How to find Happiness

From a longitudinal study of happiness:

At the bottom of the pile are the unhealthiest, or “psychotic,” adaptations—like paranoia, hallucination, or megalomania—which, while they can serve to make reality tolerable for the person employing them, seem crazy to anyone else. One level up are the “immature” adaptations, which include acting out, passive aggression, hypochondria, projection, and fantasy. These aren’t as isolating as psychotic adaptations, but they impede intimacy. “Neurotic” defenses are common in “normal” people. These include intellectualization (mutating the primal stuff of life into objects of formal thought); dissociation (intense, often brief, removal from one’s feelings); and repression, which, Vaillant says, can involve “seemingly inexplicable naïveté, memory lapse, or failure to acknowledge input from a selected sense organ.” The healthiest, or “mature,” adaptations include altruism, humor, anticipation (looking ahead and planning for future discomfort), suppression (a conscious decision to postpone attention to an impulse or conflict, to be addressed in good time), and sublimation (finding outlets for feelings, like putting aggression into sport, or lust into courtship).

Crap. My coping mechanisms are, in order, Megalomania, Paranoia, hypochondria, projection, fantasy, intellectualization, dissociation, altruism, humor, anticipation, and suppression.

I’d say I do all of these because I’m so great, but you’re probably waiting for me to slip up so you can use that against me. Oh, man… I’m feeling so sick with swine flu, you probably are too. I hope this particular version gives me super powers, but I know that that is really shockingly unlikely… I don’t care, whatever. I have to go donate blood now. By ‘donate blood,’ I mean deal with the mother-in-law, ha ha. Okay, I have to get to work now, or maybe I’ll leave it for later. 🙂


  1. Carlos dear, I wish you would provide citations for your quotes like a good little academic :P…unless you just made this up. Which would be sad…because it seems intresting!

    Oh and have you gotten married since we last spoke? It’s kind of funny because I’ve almost gotten divorced in the same time. He was so damn passive-aggressive.

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