General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Which is the greater emotion: happiness or sadness?

Asked by Ltryptophan (9102 points ) August 11th, 2011

I believe the question balances on anticipation.

Anticipating a delightful thing I would endure much, but if I was expecting a great evil it would ruin any good that came prior.

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19 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I think that it depends on what the happiness is or what the sadness is. Either can be greater than the other.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I think any emotion is only as powerful as you allow it to be.

As far as I’m concerned, they’re equal.

Blackberry's avatar

They’re equal, although people make one seem more important than another.

tranquilsea's avatar

How can you know how happy you are without experiencing great sadness? I have been desperately sad so the happy moments are more appreciated.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Happiness.
If you can get past adversity and find a way to be happy it is more than just admirable IMO
It represents strength to me. :)

atlantis's avatar

Greater in terms of the prevalence, I would say sadness. Most of humanity is sad rather than happy. But as to the greater nature, I would make a judgement call. Somethings are elevated by sadness while others by joy.

asmonet's avatar

Personally, sadness is greater. I would prefer to believe they are equal though.

I’ve reached far lower in sadness in my life than been raised up in joy.

MilkyWay's avatar

Sadness sometimes makes people do extreme things, like ending their own life. I don’t think happiness as an emotion is stronger than sadness.

King_Pariah's avatar

“Excess of joy, weeps. Excess of sorrow, laughs”

I think they’re as strong as you let them become.

flutherother's avatar

One or the other may be stronger depending on the person but each emotion contains a little of the other.

Coloma's avatar

Happiness and sadness are a dichotomy. You cannot know the depths and heights of either without the other as contrast.

Sometimes our greatest sorrows blossom into our most profound joys. ;-)

downtide's avatar

They’re equal, in the sense that either one can be felt more (or less) intensely than the other.

Cruiser's avatar

Sadness. It is easy to be happy and often you can ride on others coat tails to achieve happiness. When you are sad, that can be a hugely powerful emotion and often you are on your own to deal with it which requires inner strength and resolve to get past and a much more admirable quality of character of those who persevere through sad times.

GladysMensch's avatar

Happiness is caused by two chemicals: serotonin and dopamine. Without them, you cannot feel “happiness”. Many drugs can greatly increase the bodies production of dopamine, which creates intense feelings of euphoria. These feelings can be so intense that addicts will forgo all other bodily needs in the quest for the euphoria. Food, sex, family, money, health, and shelter will all be ignored to sustain the “high”.
So, I’m going with happiness as the more powerful of emotions.

Hibernate's avatar

I’d chose both because even when you are happy or sad you feel the other [just not that much].

It’s like saying one is stronger when it’s not.

Tbag's avatar

Happiness does not come without suffering. I think they’re both equal..

phoebusg's avatar

Overall in the episodic memory (how most remember the past), sadness is stronger than happiness. We tend to forget many of the happy times unless we think hard, but the sad times stick—without effort to suppress.

So in this sense sadness. But with work, happiness can come on top.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
smilingheart1's avatar

Joy and sadness are woven fine
A clothing for the soul divine
When this we rightly know
Safely through the world we go.

Penned by William Blake

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