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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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Making a Decision: an Indecisive Guide

To all the indecisive people out there: you are not alone

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I am the queen of indecision. For me, making a choice will have me frantically calling both of my parents, asking all of my friends' advice and postponing all studying until the decision is made. Of course, this is because I do not want to make a choice that I regret – such as the time I decided that starting my job at 6:30 am would be a good idea, or the time when I scared my friends with how hyper I was after drinking both coffee and Boba tea. Yet when I take this caution of making the wrong choice too far, the decision-making process itself ends up being regrettable. So much so that I called my mom approximately seven times this weekend to ask her advice on a decision. So much so that my brother used an example of me not being able to choose what kind of shoe I should wear in his article.

This weekend, I was presented with two amazing opportunities to make a difference in the world this summer and I entered a stage of decision paralysis that I did not know was possible. No matter which angle I looked at each situation from, they both would provide me with a phenomenal experience, and would both require sacrifices. Despite not (as of yet) reaching a concrete decision, I learned a lot about the decision-making process and what to do in the next time I am faced with a difficult choice. So, in the spirit of finding summer jobs, gearing up to register for classes and deciding what on earth we want to do with our futures, here are the tips and tricks that I would follow to make the best decision that you can.

Don't overthink it.

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Really, this goes without thinking! Or, unlike most of us, it goes with a LOT of thinking! Seriously though, if you overthink things, they will turn into a pudding mush in your brain until you don't know what you don't know anymore. There is a very fine line between thinking through all your options and overthinking them – and judging by the number of times I called my mom this weekend, definitely crossed it.

Always use the pro-con list

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Ah, the Gilmore Girls. Not only did you inspire me to read every single book under the sun or have a witty conversation full of cultural references no one else understands, but you also taught me the beauty of the pro-con list. Choosing what you want can be messy and difficult to find because of the fears you might have. distinguish from the fears. Writing it all down on paper can often illuminate the right decision and show you which path is ultimately better.

Decide on your make-or-break factor

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Sometimes even the best pro-and-con lists will not be enough and will leave you in a frantic analysis ("should I go for the decision with 3 cons or 3.5 cons?") When even the Gilmore method fails, fear not! Consider which factors you truly do not want to compromise on and go from there. This can mean that even the worse decision may be the right one for you.

Trust your gut

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As much as it is difficult to dig through your feelings to find your true motives behind a decision, your gut can sometimes tell you what you are most passionate about and therefore what decision is best for you to take. As my Emory Reads friends tell me, passion trumps everything. Choosing which decision aligns with your values will often lead you to make the best and most-satisfying decision.

But trust your head as well

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But your gut can't always be trusted. It can lie to you, and when you overthink too much, it can change its mind. Your gut feeling may be one that is furthermore borne out of fear of the other option. In that way, I have made many a good decision based on the pure basis of rationality. Using only our heart to make important decisions allows fear to be one of the factors, whereas looking at the decision rationally can help you see the ultimate path.

Ask around

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When I am puzzled about making a risky decision, I often consult the people in my life who are on my side and want the best for me. These people can help you gauge what your heart truly desires, bring up factors that you haven't considered and even act as a support network for you while making this decision. When your mind kicks into over-analysis, sometimes a fresh perspective is all you need to truly make a confident choice. Decisions are hard, people. Don't make them on your own.=

Don't ask everyone

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There is such a thing as consulting others to make an important decision, and there is such a thing as relying on them to make your decision. If you ask too many people from too wide a pool, you'll end up having opinions for and against what you are proposing, which means that someone will always be disappointed in your decision. The bottom line is, asking too many people for their opinions is frustrating, no matter what – whether they have contradicting opinions, or they just nod their heads and go "hmmm, tough choice" (thanks, I guess?). In order to avoid frustration, consult the people in your life who know you the best and are dearest to you, rather than the stranger in front of you in line for fries at the DUC.

"Would my dad be proud?"

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Or your granddad, or your mom, or your professor, or even a TV character. Whoever you know whose morals you can measure your decision up to will often provide reason and illumination. If the decision you are making is not too wild and you feel that you will have their approval, then it is likely not detrimental.

Stick with your decision!

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Resolutely make up your mind and refuse to turn back. Exercise your right as a free individual to make a choice for yourself, and then do not second-guess it. Please don't do what I did and email a company two days later saying you've changed your mind. Please.

There is not always a right decision

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Sometimes both decisions you are presented with have different but equally good opportunities. In that case, lucky you! You have two amazing opportunities and therefore cannot mess up. Rather than stressing that you are picking the wrong choice, know that you cannot go wrong in either.

Realize you will grow no matter what

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Decision-making should be viewed as a challenge and a privilege rather than a burden. Make big, bold and beautiful decisions. Making up your mind can lead to a phenomenal experience that you will adore or a difficult experience that will only fashion you into a better person. Positive consequences can come out of any decision, even if we land in an upsetting position. Each choice we make can positively contribute to our character, fashioning us into the person we are becoming, day by day.


By the time this article is published, I will know my decision. And hopefully, by the end of this article, you will know yours. Let's continue to make decisions courageously, following both our heads and our hearts. Let's be determined to grow through our decisions, realizing that we have made the best choice we could, and never looking back.

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