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a friend said he's never been happy, and i'm starting to see it for myself

Hi, thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings, I'll try to keep it brief and to the point. I'm wondering what it's called when a person is not happy, but also not depressed. A friend of mine is like that. And i mean it's not that he doesn't ever smile or have fun, or enjoy things, but, he seems to be very... baseline? I've seen him 'space out' before too, like, he stares off into the distance and looks wax. like he turned something off. Then you engage him, and he'd return to his usual self, but, it's almost like that's how he is emotionally. Off until engaged. Not happy, but not sad. There, but not there...

That's the best way i can describe him. Unless there are people around. Then he acts the way they do. I don't know if that makes sense. It's like, it's in his words too, it's like he mimics other people i guess. i mean, he's like a sponge, and he absorbs people's attitudes and mannerisms. Kind of. It's subtle, but if you stand with your arms crossed, so will he. if you smile, he smiles. If you're from the country his accent starts to drawl. but like i said, it's very subtle, and most people don't pick up on it. He doesn't do it 'all' the time. Most people like him, and say he's cool though. he fits in, but sometimes it seems like he is having to work at it.

But, he doesn't really ever show strong emotion that's his own. Everyone says he's laid back, but, I've known him for a long time now and yeah he's laid back --but he's also, i don't want to use the word cold, because he's not "cold." He kinda seems surprised when other people are very emotional, he seems... irritated? Like, he also accuses people of being overly sensitive, but, a death of a family member isn't something most people would shrug off. Sure he was sad, but, then went to a party that night and when people heard about his granddad they were like, what are you doing here?? he shrugged.

He tells stories that aren't true, also. It's a strange thing he does. He gets a kick out of fooling people and making up outrageous stories that get more and more outrageous as he tells it. As a group of friends we call it a 'Superstory,' but really he's just making it up as he goes. People even say he's lying, and he'll try even harder to convince them it's true. And when he has everyone amazed that he wrestled bears and alligators for his summer job, he'll smile and go way over the top, "one time the alligator even killed me and ate my leg, but, it was nothing, so, you know. But, I got a raise from it, so that was cool."
So, like, then everyone knows it was just an elaborate story... but i often wonder if he does that and not go over the top. and leaves people with false impressions. i don't know. No one knows when he is making up a story unless he tells you.

I dunno, just a weird thing he does, mostly I'm concerned about his depression. Or, well, he doesn't act depressed, but he doesn't act happy either. Is it possible for someone to not be happy but also not be depressed? The strongest personal emotion he shows is frustration, lol. He gets mad, but, I've seen him look supremely pissed off one minute, and then literally watched the anger drop from his face the next. Then he's back to 'baseline' and doesn't care anymore. If anything i'd say his emotions are fleeting.

That's the best way to describe him. Sorry i had to work all that out as i was writing this.

So here's my question, what is it called when someone's emotions are fleeting? Is that an actual thing?

I don't know. He said a month ago that he doesn't know what 'happy' feels like, and i just thought he was being dramatic. I said he was just depressed, and he said no. He said something like, "I'm not depressed. I just feel the same way today as i felt yesterday. And that goes all the way back."

Re: a friend said he's never been happy, and i'm starting to see it for myself

I just read through real fast and have no expertise in anything ever but ---

just some terms ---
I've heard of what your describing in relation to the schizoid (blunted or flat affect) for the coldness that's not actually *cold*

and then in terms of the mimicry, I've heard of that in relation to histrionic personality disorders and sociopathy (shallow or labile affect)

I would believe this guy if he says he's never been happy, and I would be wary of his lies of course. If I were you, I would also be interested in what motivates him: does he feel bad for assuming others' characteristic ways of interacting? Does he recognize this pattern of mimicry himself? If it's unconscious, then maybe he's fine; if he is aware of them and playing a game, he might be moved to do serious harm when he's bored enough or when he realizes how awful it is to be a personal fraud or imitator. (I do this a lot, too... for myself, it is perfectly unmanageable and debilitating. think of the word fraud hanging over your head every conversation).

Be sure to watch out for any danger-signs or of his manipulating people...

Hope my 2 cents make sense - or at least help a little.

Re: a friend said he's never been happy, and i'm starting to see it for myself

Actually he is aware of the mimicry, he does it on purpose sometimes. He is in sales and he says he does it in order to immediately make the person feel a connection to him. He said one time it's like meeting someone who grew up in the same small town as you. He actually is very good at sales, but horrible at interpersonal relationships at work. He quits before he gets fired, but usually there ends up being problems.

I feel bad for him though, he ends up working for jerks. Small business owners are harder to work for. Less of a corporate climate, more of a my way or the highway kind of approach. My friend is very smart and doesn't like to be micromanaged.

I think he lies for fun, I mean, it's all a big joke. He puts people on just to see their reaction, it's not like he's a con man. And he's not a sociopath, he doesn't act crazy or anything unless he's really drunk, and then he might get in a fight or something, but he doesn't eat people. I saw him kill a possum once, he hit it with a brick. But everyone was chasing it around and trying to hit t with golf clubs. It kept tearing up their trash bins and spreading garbage around, and they all wanted to get rid of it. They are giant rats, so, he got a brick, stepped on it's hind legs and hit it's head with it. He felt bad about it later, but was really pissed at everyone for making him do it. They were just hurting it/scaring it, so he stopped them from tormenting it at least. I think a psyco would want to torture it, not be merciful. But all us girls cried. It was... When he hit it with the brink things got very real. Before that it was... Drunk guys chasing a possum around. I don't know why we didn't make them stop and call animal control.

I'll google histrinic and schizo.

Re: a friend said he's never been happy, and i'm starting to see it for myself

So he purposely gains peoples trust through manipulation, and then lies to them to get what he wants?

Ever thought that he tells obvious lies to help conceal more covert lying? That maybe he tells wild stories so his more believeable lies are not suspect?

And really, you think every boss he's had has been unreasonable? Maybe that's where you'll find signs of concealed lying. I bet he's awsome at telling it so he's the reasonable one. After he 'quit' a job did he ever need a place to crash? Need money for rent?

Why do feel sorry for him? Is it based solely on what he says happens to him, or do you actually meet his micromanaging bosses? Does he do his job properly, or does he lie to get sales? Lie to his boss? I bet he always has a good excuse, no?

Also, why do you think no one else picked up a freaking brick? Was it just a game untill he did that, or were the other guys actually breakng it's legs or something with the golf clubs? How much 'mercy' was actually given?

And then he blamed everyone else for his actions? Nice. Great way to deflect the responsibility. You feel bad you didn't stop it, and all the guys were upset that they started it. And you friend with a brick gets to be the merciful one. The 'good' one.

Am I close?