How To Stop Looking For Happiness In Others

How To Stop Looking For Happiness In Others

Stop relying on others for your own satisfaction.
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Being in a loving relationship and finding that middle ground between completely depending on the other person and being entirely self-absorbed and absent can be the most difficult thing in your life. It's a balance to practice and acknowledge the areas that can either lead you into a trap of either hanging on to every little word people say or do in response to you, or becoming a cold robot that essentially has no feelings. Believe it or not, having the middle ground is achievable.

Many people enter a relationship expecting it to make all of their woes go away and provide eternal fulfillment. Not even a relationship, some people enter nights thinking that they need the satisfaction of someone flirting or potentially getting with that person that night. People think that a night is ruined if they don't end up getting with someone or seem interested or intriguing by someone. By looking for satisfaction or happiness that way, you will always be disappointed. Whether you get with that person or you don't, the real problem that's occurring is that you feel the need to look for validation in others and not within yourself.

Good news is that you can escape that state of mind by starting from a simple realization: our true happiness cannot be found in others, rather we have to look inside ourselves to find it. The path to reclaiming your happiness and possibly saving your relationship can be broken down into several steps.

1. Start looking for happiness within you, not those around you.

We are often conditioned to seek happiness in things that surround us. After all, much of the modern economy revolves around the cycle of generating and satisfying needs with things. The answer lies in realizing that people are not things to fulfill our voids. Their job is not to make us happy — they are probably struggling just as hard as themselves. If I've learned one thing at all this year, it's that the only thing that can continue to make you happy is you and not others.

2. Get comfortable being on your own.

Just sit and listen to your thoughts. “If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love someone else” they say and for a reason — because it’s a simple truth. If you're insecure, you can't expect someone else to solve that for you. It doesn't matter how many times your boyfriend, girlfriend, friends or family tell you how special and amazing you are as a person. At the end of the day, the only person to change your thinking is you.

3. Start creating and explore your potential, because you have it.

It’s not uncommon for people to “hide” in a relationship, afraid of really giving their all and achieving their potential. Not just relationships, but hiding in general. You were beaten down to believe that you can't do things and your insecurities have you believing that lie. You have so much potential in ways that you couldn't even imagine. The key is to break the cycle and start an activity — join a cooking class, work on your fitness level or start creating music. Think of something that you could never see yourself doing in a million years, and do it. You'll be surprised what you learn from yourself and your abilities. Any activity that draws creativity from you and teaches you about yourself can help you. Once you experience the joy of doing something really well and learning from your mistakes, you will be less prone to depending on others to fulfill you.

4. Complain less

Notice the moment when you jump into that “whine mode” and stop yourself right away. Instead of focusing on the negative, drill yourself to draw your attention to the positive, however silly it may sound. Soon enough, you will rewire your thought patterns and suffer the burden of complaining a lot less. Ever heard of the expression "fake it 'til you make it"? The more you try to get yourself to believe something, the more likely it is that it will happen. If you don't feel confident, pretend that you are until you gain the experience or tools necessary that it is all for being the person that you want to become.

5. Stop being so needy

Also, notice the moment when you are being needy with people. Become aware of how the pattern repeats and then train yourself to break it the next time. Sure, we should rely on others at times, but you have to be independent with your life and your emotions, as well. Being dependent is great, but the point where you get overly-dependent is when there is a problem. Over-dependency is when you find yourself struggling to return the emotional independence when needed. For a lot of people, it means worrying and obsessing over what everyone thinks of them, especially in a social setting.

Now, I'm not saying that these are easy to achieve. In fact, they're quite hard. However, if we challenge ourselves by trying to complete these major aspects every day, maybe we can actually enjoy ourselves, feel happy and not look for satisfaction through others. Once you're happy with yourself and your life, you won't believe how great it feels to go out to that party or to dinner with people. Everything you once relied on to feel better about yourself vanishes and there is no more constant anxiety over yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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If He Says 'You Make Me Want To Be A Better Person,' Remember It's NOT A Compliment

No one should be relying on another person to make them better people.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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A lot of us have been there; he smiles at you sweetly, gives you a look that could melt your heart, and you let yourself fall into the kindness.

He tells you, "you're such a good person; you make me want to be better."

Your heart is a flutter, you're drowning in the sickly sweetness of what you take as one of the nicest things someone has ever told you. It's so easy to read it as though it's an admirable thing for anyone to say, but the reality is, no one should be held liable for making you want to be a decent human being except yourself.

It's one thing for people to bring out the best in each other.

When you find your happy place in the company of the people you love most in life, that's one of the greatest things in the world. That example of the "bettering" of one another comes organically. But to only find a desire to be kinder, more selfless, more decent because another person is kind, selfless, and decent is putting way too much liability on the other person, and it means not taking responsibility for yourself.

By telling me that I'm the reason he wants to be a better person, he's putting me on a pedestal that I cannot possibly live up to all the time.

He's holding me liable for his desire to stop his negative behaviors rather than it coming from a true desire to be better. If being with me or around me is the only reason he's decided he needs to get his act together and start being a decent human being, I'm here to tell him that he should really reevaluate.

Because what happens when we break up?

What happens if we have a falling out for some reason or another, and I'm not longer in his life to "inspire" him to be better? His desire to be better disappears alongside me, because his desire never really came from his heart anyway. He go back to the same negative behavior that he had in the first place unless he came come to the realization that being a good person has to come from a real desire within.

I don't have the time to pander to people who can't take responsibility for their actions.

It shouldn't have to be my job to show anyone what being a decent human being looks like. His parents should have instilled that in him when they were raising him, and if not that, he should have been able to recognize elsewhere what kindness and decency looked like in other people so that he could emulate it himself. If he's a grown adult who says he didn't recognize what being good meant until he met you, that says more about him than it does about you.

The point of all of this is simple; it is an extremely important life lesson to learn that you are not responsible for anyone's actions and feelings except for your own.

You are not accountable for the decisions someone else makes, and that's the truth. No one is dating someone with the intent on raising him and teaching him how to behave or exist as a functionally member of society, and no one should have to.

I'm not saying it's a red flag to hear it. Often times it is said with good intentions and sometimes it is meant in the organic sort of way I mentioned before. But my advice if you're ever told this; think about it. Consider it a pink flag, one that makes you do some evaluating before you smile bigly and accept the comment as though it is a badge of honor.

Above all, hold people responsible for their own actions and don't let them make you feel responsible instead.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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