It can be hard for us to recognize our own happiness if we’ve spent so long being unhappy that it’s become a fact of life.
We’d doubt ourselves, wondering if we’ve simply managed to fool ourselves into thinking we’re happy when we’re not.
Well if you truly want to know, then here are some signs you’re actually happy and aren’t just pretending.
1) You don’t need external validation
People who are simply pretending to be happy need constant validation.
They would always talk about how happy and how blessed they are because having people affirm their happiness makes it feel real to them.
Meanwhile you don’t NEED people telling you “Oh, I’m so happy for you” or “Oh gosh, I envy how awesome your life is”.
So while yes, you might share your victories publicly every now and then, but usually you just celebrate quietly all by yourself or with a couple of friends.
Your happiness simply exists without any need for it to be validated or explained in any way. You might even find praise pretentious and hollow at times.
2) You are content with a few good friends
If you’re perfectly fine with just a handful of really good friends and hanging out with them once a month or so over beer, then you’re likely genuinely happy.
The thing is that people who are simply pretending to be happy always care too much about being that one person that everyone else loves.
The more friends, the better. And to that end, their schedules are always booked.
But you aren’t exactly bothered by all of this. You’ve already found the people you want to keep in your life, and you couldn’t care less if your circle’s only got 3 or 4 people in it.
For you, it’s not about how many friends you have, but who those friends are.
3) Your life seems a little boring
But you’re fine with it, through and through.
People might walk up to you and say “Your life is so dull! You should go skydiving with me!” But you honestly don’t care for it.
You might even find it downright annoying to hear them talk about your life like this.
It’s not that you shun adventure, and in fact you might go for a jog in the woods every now and then.
But no matter how you live your life, you’re perfectly fine with it being the way it is and you don’t exactly appreciate having people disrupt that for one reason or another.
4) You’re comfortable with deep conversations
Those who merely pretend to be happy would rather talk about the latest gossip, their latest purchases…anything not personal.
Talking about things like their feelings, discussing politics, and questioning the meaning of life is something they find extremely uncomfortable.
Deep topics like these risk dredging up their insecurities and pains, and they’d rather avoid them if possible.
This happened to me back when I was in a dead and toxic relationship. People simply asking me about my love life was enough to set me off.
But now that I’m finally free and thriving, I have no problem talking about how bad it was for me back then.
You know you’re in a happy place because you have no such qualms. You’re just as comfortable talking about your struggles and discussing bad news as you are with talking about the weather.
5) You have the capacity to be happy for others
Those who are only pretending to be happy find it hard to be happy for others.
How could they when they’re not happy?
They tend to focus more on themselves and would get bitter when others are getting what they want in life.
You, on the other hand, are genuinely happy for others. When your best friend is finally getting hitched, you squeal in excitement and even cry for joy.
When your neighbor is getting recognition for something that they do, you’d congratulate them and you’d even share their success to others.
It’s not even because you already have everything you want in life, it’s because you’re just a genuinely happy person.
6) You’re actually proud of who you are
Those who are only pretending to be happy feel the need to go and do something grand and newsworthy to truly prove their worth.
But you, you don’t care about that. You don’t care that you haven’t written a best-seller or had become featured on TV yet.
The fact that you’re financially independent, for example, when you used to rely on your parents for a long time. Or that you’ve gotten out of a toxic relationship after a decade is more than enough for you.
All of these achievements might seem insignificant to everyone else, and certainly not “worthy” to be placed on Instagram… but you don’t care!
7) You’ve stopped looking for greener pastures
Once upon a time, you used to lie in bed awake haunted by a thousand “what-ifs” wishing things were better somehow or that you lived somewhere else instead.
But now you’re happy exactly where you are. What-ifs no longer keep you awake, and neither do they drag you down.
You’ve come to see just how blessed you actually are, and though your lot in life is far from perfect you’re perfectly happy with it nonetheless.
In contrast, those who are merely pretending to be happy are full of restless energy, subconsciously seeing their life as being misery incarnate and wanting nothing more than to break free of it.
8) You’re focusing on inner work
People who are simply pretending to be happy work hard to present an outside that screams “I am happy!”
To wit, they’d splurge on luxuries, indulge in trips across the globe, and try to hang out with the most interesting people.
But while things like these do give happiness and satisfaction, people who are truly happy know that the world within is more important.
So on top of all of that, they also take the time to meditate, heal past trauma, and nurture their hearts and minds.
9) You don’t find the need to impress anyone
People being impressed at the party tricks you can make or the things you know is, to you, nothing more than a neat little bonus.
Sure, it’d be cool if they liked the things you did. But you couldn’t care less if they remain unimpressed or even boo you outright.
It’s because of this confidence that you can manage to say “Screw it!” and live the life you truly want for yourself, rather than waste your days away pretending to fit in.
10) You’ve stopped trying to be happy
If you’ve stopped caring entirely about whether you’re happy or not, then it’s either that you’ve been so thoroughly defeated by life you’ve simply given up… or you’ve finally achieved happiness.
And if everything else I’ve described in this article resonates with you, then it’s most certainly because of the latter.
It’s just like how you stop drinking water the moment your thirst is quenched. You’re finally happy where you are, so you see no need to try to chase after even more happiness.
Between the harsh, painful reality of the world we live in and the consistent portrayal of happiness as some magical state of mind that gets you dancing in a field of flowers, it can be hard to notice true happiness when it’s there.
True happiness is a quiet and gentle state of mind.
It’s being able to be perfectly content with things as they are, without any need to flaunt it whatsoever.
If you find that, yes, you’re already perfectly content with your life as it is, then congratulations!
If not, then you should strive to chase after contentment, because genuine happiness is found in absolute contentment.