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Expectations About Happiness That Make Are Make People Unhappy

Although positive psychology’s focus on happiness and well-being was a welcome change from so-called “negative” psychology’s emphasis on symptoms and disorders, this philosophical shift may have come at a cost. If happiness becomes the goal in and of itself, and you fail to reach that goal, there must be something wrong with you. It’s not clear how the happiness revolution reached this point, but there must be a reason that people adopted so wholeheartedly the mantra of “I should be happy, no matter what.” Indeed, nations now measure their success in serving their citizens based on overall happiness surveys, adding further weight to the happiness-as-goal mentality.

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