Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Posted: May 31, 2011 in Friendship, Life, Relationships
Tags: , ,

I think that the entire human race has one thing in common. Everyone, in their own way, wants to be happy–and that means different things to different people. For one person, money may provide happiness. For another, happiness could be wrapped up in medicine. For someone else, it could be a child. Regardless, all of us want to be happy. I can tell you right now that libraries make me happy. As does cake. It ends up the things that make me the MOST happy though aren’t things at all. They’re the people in my life. I started thinking today about something though. I’ve surrounded myself with people who make me happy–but what lengths am I willing to go to so that others can also be happy?

For as long as I can remember, I have ALWAYS been a people pleaser. I’ve always wanted people to like me and get upset when they don’t, and because of that I often times find myself not saying exactly what I would like to because I tend to avoid saying anything that will upset people. I also tend to put others first, which is good, but it was brought to my attention by my mom awhile back that sometimes I do this to a fault. At first I defended my actions, arguing that to not put others first would be selfish–but as I told more and more people what she’d said, and they agreed with her–I started to realize that maybe she was right. I was taking care of other people to the point where I was neglecting my own needs–and in some messed up way being able to help those people, made me think that I didn’t need anything. That has changed a little bit over the course of the past few years, but I’m by no means cured of those ills, although I do now realize that it’s okay for you to sometimes put yourself first.

So where do you draw the line? How do you maintain your own happiness, while also trying to play a part in someone else’s happiness? How much of your own happiness do you sacrifice in order to make someone else happy? Truth be told, I don’t have all the answers–if I did I’d be making a WHOLE lot more money than I am now, but I am going to tell you what I think.

I think that anyone who truly makes you happy, and you them, would never knowingly ask you to do something that’s going to compromise your own happiness. I think that anyone who does ask you to do something knowing that you won’t be okay with it, isn’t the person you thought they were. If you’re like me, you’ve absolutely been taken advantage of because you’re a pushover–and anyone who takes advantage of that is not someone you should have your happiness wrapped up in.

Now keep in mind–I’m talking things that are a big deal here. I’m not talking about being a little kid and knowing you should eat your peas because it will make your mom happy–but you’d really rather not because it’s going to make you unhappy. Your mom is not a deceitful, manipulative person because she made you try to eat peas.

Someone once said that, “being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect; it means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” No one person is perfect, which means no one relationship is going to be perfect. People are going to ask you to do things you don’t want to do in order for them to pursue their own happiness. If your goals align, by all means–but if you get that yucky feeling in the pit of your stomach–don’t be scared to walk away. Anyone who is going to make you feel like that isn’t someone who is going to end up making you happy anyway.

I find great joy in helping people–maybe I’m just a do-gooder, or maybe it stems from me being a people pleaser–I’m not entirely sure. Thing is, I learned from a relationship several months back, that we as humans sometimes attempt to help other people because it’s easier than helping ourselves. Don’t get me wrong–it’s a good thing to volunteer at a homeless shelter, or mentor a child–but when you start doing those things to hide from yourself, it loses it’s luster.

So be happy! All of us deserve it, even if we don’t think so. Maybe that requires you to become a little bit more selfish (in a good way). Maybe that requires you to examine yourself and figure out what exactly would make you happy. Or maybe it requires you to stop trying to fix everything and anything but yourself. Regardless–keep this in mind. You can’t even begin to make anyone else happy if you’re not happy with yourself. Robert Anthony once said, “most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.” You have a whole lot less further to fall if you stay miserable, but if you adopt that attitude–you run the risk of not seeing the beauty this world has to behold. So stop worrying about whether or not everyone else around you is happy and focus on yourself. When you make YOU happy, things have a funny way of falling into place.



  1. wmarsau says:

    Really great perspective on what being happy entails. Sometimes it takes great courage to make yourself happy.

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