Feeling Blue – You’re Not Alone!
Do holiday merriment and parties – with all their bonhomie and jollity – make you think whether you are the only person who’s feeling sad and blue in the whole wide world? Have you experienced a sense of anguish and misery when you receive a Christmas card – a feeling that all others are really happy. The happiness of others makes you heartbroken and miserable…. or even worse? If you are nodding yes, then don’t worry. Take cheer! You are not alone – revealed in a study from Stanford University, which was published in the journal “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.” Read on to know more about the study.
The “Bluesy” Study
Researchers found that individuals are systematically biased in their thinking about their peers’ inner lives. They most commonly underestimate the prevalence of negative emotional experiences. Most people think that they are all alone in their emotional turbulences than they actually are. They feel this way, advertently or inadvertently, as many keep their negative emotions and feelings hidden.
One of the primary reason to feel bluesy is that individuals are more happier when they are in a group. One does not see each other in their solitary moments. In these moments, one is most likely to be lonely, bored, irritable and sad. In addition, individuals suppress their negative emotions when they are around others. They generally keep quiet about their turbulent feelings because they tend to think that it is considered socially inappropriate.
What’s the Upshot?
Most people don’t actually see how widespread their own emotional doldrums are. This ’emotional pluralistic ignorance’ can minimize the overall well-being of such individuals, according to the researchers. The paper was the doctoral dissertation of Alexander H. Jordan, a psychologist who is currently a research fellow at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He observed that a few of his friends actually became “upset after going through the posts of other people on Facebook”.
Most were disappointed with their own lives when they browsed through the apparently “perfect” lives of other people presented on their Facebook accounts. They tend to think that other individuals are more happier than they really are. Along with the Facebook effect, his research paper also hinted that the trend of underestimating other individuals’ woes explains one basic fact – why humans seek out tragedy in entertainment.