Why Trying To Make Someone Else Happy Is Actually Doing Them Wrong
I once came across this wise piece of advice (I would love to give credit to the author if only I could remember her/his name):
Stop trying to make others happy:
1. It is impossible.
2. It is not your job.
3. It is getting in the way.
This is 100% true but there is a fourth element that is fundamental. When you fully understand it, you will immediately stop trying to make others happy. Here is the truth:
4. It is doing them wrong.
When you charge yourself with the responsibility for someone else’s happiness, you give yourself a mission that is literally impossible and by doing so, you put yourself under huge pressure. You waste your energy and love in a fight that was lost long before you were born. You make sure that you will fail at the goal you set yourself. It is not in your hands, you have no power over someone else’s ability to enjoy life. You can beautifully contribute to it but you cannot create it. This is only up to each of us for ourselves but we cannot do it for someone else. Which means that trying to make others happy is an excellent way to make yourself unhappy. And, on top of that, it is actually doing them wrong.
If you want to make others happy, let them be responsible for their own bliss and get yourself out of the equation. When you make yourself responsible for someone else’s joy in life, you create or reinforce the idea that happiness is something that comes from the outside, something that they can get from someone else or something else — a relationship, a car, a job, money, nice weather, etc. It means that they are at the mercy of this external factor, that they have no power over their lives, and that if by any chance they manage to acquire a bit of happiness, they are also at risk of it being taken away from them. It puts them in a state of dependency towards the person or thing that provides their bliss and this is extremely stressful.
So if you want to help someone else, stop rendering them powerless and helpless by trying to make them happy. Let them be fully responsible for their own joy and call them forward to discover their strength. Help them see that being responsible for their own wellbeing is beautiful and liberating. It means they have the freedom and the power to choose how they envision life, they can decide which perspective to embrace, they can design the relationship they want to have with the events, blissful or painful, that happen in their lives. They don’t depend on anyone else. They are the holder of an infinite power.
Sometimes we struggle to see we hold this power and that is where you can help if you want to make someone else happy: stand if front of them as a mirror of truth, a mirror that shows them their strength, their beauty, and their ability to create joy into their lives. But don’t carry on shoulders something that is not yours — and let others be this mirror of truth for you too.
Let me know how this resonates with your experience. I am always interested in learning about you.