It is true. Well, I believe it to be true. Frankly, I wasn’t going to write about this subject, but I threw caution to the wind and decided to give it a shot. This whole thing came out of an argument I was having with a girl friend of mine. The conversation got heated at some point, but we managed to keep everything above board. We stayed civil as we always do. I guess whenever people talk about a subjective theme like happiness, passions come out and it shows how differently we feel about happiness.
I ask you: who doesn’t want to be happy? The answer is no one. Well, unless we are talking about people who cannot feel happiness or pleasure, the rest of humanity wants to be happy. Sociopaths cannot feel emotions so they cannot seek happiness. Antisocial personality disorder or sociopathy is a mental disorder that affects 0.5% to 4% of the population so, it is safe to say it is a marginal condition. The rest of humanity seeks happiness. They want to feel content. They want that calmness of the mind and the heart that comes along with happiness. We want to make sure the sum of our pleasures vastly outweighs the sum of our pain and sorrow. We all know too well how unpleasant it is to be unhappy and how fulfilling it is to be happy.
Let me share two things I believe people don’t quite understand about happiness. The first is, happiness isn’t a permanent feeling. It is not and it will never be. Like any other feeling, happiness is never constant; it fluctuates, it goes up and down like a rollercoaster. It has peaks and valleys. No one can be happy forever. Most people tend to forget that crucial fact or they lie to themselves deliberately, thinking that, by doing so, they could find a scapegoat to their unhappiness. Well, as painful as it might sound, there is no scapegoat… Happiness is an ever-changing state. It comes and goes and it can vanish as quickly as it appeared. So, whenever you have some of that precious feeling, enjoy it as much as you can. You never know, it might just disappear at any moment. You will never be happy forever; that’s a fact.
The second and last thing, might be the most important. It might rub some people the wrong way but who cares? I’ll just say it: NO ONE CAN MAKE YOU HAPPY.
Allow me to write it again, for emphasis: NO ONE CAN MAKE YOU HAPPY.
People can simply contribute to your existing happiness. Believing others can make you happy is a faulty way of thinking and a dangerous way of perceiving happiness. Let’s say you were unhappy for some reason, ok? Then, someone comes along, and they use their love, their care and their presence to make you happy. If you weren’t able to find that happiness by yourself, well, allow me to say the newfound happiness will be short lived. If the happiness you’re feeling is intimately connected with that person who brought happiness, if you are dependent on them to be happy, then is it too far fetched to say your happiness will vanish if the person leaves? They brought happiness. The feeling itself rests on that person’s shoulders, actions, words and presence.
I am talking exclusively about romantic relationships, which are always touchy and hard to manage. I would like you to think about any relationship you have ever been in. When you break up, you are miserable, and it hurts, as it should. Let’s not pretend the end of any relationship doesn’t hurt, ok? We all know it does and that’s how it’s supposed to be. The people who can find happiness within themselves, those who can seek happiness despite their imperfections, flaws and mistakes, will heal quicker and bounce back better than those who truly depend on others for their happiness. I know it’s fucked up but, such is life. Those who have the mindset of healing by themselves (regardless of what path they choose) and who seek to understand their feelings and find happiness within themselves, heal faster and better.
Happiness will always depend on oneself. Critics might say this is an Americanised view of self, an extreme selfishness, an egomaniacal way of being and thinking. Yes, I get it. America, the holy land of selfishness and unrestricted capitalism, isn’t the best entity to give advice on happiness as the latter is intimately linked to owning stuff and making money. So, America might not have any virtuous lessons to give about happiness.
Nevertheless, when American self-help books insist that everything starts with you, they aren’t wrong. I challenge you to make a case of a person who is happy without being happy within themselves. Others will never completely fill the hole we have in our hearts; we must do it ourselves and do it for our own sake. Others can only add to your existing happiness. They cannot create your happiness from scratch. That can never happen. We need others to live and survive because we are social animals. Yet, others can never make us happy.
You must be happy to begin with. Being in a relationship can ONLY contribute to your existing happiness. A relationship doesn’t create happiness, it never does, and it never will. That goes for respect and worth. You must first respect yourself so you can respect others. You must first value yourself so you can value others.
No one can make you happy. You start by making yourself happy and others will contribute to your existing happiness. You must be self-sufficient in the happiness department. You must be able to live with yourself and be happy with who you are, qualities and flaws. To be happy, whether you like it or not, you must love yourself, you must appreciate and respect yourself.
Once again: NO ONE CAN MAKE YOU HAPPY.
Just one man’s opinion.
Now smile and go on with your day!