turning it into a birdhouse.
1. They Smile All the Fucking Time
You have to have a placid, natural smile on your face at all times that you can be seen by others. This is a lot more difficult to achieve than one might think, because most forced smiles look like pained grimaces. Try to think of things that genuinely do make you smile, like the anguished, tortured screams of people you hate or naked people as your preference dictates. I like to think about how many people I see walking around each day are actually pedophiles or drug addicts. Sometimes, it’s even people in power who are judging the morality of other people’s actions–now that’s just funny enough to make me laugh out loud in the street! Your smile will both warm and annoy the people that see it, so be sure to wear one proudly every day!