It’s not my job (or yours) to make other people happy.
But oh, how I try!!
We just got back from dropping our oldest back off to college — she has clean laundry, snacks for her dorm room, new clothes, new shoes, new books, and a new yoga mat.
and starting on Monday, she will have all new classes.
There’s nothing more that I can do on my end — the rest is up to her — and that is hard for me!
because I really just want her to be happy, and that is not something that I can fully manufacture for anyone else.
I’ve always been a people-pleaser — it’s in my nature to try super hard when I meet someone new to connect, and make the person feel better about themselves —
I read a quote somewhere that said that a true friend will leave you feeling uplifted and supported and better about yourself, which I took on as a personal challenge to create this feeling in practically everyone I come across on a daily basis.
The barista at Starbucks? I complement her manicure or eyelashes.
The guy who is standing too close to me at the grocery store? I smile and nod and wish him well and make small talk about the weather.
The jerk wad who cut me off in traffic for no reason? I hope he is not rushing home to take care of a sick parent.
The sales guy who calls? If I have time, I will listen to his spiel and then thank him nicely before asking to be taken off the list. (this might actually be a good thing — I do feel sorry for all the times telemarketers get hung up on; everybody deserves to make a living).
But guess what?
IT IS FREAKING EXHAUSTING!!
So, in my embark to Slow Down, I came to the realization that I spend an extraordinary amount of physical and mental energy trying to make other people happy. Sometimes I don’t EVEN LIKE the people that I’m trying to make happy!
I read another quote somewhere that said You Are Only As Happy as Your Least Happy Child — and since I have three children, and at least one of them is in some kind of “mood” a good majority of the time ( I have 3 girls. The amount of estrogen in this house is nutso. Please send chocolate to poor Adam… 😉 ) it means that according to this quote I’m only allowed to be happy about 3.5% of my day?
If you don’t have kids, maybe you have tweaked this sentiment and are only allowing yourself to be as happy as your least happy parent. Or your least happy friend.
or maybe you are not allowing yourself to be happy because there are (hundreds of) thousands of others in the world who are suffering, and so it somehow feels wrong to be happy.
That can’t be right, can it?
It’s not right. I wrote a long time ago about How to Be Blissfully Happy — it looks like I originally posted it online way back in 2009, but I actually wrote it in 2006.
Steph of 2006 was awfully wise. 😉
And Steph of 2020 is not going to waste time anymore trying to make all the people happy if it means sacrificing her own happiness. And that is my wish for you, too.
If you feel like you are giving too much to others or are empathizing to the 145th degree and are somehow sacrificing yourself along the way, I give you full permission to stop.
Simply stop it.
It’s not your job to make other people happy.
Your job is to take care of you, and to make yourself happy. The other people will figure it out for themselves. And if they don’t?
It’s still not your job to “fix” them or try to get them to see the light.
Maybe try to carve out a 30 Day Self Care challenge for yourself?
Because you are worth it.
lots and lots and lots of love.
your friendly neighbor, steph