“If you cannot find peace within yourself then you’ll never find it anywhere else.”- Marvin Gaye
I love the idea of making people happy, but it is not my responsibility to do so. It isn’t yours either. Because sometimes, no matter what you do, where your intentions lie or how much you’ve really tried, some people will be forever miserable. Why? Because it is up to them to seek their own joy.
It may seem selfish, you know this whole idea of absolving yourself of responsibility for making someone else happy. But it isn’t. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. See, when you realize that you’re not responsible for the joy of others, and that the only person that you need to make sure is happy as much as possible is yourself, you force people to really sit down and evaluate what makes them happy with life. You’re not there as an emotional crutch to save the day, and it forces people to seek something deeper than what anything outside of them can provide. It forces YOU to evaluate what exactly it is that brings joy to your heart.
Now I’m not saying that you should go around screaming at the top of your lungs, “It isn’t my job to make you happy!” when a friend comes to you in need. It would just make you come off as an egotistical asshole. Instead, what I am suggesting is that you empower yourself and those around you by not becoming an emotional dumpster.
There are some people out there who do not have the desire to be happy. Their sole purpose is to vent, with little to no interruption, about all of the messed things happening in their life. We all vent, but usually the type of individuals I’m referring to vent without purpose. And if you’re nice enough, you listen to them. But they continue to call and express frustration about the same thing, with very little improvement or solution behind it. These people have become emotionally dependent on you, and are subconsciously robbing you of your own joy each and every time you speak to them.
Empowering people to be responsible for their own joy can be quite tricky, but it first starts with dedicating your entire life to being happy. In order not to be an emotional dumpster, you have to rid yourself of all of the trash in your mind, and that comes out of your mouth. Moods are infectious, and it’s only a matter of time before you catch the mood of whoever you’re most around.
First, realize that you can greatly contribute to a person’s joy, but it is up to them to embrace a positive mood and state of mind. Second, just say no! If something does not please you, and it is very unreasonable, then do not subject yourself to it. Titles, whether it be friend, lover, mom, sister, brother, employee, often come with a level of expectation. But it is up to you to draw the line.
Make happiness a daily habit, not just a practice that you feel every one in a while and you’ll find yourself smiling a lot more and those around you too!