Simply stated, the concept of needing to make everyone happy is putting everyone else before yourself in a more drastic way. It sounds selfless, right? It’s because it is. But, while you’re trying to be the good guy, your conflicted feelings of who to please and the difficulty of keeping peace eats you alive. Your happiness should always come first, but it’s easier said than done. Here’s why that feeling to please everyone is nonsense, and why making yourself happy is the most necessary.
If you aren’t sure if you are trying to make everyone happy, you can ask yourself a few questions.
Who are you living life for?
If the answer is anyone but yourself, you have a problem. It’s okay to say you live your life inspired by someone, but it’s different when you act because you think a specific person would want to act that way, or you behave just to receive approval from someone. Are you pursuing a career path just because someone asked you to? Did you design your apartment based on your grandma’s wishes? When you decide to do things for yourself, it’s allowing you to learn more about yourself and focus on your true wishes. No matter what, you’ll always have yourself in the end.
What actions have you taken to benefit yourself?
Okay, so maybe you wore a dress that your mom likes, or you ate something that your aunt insisted tasted amazing but was the opposite. If you are doing this on a repeated basis, you’re not benefiting yourself, you’re only benefiting those around you. Of-course, it’s easier to say yes, but when it becomes a pattern of substituting your own wishes to save some hurt feelings, it has gone too far.
Are you a “yes” person?
Do you consistently say yes, no matter how loaded the task? Are you afraid of letting people down? Maybe it’s at work, or maybe it’s with your professors. You want to do everything you possibly can, but, you can only do so much. Did your parents ever use the analogy “well, if ‘(name)’ told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?”. It’s the same idea. You can’t say yes to everything. It’s unhealthy.
The only person you need to worry about making happy is yourself. Not everyone is going to approve of what you do, and that is okay. You don’t need to make everyone happy. If you live your life trying to make everyone else happy, just like I admittedly still do, (I’m in recovery), you’ll drive yourself crazy. It’s almost like an addiction, it’s hard to stop. It’s a trait you can’t just get rid of. I can name a lot of reasons I’m happy, based on things that have happened, or people I’ve met; so can you. I recently found myself the happiest when I stopped caring about what people were going to say. I made a decision, and I ignored the negative things people said. I promise you, the moment I did that, I’ve never been better.