The Feeling Of Needing To Make Everyone Happy

The Feeling Of Needing To Make Everyone Happy

And Why It's Nonsense

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.

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Being An Empath Is Not Always Fun And Games

Really, it's exhausting most of the time.

Being an empath is something that I pride myself in. In case you the reader does not know, an empath is basically someone who is able to read and understand people just by watching their actions. We absorb these emotions, with our own moods becoming sour after conversing with someone who has had a bad day or becoming equally excited as your best friend after finding out that they got the job that they applied for. Being an empath is something that I truly appreciate about myself, as it helps me understand people and their situations without getting extremely nosy, and I can also come up with better ways to help others.

Sometimes though, being an empath is not all it is cracked up to be.

Have you ever had a best friend come crying to you, but cannot help them in any way? I have several friends who I cannot stand to see cry. Even the slightest tear has me crying right along with them, and I want to do anything I can to help them out and help them feel happy again. However, have you ever been in the situation where you cannot help your friend in any way? This happens to me especially with my friends back home while I am at school. There is nothing I can do but sit with them and feel the same sadness that they are feeling, even when I don’t have any reason to feel this way.

I get so invested in the feelings others that sometimes, I tend to get my emotions confused with the emotions of others. For example, a friend could be over in my room venting to me about some professor they are mad at, and then they will leave. Hours later, I will feel a surge of frustration from this situation, but I will be confused about why I feel this way. Later I will figure out it is leftover frustration from my friend's situation, but the unknown frustration is puzzling and confusing for however long it lasts.

It’s frustrating to just feel the emotions of others around you, and not to have any tangible cause for said feelings.

Have you ever gotten the sense when someone doesn’t like you, but can’t say anything to them about it because they don’t know that you know? This situation is honestly the worst. They may not deliberately be mean to your face; they take the passive route or are just really fake nice to you. You sense the disgust on their breath as they try to make small talk with you, and you know by the way they stare you down that honestly would rather be talking to a brick wall than you. You start to get this creepy-crawly feeling in your belly, and you start searching for a way out, but there is no escape. You yourself are stuck talking to this person because you read into emotions too much, and you can’t let this secret get out.

And you know what else is bad about that? After any of these sorts of interactions, I end up feeling more down on myself than I ever planned on being. Sure, these people have their rightful reasons for acting this way, but I shouldn’t have to feel so awful after they were trying their hardest to be nice to me. They are trying their hardest to put their differences aside and have a pleasant conversation with me, but all I can do is see past their small-talk and understand really how they feel.

As I have said before, I would not want to change who I am in hopes of feeling less of the negative energy of others. As much as it feels as if I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders sometimes, my empathetic side of myself is what propels my random acts of kindness and resilience, and that is something that I could not bear to part with.

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What It Is Like To Be A College Student With Anxiety

In the United States alone, 40 million people over the age of 18 struggle with an anxiety disorder.

College is a stressful time for everyone. It's a new environment that everyone adjusts to in different ways. There are classes that require a conscious effort to attend, laundry that won't do itself, and the concept of making a whole new group of friends can also be stressful for some people.

But college is especially hard going into if you have an anxiety disorder. Multiple studies have shown that, in the United States alone, 40 million people ages 18 and older struggle with at least one form of an anxiety disorder.

In all, there are six types of major anxiety disorders. These include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobia, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to that, everyone handles their anxiety differently and the list of things that can trigger anxiety can seem endless.

Often, people that don't struggle with clinically diagnosed anxiety think that it's just something that people can talk themselves out of. This is understandable. Like depression, it's hard to understand and fully grasp what goes on in someone else's body if you don't struggle with it yourself. Also, because mental illnesses affect everyone differently, sometimes one person's anxiety can affect them differently than it affects others. This makes treating anxiety tricky.

I'm not talking about regular anxiety and stress like when you have a major test and you're worried about your grade or what's going to happen to your social status in college if you're an introvert that has a hard time talking to people. Those are things that many people worry about and it's not what constitutes an anxiety disorder. Don't get me wrong, those fears are completely valid and could certainly be included in an anxiety disorder, but odds are if your worries stick to practical things like that, you probably don't have an anxiety order, but rather just anxiety produced from stress.

Having an anxiety disorder while in college can be interesting. Some days are good and others you wake up and you just feel on edge or depleted even though you just woke up. And sometimes even talking about it doesn't bring much of a change.

Going through college with an anxiety disorder can be difficult, but anxiety doesn't have to define your college experience. I've had anxiety since I was a child, anxiety that has taken different forms in different stages of my life. But surrounding myself with people who encourage me was a necessity. Maybe they can't completely relate, but they have helped to lighten my mood when I'm having a bad day internally.

It is normal for someone who struggles with anxiety to wonder when life will get better, but maybe we're taking the wrong approach. Maybe instead of wondering when our anxiety will end completely, we need to think about the good days in between and embrace those so much that, when we have a bad or an anxious day, we can draw strength from the good memories.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash - Gerome Viavant

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