Very happy people are not weird, a
study says. Whew, that's a relief.
You'll be happy to learn," I called to my wife, "that you are not
I was sitting propped up in bed reading the paper, killing time
while Jessica, getting ready for work, fussed in the master
Predictably, Jessica was neither happy nor unhappy to learn she was
not emotionally disturbed. Oh, she was maybe a little happy. But,
then, she's always at least a little happy. That was the point.
"Is that right?" she replied, applying makeup.
"It says here they did a study on people like you and found that,
despite what the rest of us may think, you're probably OK."
"People like me?"
"Very happy people," I said. "Listen: 'There's nothing, apparently,
wrong with very happy people.
Ed Diener of the University of
Illinois in Champaign and Martin E.P. Seligman of the University of
Pennsylvania in Philadelphia tested 222 University of Illinois
undergraduate students on a standard happiness test, and then
compared the students who scored as the happiest with the average
and very unhappy ones.
The very happy students tended to be very
social, extroverted, and agreeable, and have strong romantic and
other relationships.' "
I paused to consider the study's results vis-à-vis us.
"The social, extroverted, and agreeable stuff sounds like you," I
opined. "But do you have a strong romantic relationship with
anybody? If so, is it with me? Remind me, I'll set up a standard
romantic relationship test to find out."
"Oh, Jim," she replied, drawing out the i. "We have a strong