Tag Archives: love
Can happiness manifest itself as aggression? Have you ever seen something so cute, you just wanted to squeeze it a little too hard?
Researchers at Yale University coined a term for this phenomenon, calling it Cute Aggression. The team at SoulPancake wanted to try the study out for themselves, gathering a group of volunteers for a quirky experiment involving everyone’s favorite packing material, bubble wrap.
Volunteers were shown slides of increasingly cute animals – giraffes, monkeys, and especially puppies – while supplied with a pile of the bubble wrap. They were told to do with it as they pleased. Naturally, what started out as a bit of random popping snowballed into something much noisier.
“For neutral photos you popped four bubbles. For the cute pictures you popped forty-five bubbles,” host Julian exclaims to one volunteer. The people were found to routinely pop far more bubbles, more frequently, when cuter images flashed on the screen. For one woman, the impetus was puppies. Another woman popped the most when seeing an ant. Although their definitions of cute varied, everyone shared the tendency to fidget, squeeze, twist, and pop as their eyes lit up with something adorable.
This begs the question: why would cute aggression exist? It doesn’t literally mean that we want to hurt cute things; the opposite is actually true. When humans see something cute, we have an impulse to take care of it. But when that image is on a screen, where we can’t reach, it frustrates us. The emotion is then expressed as aggression. It’s an example of positive emotions being exhibited in negative ways. Crying when we’re happy is the most obvious example. This one just happens to be a little more fun!
Romantic relationships can be some of the most rewarding and fulfilling things we ever experience, and they can also be some of the most painful, stressful, gut-wrenching experiences we ever endure. Human beings are terribly complex, with all of our hangups and emotional responses, our needs and wants, our selfishness…
There’s an awful lot going with every last one of us.
This stuff gets even muddier when we try to mix two people together. Suddenly, all of those shortcomings and personality traits have to coexist with another person – who is just as full of individuality as you are.
So how can you possibly make it work?
It’s simple really: if you want to be in a happy relationship, you have to be happy with YOU first.
Part of coming together and sharing yourself with another person is about what you can do to mutually improve each other’s lives. It’s about growing together and creating a sum that is greater than the parts. But if one (or both) of the people involved are unhappy with themselves, their station in life, their notion of self-worth, then the opposite is likely to happen, and people will drag each other down.
If you’ve ever been in a relationship with an unhappy person you know this is true. Unhappy people (though it isn’t necessarily their fault) probably won’t want to seek out new experiences to share, or be supportive when you need it most, or even be able to enjoy your company because of the shroud they live beneath.
To be able to contribute the happiness of another person, you first have to be able to own your own happiness. If you aren’t happy with your body or personality, how will you feel about another person being attracted to it? Will you even be able to believe the compliments they give you?
I’m not suggesting that you have to be perfect, or that you need to exorcise all of your demons before you even think about a relationship. I’m saying that if you want to find joy with another person, you first have to know how to find joy on your own – or at least be on the lookout.
Positivity tends to breed positivity, and vice versa. A person with an optimistic worldview is going to help others, support others, and look to the world with open arms. People struggling with unhappiness, however, tend to close themselves off, to feel distrusting of the world, to find the bad in everything. Which seems like a more capable partner?
Happiness doesn’t come from other people. It has to start within first, and only when that inner happiness begins to grow, can we effectively share it with someone else.
Even if you’re already in a relationship, look to build your own happiness first. The happier you are as an individual, the greater your contributions will be to the relationship. Problems are easier to solve, setbacks are less stressful, and you’ll both be able to lift each other up, not drag each other down.
MERRY CHRISTMAS! I have a bonus video for you today. One last special way to put HAPPY back into your HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
I’ve put together twelve tips for putting the “HAPPY” back into Your “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” after the loss of a loved one. Check out my SEVENTH tip: Party! Surround yourself with friends and family so you can talk about your lost loved one in comfort. Celebrate their life while enjoying your holiday season.
I’ve put together twelve tips for putting the “HAPPY” back into Your “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” after the loss of a loved one. Check out my sixth tip: Take a walk! The hustle and bustle of the holidays can get to the best of us, and getting out into nature is a great way get fresh air and reconnect with yourself. It’s a perfect opportunity to welcome signs from your loved ones.