Societies promotion of happiness and happiness campaigns puts expectations on people of how they should feel. Expectations of happiness may be making sad people feel worse.
Psychologist, Brock Bastian from the University of Queensland and colleagues, have demonstrated across 4 comprehensive studies
that people experience more negative emotion and reduced well-being when they think others expect them to be happy or not feel negative emotions (i.e. sadness).
The perceived social expectation to be happy had more of an effect on negative emotions than did personal expectations by promoting
negative self-evaluation. Bastian and his colleagues state that their findings show how our culture of happiness, societies intolerance to negative emotions has an effect of changing how we experience our own emotions, “ironically aggravating those same emotions that are deemed to be socially undesirable or unacceptable”.
Bastian, B., Kuppens, P., Hornsey, M. J., Park, J., Koval, P., & Uchida, Y.(2012). Feeling bad about being sad: The role of social expectancies in amplifying negative mood. Emotion, 12(1), 69.