Happiness is the one thing everyone wants in their life, and many people usually go to extreme lengths while pursuing it. But when asked the question ‘What makes you happy?’ most people usually answer by naming their family, friends, career, and material possessions. While all these are good things, attaching your happiness to them is not okay.
If you attach your happiness to people or things, you give external factors power over your emotions and, therefore, your life. You may only feel happy when they are present and feel horrible when they are no longer there. For instance, you could be happy when you are rich; but if something happens and you become less affluent or broke, you may feel crushed, blame yourself, and wallow in self-pity.
Although it is okay to feel negative emotions in unfavorable situations, depending on others, achievements, and things for happiness will most likely affect your quality of life adversely. In this post, we shall discuss several reasons why you should not attach your happiness to people and things. We will also provide some tips on how to take control of your own happiness. Read on.
Why You Shouldn’t Attach Your Happiness to People and Things
- Death is inevitable for all of us
One of the hard truths we must accept about life is that we shall not live forever. Our time here is limited because none of us can escape death. You will die one day, your loved ones will also pass away, and it can happen at any age and at any time.
If you attach your happiness to people and they die, what will happen to you? Does that mean you will never be happy again? Will you be stuck in the past, grieving and reminiscing about happy times for the rest of your life? What will you live for going forward?
The negative impacts of loved ones’ deaths on you are some of the reasons why you should not attach your happiness to people. It is okay to love your family and friends and have fun with them, but don’t let them be your only source of joy or reason for living.
- People may leave
Whether it is your parents, siblings, significant other, children, or colleagues and friends, everyone who is currently in your life, contributing to your happiness can leave you if they choose to. And, sometimes, there isn’t much you can do about it. Their reasons for going away may not even be malicious, and you have probably not done anything to make them leave.
For example, your kids could go away to school or get married and contact you less often; siblings and friends could move to another country, be in different time zones, or have more responsibilities, and hence you rarely get to see each other or talk. Your colleagues could also leave your common place of work for greener pastures and get new work friends there.
If your happiness is attached to these people and you depend on them always being in your life as your support system and source of joy, their leaving could result in mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
READ ALSO: How to Keep More Good Friends in Your Life
- People can change
You fell in love with this person, and they are the only one who makes you happy. But they have changed lately. Perhaps they no longer have time for you, have a substance abuse problem, or physically/emotionally/sexually abuse you. What now?
You may think you know a person well, but their feelings, personality, habits, and behavior can change with time. Change is the only constant in life, and the fact that someone may change is one of the reasons why you should not attach your happiness to people.
If your happiness has nothing to do with a particular person, you will have an easier time reacting to whoever they may turn into as you spend more time with them. Whether they change positively or negatively, you can take the necessary actions to either accept who they are now or cut them off from your life.
- Your self-worth will be affected
When a particular person is the only one who can make you happy, you may start determining your self-worth based on how they view you. If they express negative emotions or opinions to you, you could take it personally and think that you did something to deserve that reaction.
You will depend on them for validation, believing that you only deserve what they think you deserve when it comes to happiness, success, love, and other aspects of life. Their emotions and reactions, especially the negative ones, could affect your feelings toward yourself.
While it is okay for someone to bring out positive emotions in you, don’t depend on them or allow them to be your only source of happiness. No one should have that much power over you. Your independence, self-respect, and worth are some of the reasons why you should not attach your happiness to people and things.
- It is unfair to place that responsibility on someone
Attaching your happiness to someone could make them feel responsible for making you happy. But that is a heavy burden to put on anyone, especially since everyone has their own struggles in life.
When you are needy for love and attention, someone who loves you may burn themselves out or change themselves while trying to please you. These people probably also have their own problems and are going through some hard times themselves. Are they supposed to fake joy for your sake?
It is unfair and unhealthy to give somebody else the responsibility of making you happy. The unfair position you are putting the other person in is a good reason why you should not attach your happiness to people.
When you place this burden on someone else, not only is it an unfair action, but it could also strain your relationship with them. What should this person do if they need a shoulder to cry on when they are going through a difficult time? What if they don’t want to be responsible for making you happy? Your happiness is your responsibility!
- You could lose all your material possessions
Now you know why you should not attach your happiness to people, and here is one reason not to let it be defined by material possessions either. You could lose them at any time, hit rock bottom, and have to go back to square one.
Material possessions are often not permanent and they may never satisfy your desire for happiness. For example, money is fleeting, people lose their jobs, companies go under, clothes go out of style, and cars or houses could get destroyed by an act of God.
If you attach your happiness to these impermanent things, what will happen to you when they are gone?
- Your happiness should come from within
Lastly, and most importantly, another reason why you should not attach your happiness to people and things is that your happiness should come from within. You have to take the responsibility to make YOU happy. It is time you stopped looking for external sources of happiness and create it.
So how can you take control of your own happiness? Read on for some ways to create happiness instead of attaching it to other people and things;
How to Take Control of Your Happiness
- Stop being needy and accept the responsibility of making yourself happy
- Do more things that you love
- Pamper yourself and practice some tender loving care
- Consume more positive materials, e.g. books, funny videos, memes, motivational blogs, etc.
- Work on your self-esteem and know your worth
- Learn to be okay and have fun, even when you are on your own
- Let go of anything that doesn’t contribute to your happiness, e.g. the past, toxic relationships, and unfulfilling jobs.
- Redefine success and happiness without using material possessions as a factor
- Handle your problems instead of complaining or always expecting others to provide solutions
- Appreciate the small things in life, e.g. waking up to a new day you can seize, the sounds of nature, the sun on your face, music, the smell of soil after it rains, the smell of books, laughing till you can’t do it anymore, and the sweet scent of flowers, among many others.
The people around us and the things we own can contribute to our happiness, but they should never be the only sources of positive emotions. As you have seen above, there are many reasons why you should not attach your happiness to people and things.
Take charge of your life, and use the tips provided to create your own happiness and thrive even when you are on your own or without material possessions.
Read more articles from Aisles of Life here.