Barbara Ehrenreich Smile Or Die Analysis

Good Essays
This world has a cultural bias that has spread land to land into the minds and hearts of almost every person. This bias is hurting everyone, and forcing a sense of false optimism and blinding us to the truth. This bias says that people are at their own personal fault for not being happy and it is killing the varied emotions that have grown through evolution to help the human species survive.
The idea that a person should be happy, simply because another person is worse off is hurting everyone. It is hurting people in dire situations who are constantly being told that they can choose to be happy because they could have it worse. This idea is hurting people who worked for years to get where they wanted to be, only to be told they are selfish because they have more than another person. This bias is not just causing people to blame victims, but is also causing people not to see their problems for what they are, because they’re telling themselves to get over themselves, and not actually looking at their problems.
Humans have hundreds of emotions. These emotions are one of the things that breaks us away from the animal world. They are
…show more content…
It is found more and more in different aspects of the American life, more than just the corporate workplace. In a video found online, called Smile Or Die, a talk by Barbara Ehrenreich is used, which pointed out that forcing people to be optimistic and happy has been used as a means of social and political control. In those situations, pointing out the bad, the ugly, and the sad, can get a person shunned from the minds and hearts of others. Instead of thinking about what needs to be done about different parts of the world that are threatening, we avoid and ignore the threats. This could lead to “willful ignorance” (Ehrenreich), requiring that nobody point out difficulties and that we refuse to acknowledge

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    People of different races and genders experience shame for not satisfying society’s standards of perfection, and the resulting stress can lead people to hate themselves and hide their flaws but in reality making mistakes is human. Brown concludes that shame is an epidemic…

    • 1463 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    There are many ways that you can feel guilty. Many people ask “ What is the definition of guilt?” Guilt is an emotion that you feel when you done something wrong or bad. Guilt is feeling regret and wishing that you never did it. Guilt is feeling angry towards yourself, because you disappointed everyone in your life. Guilt is something that we feel everyday, but it is our choices that serve as a lesson and remind us not to do the same thing in the future.…

    • 1052 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    If all the neighbors weren’t the same, we would be ashamed to go to meeting” (Steinbeck). During this decline, a caliber of disregard heightens for the Joad’s; not to mention, the ones who were disregarding will face God’s wrath. Steinbeck writes “In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy for the vintage.” (Steinbeck). People are becoming irate that many children are starving and in lieu of being if assistance; many would instead, watch them suffer. Steinbeck is warning us that, this may engender a revolt against the people with a higher power; for God’s judgement will come…

    • 1780 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Talking to people about what I feel just makes me feel selfish, knowing how others are suffering more so. I hate wallowing in my own self-pity but it seems to be my only salvation. I feel so selfish, so bitter, so antisocial, pessimistic overall. I try, try, try not to be what I am right now, but I keep falling into the same mentality. I can't trust people, I'm scared of being emotionally attached to someone.…

    • 184 Words
    • 1 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Suicide In Youth Essay

    • 849 Words
    • 4 Pages

    So they feel that because of this, everything that goes wrong in their lives, and sometimes even in others’ lives, is their fault. Then, because society has deemed a specific group of people who are “pretty”, “handsome”, “normal”, and “popular”, their spirits are crushed even more because they are not one of those people and they envy them. And those who are society’s “normal” will tear at the people who aren’t, Why do we do this? Why do we rag on people until they break? Why does it take the ending of so many lives for even a small group of people to realize how big of a part we play in other’s…

    • 849 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Theories Of Guilt

    • 1030 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The juror overwhelms themselves with the negative emotion because they have misinterpreted the feelings associated with the decisions that they made and that they should feel guilty for harming someone else’s family, friends and even the convict himself. When the emotions of chronic guilt become overbearing and affect many other aspects of one’s life they are considered to be “automatic thoughts”. Therapy to help recognize and understand the dysfunctional thoughts, relieving the anxiety associated with the guilt, and beginning to work on a healthy lifestyle is imperative. The term “making a mountain out of a molehill” is a great description of guilt because most often one internalizes the feelings of wrong doing and feels as though they have had a great negative impact on others, while most often the others do not carry the feelings of being wronged that we as a guilty person feel we have inflicted. The “mountain” built from guilt is most often just a “molehill” from another point of view.…

    • 1030 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Treating someone poorly, not saying I love you, and not telling the truth are all concepts that relate to shame and guilt. Not being the person that someone needed is usually something that you don’t realize until you are forced to. Many times the death of someone is the deciding factor of someone changing their life. Becoming a better person takes realization of one's mistakes and pressures you into realizing what you have done. That realization often times comes in the form of shame and is hard to let go of.…

    • 1189 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Another example, Graham is constantly shouting at his teammates and demotivating them which causes them to not want to work together and displays inappropriate behaviour. Sometimes it is one person who has inner conflict. Billy has inner conflict and ends up demotivating himself after he fails at one challenge that he prepared for. He leaves the team thinking that they are better off without him. This shows dysfunctional conflict in the way that it lowers his morale and hampers his personal productivity.…

    • 1687 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The participants were deceived because they believed they were shocking actual humans, even though the sounds of the learners screaming in pain were prerecorded. Milgram argues that deceiving participants is sometimes necessary since it reveals hidden truths (McLeod, 2007). Furthermore, this study is also unethical because the participants were all under extreme distress. The participants believed they were hurting or even killing another individual and thus were put into an anguishing state. This emotional distress caused the participants to question the ethics of the study.…

    • 796 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    They are unable to accept mistakes or failures which is why they are characterized by blaming others when things don’t go the way they want or to react aggressively and attempt to “get even” by intoxicating the work environment. Moreover, due to their selfish nature, narcissists can’t mentor nor direct others since they are self-oriented, they tend to deteriorate others and are more likely to cause problems as they are paranoid with people around them which threaten their “success and elevated place in society”. All these characteristics make narcissists poor leaders despite of having many followers as these followers are merely for their need for constant admiration and recognition (high need for affiliation) to cover their fragile self-esteem and insecurities. They translate into a mentality of “wining at any cost”, unpredictable mods at the organization in which employees fear approaching the leader due to his possible reaction and management by intimidation. Followers sense the cognitive dissonance in the leaders’ irrationality, they lose trust, commitment and question the validity and logic of his vision.…

    • 1367 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays