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Opinion: Being delusional is the key to finding happiness

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Graphic by Corynn Young

Opinion writer Maddie McMurrough says being delusional is the solution to all your life problems. 

It’s that time of year when the days grow shorter, the weather grows colder and seemingly, people grow less lonely. Yes, it’s cuffing season ladies and gentlemen.

It’s that wonderful time when people race to get into relationships so they don’t spend the winter months alone and avoid pesky Seasonal Affective Disorder. Cuffing season is full of flirtation and absolute delusion.

Because many of the budding relationships I’ve noticed that start at this time of year are motivated partly by a desire to avoid the lonely cold months, most of these relationships come to a grinding halt when the weather turns warm again. So this cold weather lovefest is nothing more than a four-month-delusion.

Listen, I am a realist — for the most part. I am overwhelmingly aware of body language, social cues and other’s feelings. And around cuffing season, that’s not always a blessing. Have you ever been in a room with two people who are clearly into each other, and you’re stuck between the uncomfortable glances and suffocating tension? It’s exhausting, so when I succumb to the fatigue, I drift off into my daydreams and delusions.

And I have to say, I have much more fun being delusional than being in reality. So this is your sign, succumb to those delusions more often and romanticize your life.

Oh, he looked at you for 0.05 seconds? He’s madly in love with you; go make him in the Sims. She touched your arm when passing by you? She thinks you are the man for her. Go get her, champ.

See? It’s fun. And who knows, maybe they’re actually into you, and acting on that delusion can be the thing that brings you lifelong happiness.

The world is way too scary and real to take it seriously all of the time. If you never take any risks, you’ll never have any fun! Trust me. Let your delusions take control for an hour. It’s called self-care.

As long as you don’t become addicted to your delusions and you can still distinguish reality from fiction, there’s no real harm to it.

Unfortunately, as hyper-aware of others as I am, I am very oblivious when it comes to my own romantic suitors. I can spot romantic tension between two strangers in under a minute, but if a guy is into me, I won’t be able to tell unless he flat-out says it to my face. It’s frustrating and makes my life seem much more depressing than it actually is. And nowadays most guys can’t — or won’t — admit their feelings to a girl.

So, do I let my mind wander to dramatic scenarios during boring classes? Sure, who doesn’t? Do I allow myself to imagine what it would be like if a man swept me off my feet? Absolutely. Because it’s fun, and what, am I supposed to pay attention to every second of my two-hour class? That’s an unreasonable request.

Now, will the suitor of my choice actually act out these dramatic scenarios? No, probably not, because this is the real world, but by letting myself have these delusions, my life feels less like a nihilistic news broadcast and more like a rom-com movie.

There’s a quote circulating TikTok: “Delulu is the solulu,” meaning being delusional is a solution to finding happiness. This notion also transcends dating scenarios. It can apply to any unsatisfactory aspect of your life. If an ending to a relationship, opportunity or life event causes you to be upset, then you can create your own ending to that story and craft a delusional reason why that situation didn’t work out in your favor. Therefore finding comfort in creating your own narrative.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say I didn’t get a job offer. I would then say to myself, “Oh, they decided not to offer me the job because I frightened them with my talent and absolute drive.” Boom, done. I no longer feel inadequate, and now feel empowered to prove that company wrong.

It’s a good way to exercise your imagination and creativity. It’s like drafting the ideal story of your life in your mind. You control the beginning, middle and end. You can cut out the difficult stories of your life and paste in the ones that make your story better.

Now, I know some people are thinking, “Delusional? That’s not something anyone should aspire to be!”

I know. The word delusional has frightening connotations of straight jackets and padded walls, but really it’s just creating a more satisfying reality in your head. Because life sometimes sucks. People who hurt you usually aren’t going to feel sorry, people you like sometimes don’t like you back and not every opportunity will come to fruition.

Sometimes that can be a difficult reality to live in.

So, make your own. Live in both the physical reality and that of your own mind. If you can find a happy medium, then I guarantee you will find your life isn’t as taxing as you once thought.

So, with the cuffing season beginning and the pit of seasonal depression looming, spend some time within your own mind allowing yourself to create a reality that brings you joy. Even if those scenarios never play out, it’s OK, and you’re OK, because you can find comfort within yourself.

Your narratives and scenarios will be waiting for you throughout the winter until someone is ready to make that fiction a reality. I promise that someday, someone will. But until then — spend some time in your mind palace and stay delusional.

Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism junior and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Maddie McMurrough, Opinion Writer
Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Maddie has been writing for the Battalion since March 2023.
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