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  • Writer's pictureSarah Egan

Relying on yourself for happiness

Happiness is an inside job, don´t assign anyone that much power over your life, ever!

''She just makes me so happy!'' or ''He doesn't make me happy anymore!''

How often have we heard these statements? 

A lot, I´d say!

Let´s look below and see why these statements are quite unhealthy for anyone. 

  • Do you expect your partner to make you happy, or are you looking for a partner to make you happy?

  • Are you upset when your partner doesn't react in a certain way, doesn't meet your need?

  • Do you find it difficult to be alone? When you’re alone, do you feel the need to fill the loneliness void with distraction? Are you always on your phone when you’re alone?

  • Do you feel insulted or hurt if you aren´t invited to a party everyone is going to?

  • Do you get offended if people don´t agree with you?

  • Do you complain a lot about other people? Get mad because of things they do?

  • Do you think your friends should always be there for you?

  • Have you ever felt completely let down by someone?

  • Do you expect to be given more respect for your hard work and even a rise in pay at work anytime soon?

Well my answer has definitely been a yes to each one of those questions at one stage or at different stages of my life and I´m still working up a sweat on one or two of them to be truthful.

So why do a lot of us have a yes to these questions?

Well, it´s a natural thing that we´re born with. We rely on our parents or guardians to care for us and survive, we rely on our teachers to teach us, our doctors to cure us, our friends to play with us and as we grow up, our first loves to love us and our employers to inspire us and help us develop into professionals.

In a nutshell, through out life we turn outwardly for everything: love, approval, happiness, advice, inspiration, affection and for others to solve our problems. So even though we should be becoming less dependent and more independent as we get older, we don´t!  

That´s when we start throwing wobblers and we start to feel hurt, let down, offended, left out, our self worth suffers, we develop trust issues and the list goes on and on.

We have relationship problems because the other person isn´t meeting our needs, and we resent that. We feel unhappy lots of the time, because happiness is outside of us, and therefore it´s unreliable and elusive. We feel helpless, because we think other people are supposed to make us happy and fulfill our needs.

We've all been let down by a friend, colleague or boss at some stage and they can come across as so unreliable that it actually hurts!

The reason why human beings are unreliable is because we are egocentric creatures. In our world, we are the center of it. Everything we know and experience involves our existence. Our mental properties are focused on ourselves and a lot of us always put ourselves ahead of others. This is not to say that you cannot put someone else ahead of yourself — but in order to do so, you will have to be focused and do so with strong intent.

So what can we do to become more independent, self reliant, self dependent and not expect anyone to make us happy?

  • Realise that your happiness is your own internal job.

  • Learn to fix your own problems. If you are bored, fix it. If you are lonely or hurt, comfort yourself. If you are jealous, don’t hope that someone will reassure you … reassure yourself.

  • Take responsibility. If you find yourself blaming others, tell yourself that the other person is never the problem. Of course, you can believe the other person is the problem, but then you are reliant on them for the solution. If you believe that they aren’t the problem, then you look inside yourself for the solution.

  • If you find yourself complaining, instead find a way to be grateful.

  • If you find yourself being needy, instead find a way to give.

  • If you find yourself wanting someone to help you, help yourself.

  • Sit by yourself, without a device or distraction, for a few minutes. Look inside. Notice your thoughts as they come up. Get to know your mind. See how fascinating it is. This in itself is an endless source of entertainment and learning.Create your own source of built-in happiness. Walk around as a whole, happy person, needing nothing.

Happiness is something that should come from inside ourselves.

It’s up to you to have it, whether it’s through your daily work, interactions with family/friends, or hobbies you’ve chosen to do. You have to take responsibility for how you live your life. You have to own the fact that you are in full control of how you choose to spend your time and who you spend it with. You can’t depend on others to fulfill your needs, because ultimately, only you can know what those needs are.

Anybody outside of yourself is really a part of your life because you’ve allowed them to be. You have decided what role they are playing and you decide whether or not they stay in your life. If you enjoy being around someone, a friend or a romantic partner, that doesn’t mean they make you happy. They may add happiness to your life but they should not be the sole reason for your happiness. There’s a difference.

You can feel happier around somebody. Their infectious optimism or hilarious sense of humor can add a light in your life that maybe hadn’t been there for a while or before. But the worst thing about placing your happiness on your partner is that he/she can always leave. I’m not being pessimistic, but people change. Circumstances change. Relationships always do and always will change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

To say that somebody else makes you happy is to relinquish all responsibility for your emotions and the way you spend your time. To say somebody else makes you happy is to basically say you’re a collapsed puppet waiting for them to pull the strings. If one person can make you happy, they can just as easily make you miserable. Nobody should have that kind of power over your emotions.

Own your own happiness!

-Your life drive

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