Happiness as courtship display
Taken from my book: How to make and fake happiness
Happiness signals that I’ve achieved an increase in survival capacity (meaning ‘fitness’ in Darwin’s language). An increase of survival capacity (real or imagined, in any situation) readies me (arouses me as in fight and attack rather than fight and flee mode) for contact, that is to say for renewed self-application.
My happiness expresses as increased arousal state, as a ‘high’. It attracts those in need of a survival capacity increase (as it were, looking for ‘winner’s’ genes) namely the under-aroused (or relatively depressed). To wit, ‘Everybody loves a winner’ (in the hope of milking increased survival capacity from him or her).
So it is that my display of happiness serves as courtship display, that is to say, as a ‘Come on.’ Displaying happiness, made or faked (i.e. ‘as if’), invites copulation, meaning touch or contact.
Displaying happiness, for instance by smiling, singing or dancing (to let off surplus capacity) is sexy. Displaying unhappiness, for instance by frowning, moaning or trudging is a turnoff.
Faking happiness or the display of its symptoms (hence signals) is a crucial means of maintaining optimum survival capacity readiness when under survival threat. In other words, faking happiness is a key life support tactic. It’s used more or less by all humans if and when actual survival capacity increase cannot be achieved because in a ‘losing’ situation.