I’ve noticed that I’m happier when living honestly, and am more likely to feel anxious, guilty, and depressed when not.
Living honestly means being honest with yourself and others, such as:
- Doing what you want to do, not what you think other people want you to do. Maybe you have some weird hobby that’s embarrassing. Who cares? If it makes you happy, then do it and stop caring what other people think. If someone makes fun of you for it, own it.
- Being honest with others. Instead of trying to say things that you think others want to hear, just be honest. Say what you think (try to be tactful obviously). You might make some people angry, but ultimately people will respect you more for it. Some people might not want to associate with you anymore (probably less than you think), but on the other hand you’ll attract more people who align with your values. (Of course with others there are times where it’s better just not to say anything. For example if you hate your boss at work, it’s probably better not to tell them unless you’re willing to get fired. Know when to speak, and when there’s no benefit to doing so.)
For example, when it comes to relationships, it’s common for men who are not looking for a relationship to pretend like they are in order to get in a woman’s pants, maybe because they think that all women are looking for relationships. If you’re not looking for a relationship, you don’t necessarily need to volunteer that information, but if asked about it, don’t lie. Not only is it the ethical thing to do, but it saves everyone time, and many men will probably be surprised to discover how many women are also looking for the same thing.
Maybe you don’t believe in the constraints of monogamous relationships. If that’s the case, then admit that that’s how you feel, and stop pretending like you’re into monogamy. It might hurt when the monogamous girl leaves you, but in the long run you’ll attract like-minded people compatible with your values and you’ll be better off (or alone, but at least not living a lie).
Our culture of political correctness has conditioned us to suppress our true thoughts and conform to what we think society deems correct. We’re told we’re not allowed to have or express certain viewpoints. This suppression of free speech is toxic, destroys individuality, and is a big reason so many people are unhappy and even depressed. After all if you’re not living honestly to yourself and doing what you want with life, then what’s even the point? At this point one is just an instrument being played by someone else, a pawn in someone else’s chess game.
One of the most charismatic people I know is also one of the most brutally honest. I learned that the honesty was one of the biggest draws. You might not agree with everything he says, but you’d definitely respect his opinion, and his courage to speak his mind, no matter how uncomfortable. Me sounding more like a politician next to him, I found that strangers we’d meet would be hanging on to his every word since he was more interesting, largely because of the honesty. Sure he offended some people, but I was surprised by how attracted people were to him.
This is why personalities like Howard Stern, George Carlin, Joe Rogan, etc. are so popular. They say what they think, even if it’s controversial. People value authenticity.
This is also why artists with a unique voice or style are popular. A$AP Rocky for example had a unique fashion style amongst rappers that stood out. Skrillex sounded like nothing that’d ever come before him. Daft Punk has their own style. I’m a huge fan of Porter Robinson and his alter ego Virtual Self because much of his music sounds like nothing else I’ve heard, and are expertly crafted (my favorite of his is “The State”, which has surprisingly little views). All of these are artists creating something new rather than just copying what already exists.
Maybe you’ve got some crazy wild ideas, maybe you want to DJ, maybe you want to do some crazy social experiments, maybe you want to do something that’s never been done. Or maybe you used to have these crazy ideas, but society has conditioned you to suppress them and be an obedient little employee. Stop living how you think society wants you to live, and start living how you want to live. You’ll probably be surprised to find that there are more people out there who align with your values then you expected.
Also society doesn’t really give a sh*t about you. In fact nobody really cares about you, other than maybe your significant other or family who probably care more about preserving their own self-image of you than your genuine well-being. Since nobody cares about you or is affected by you as much as you, then why not live the life that you want?
I’m not saying to abandon rationality, just stop trying to be another neutered conformist sheep. Stop suppressing your individuality. Chase your dreams, pursue your wild ideas, and tell people what you really think rather than what you think they want to hear. You’ll be happier, and people will respect you more for it. The world already has enough depressed sheep and doesn’t need anymore. We need more mavericks and pioneers – more Vitalik Buterin, Elon Musk, Aaron Swartz, and Skrillex than depressed neutered disposable sheep who stand for nothing and live for nothing.
“All Progress Depends on the Unreasonable Man” -George Bernard Shaw