Dear Stephanie,

First, ask your friends directly why they feel this way.  I’m betting that, despite the happiness you feel on the inside, you project to them an air of unhappiness, bitterness or criticism.

Many of us do this — it’s a learned trait in conversation.  We don’t know how to keep a discussion going if we’re not bemoaning this or complaining about that.

Try focusing on the positive in your comments and the subjects you broach.

— M