Who is responsible for your unhappiness?
I used to look to other people for my happiness and blame them for my unhappiness.
So empowering, right?!
I didn’t see the big picture or even KNOW that I was responsible for how happy or unhappy I was.
“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” ― Abraham Lincoln
These days I know it’s my RIGHT to be happy – I believe it’s our natural state as humans and life should be about happiness (and freedom!), and I know that if I am unhappy, that’s down to me; no-one else and no set of circumstances.
I remember having one of those life-altering ‘a-ha’ moments a few years ago when I realised that I was responsible for the whole of my life and my attitude and feelings about it. THE most powerful realisation.
Just as having a fit body is part of being healthy (I’m working on that right now!), so is being happy.
The thing with happiness is that it can only be experienced by you, from within. You have to generate it, to CHOOSE it for yourself. What I mean is, if I have a ton of happiness, I can’t give that to you. Happiness doesn’t work like that.
If someone is ‘making’ you unhappy, then you must acknowledge the part you play in that – in the ALLOWING of them to have power over your emotions.
If you are allowing other people to be the source of your happiness, sooner or later, they will let you down. Maybe they won’t let you down deliberately but they are only human and no-one is perfect.
It’s far better that you work on your personal development and be mindful of the responsibility YOU have to creating your own happiness first and foremost which means being mindful of when you slip into the ‘blame game’.
I remember having someone in my life that I tolerated for far too long. I’m talking YEARS! Every time I had contact with her felt like an opportunity for her to say something negative to me, and I would allow myself to get all annoyed about it. I didn’t realise for a long time that she must have had her own issues that she was allowing to cause her to be venomous to others – happy people don’t treat other people badly. Eventually I DID realise that I hadn’t set my boundaries with her (and I didn’t much feel like doing that by this point) and I opted-out. Now that person is no longer in my life and what a freaking relief! I choose my form of happiness. YOU get to decide who you allow into your life and who you don’t. No-one can force their way in. YOU have to let them in.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be unhappy. BE UNHAPPY! But we can take more control and ownership of our emotions. Don’t absolve yourself of your own responsibility to your life and your emotions and blame someone else for it.
No-one is responsible for your state of happiness or unhappiness but YOU.
Do not forget the connect between your mind and your reality…
‘There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’ Shakespeare
Taking responsibility for your happiness is an emotional learning curve and it will serve you well as you go through life.
Here’s are 3 tips on managing your emotions and taking responsibility for yourself and your happiness.
1. Set healthy emotional boundaries.
If this is a new concept to you, this means deciding how you like to be treated by others. What is acceptable to you? What is NOT acceptable to you?
2. Respect your emotional boundaries
If you feel that someone has crossed your boundaries, don’t try and ignore it and hope that it will all be ok – that’s the way that unhappiness and resentment begins.
Recognise that your emotional boundaries have been violated and you can do either of these 2 things;
Say something. Let the person know! Tell them you aren’t ok with what they have just said or done.
If that’s too confrontational for you, you can walk away. Literally and figuratively. If you have designed your life where you are in a situation where you CAN’T walk away, then you need to start taking control and re-design your life where you DO have the freedom to walk away.
3. Remember that happiness starts from within first and foremost.
Be MINDFUL when you are looking to other people to have the power to make you happy, and take back the responsibility for yourself and do some more self-development work – this is an on-going process for most people and we should never stop our self-development work because that is one area where we will never be ‘there’. As your mind grows, your outlook will change and your life will transform.
And finally, remember, just as other people aren’t responsible for your happiness, nor are you responsible for theirs.
To your happiness!