I don’t hate happy people, but I hate the happiest guy in the office who makes it his life’s mission to make everybody else happy. I think that guy is pathologically sad on the inside.
Exhibit A: He always turns his frown upside-down.
Is the Keurig machine broken? Did you find a lump in your breast? Did your dog die? This dude hears a sad story and has an irrationally exuberant response. How can anyone have a glass-half-full approach to animal euthanasia? That’s just sick.
Exhibit B: He can always tell you how life could be worse.
The happiest guy in your office spends a lot of time assessing worst-case scenarios to help you put things in perspective. Did you forget to pack a lunch? He’ll join you at Potbelly, but first he has to tell you about all that shit going down in Syria. Refugees are starving. Women are being assaulted. Muslims fight Muslims and nobody has any answers.
Your life could be worse, bro. (Yeah, you could be like the happiest guy in the world who knows the intricacies of war crimes in the middle east.)
Exhibit C: He reads a lot of leadership literature.
The happiest guy in your office is informed. Too informed. He’s a fan of leadership literature. He loves Tony Robbins, Dan Pink, and Adam Grant. He also likes Gary Vaynerchuk, Malcolm Gladwell, and Shawn Achor. He’s into the early works of Robert Scoble and Seth Godin, but he finds their later books a little too commercial.
And in all of this, the happiest guy in your office doesn’t have an opinion of his own. He can quote sports gurus and business leaders, but when you give him a chance to articulate his point of view, you get a mix of gibberish and buzzwords. When he uses the word disintermediate, you know he has a dark and unfathomable loneliness that cannot be named.
That’s so sad.
Be you. Be happy. Be complicated, sad, pouty, overjoyed and maybe even manic.
You don’t have to be suspicious of happiness. (That’s my job.) Just don’t be the happiest guy in your office who’s nothing more than a clown on a quixotic journey for an elusive emotional framework.