5 reasons why happiness can never come from others

5 reasons why happiness can never come from others 959 581 janie

“They let me down so badly. They really hurt me.”

I overheard this in a cafe the other day and it was followed up with a conversation about how awful that person was. I don’t know what the person actually did, but it got me thinking – others not behaving the way we expect them to is a huge source of misery for many people.

Next time you’re in a cafe or restaurant listen to some of the conversations going on – you might notice that the majority are about something “wrong” that someone else did, or how someone else hurt them. You will not hear many conversations about how great someone else is!

Why do we do this? We want or expect people to behave a certain way to make us happy. With the majority of people being deeply unhappy with their lives and themselves, it seems clear that expecting others to be a source of happiness, or talking about others in a negative way is not working!

Here’s 5 reasons why it doesn’t work:

We have expectations that others will behave the way we want them to.

In other words, we want them to behave in a way that works for us.

When you think about, it’s a bit selfish isn’t it?

Every person has a life – one life – and don’t they have a right to experience their life exactly how they want to experience it?

Sure, people do crazy, unexpected things – after all we are all at the mercy of childhood and cultural conditioning – but it’s their choice. Free will has provided humanity with the possibility to behave pretty much however we want. We get to experience life as we want to. It’s a great thing!

So why should we expect that someone else behaves in a certain way to make us happy? And should that come at the expense of their own happiness?

Let’s turn this around. How do we feel when someone tries to change our behaviour, or force their beliefs on us, or tell us we’re wrong? We don’t like it very much at all! Yet for some reason we do the same thing to others all the time. Even if it’s just in a conversation with someone else in a cafe.

We don’t have to be a victim of other people’s behaviour.

Let’s now assume that people have a right to behave however they want. I’ll put a caveat on this – clearly it shouldn’t involve physically harming another.

So when someone does something we don’t like – it’s not about what they did. It’s actually about us. It’s about our reactions and thoughts about what they did or said. That is the source of our unhappiness.

It’s actually our control over our own mind that’s the issue.

Think about it this way. Someone says or does something and somehow this causes us to lose control of our mental faculties. How did we give other people such power over our minds? When you think about it, it doesn’t even make sense. We lose the ability to think, feel and behave how we want to, because of someone else.

When really we can take control of our own minds and choose the thoughts, feelings and actions that we want in every moment.

We need to meet our own needs.

When we react negatively to someone’s behaviour often it’s because we are expecting them to meet a need that we have. There is something we want them to give us because we have not yet learned how to give it to ourselves.

We want their approval because we do not approve of ourselves…

We want them to love us because we we do not love ourselves…

We want them to support and care for us because we not practice self-care…

We need to learn how to approve of and love ourselves – then we don’t need anyone to behave in a certain way to meet our expectations.

We need to remove ourselves from the drama.

Oh the drama we engage in! He did that… she did that… he hurt me…she let him down…

People will always talk about people, but if we truly want to be happy we have stop negatively about others.

We need to honour the amazing and unique individual that each person is just let them be themselves. Just as we would like them to do for us!

We don’t need to fully understand why they did what they did, but we need to give them the benefit of the doubt.

And if we feel “wronged” we need to take responsibility for that, rather than make it about them.

We need to take responsibility for our own thoughts and feelings.

The reality is that there is nothing that any other person can do to make us happy – anything we think they do to make us happy is transient and temporary. And all this does is put others under more pressure and expectations to continue in the same way.

The only change that really matters is the change we make in our own minds, and the only way we can do that is to bring awareness to our reactions and thoughts and change them.

Then we can just let others be themselves and we can be happy in our own skin.

Are you ready to create a healthier, happier life?

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