Mindfulness and existentialist writings in an age of anxiety
Writings

You can’t make other people happy.

Today I choose to experience joy.

No matter what today brings, this is my resolve.

I’ve come to the most humbling and liberating conclusion about people and relationships. It’s not something that you can really grasp with just your mind. It has to permeate your very being, and it must win over the head and the heart for it to truly work.

You can’t make other people happy.

This is not something I believe, but rather I have tested, tried, and experienced this sacred reality.

You can “try” to make people happy. But you can’t make them happy. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t.

Accept it.

I’m writing this because there are so many people who tether their own happiness to that of others. I know because I am one of those people. I like to be in agreement with people. I like to try and make people smile. I don’t want people to feel bad, and I sometimes try to take on the whole weight of other peoples suffering on myself. And when this happens, my empathy becomes a danger to myself.

You can have empathy, but you don’t need to try to bear the entire weight of another person’s misery and unhappiness. One, because you simply can’t.
It’s not possible because you can’t really ever fully know the other person’s thoughts and feelings. You can try to empathize with them, but the sensations you are experiencing are really just your feelings.

 

“You are responsible for your own happiness. If you expect others to make you happy, you will always be disappointed.” -Unknown

 

We all feel similar emotions, but no two persons are the same. Two different people have two sets of mixed feelings and emotions, leading to two slightly nuanced experiences. Feel free to relate to other people, but know you will never know 100% of what or how they are experiencing the world.

You can set healthy boundaries between them and you, all the while still loving them. It doesn’t mean you hate them or that you don’t care. It means you are taking responsibility for your own happiness and emotional well being by recognizing that if you aren’t at your best, others will suffer for it.

People deserve the best version of you. You deserve the best version of you as well.

Love others, be kind, listen, and empathize. Do all these things, but please don’t forget. You can’t make other people happy, but you can still love them. You can still be kind.

Choose happiness for yourself, and encourage others to do the same.

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