Are you making someone else responsible for your happiness?
Its a big question and a pattern I’ve repeated over and over in my life and relationships only to end up hurt and heart broken in the end. A couple of years ago, after ending a very toxic relationship and being so heart broken for what seemed like the millionth time I decided to do everything in my power to understand myself and my patterns so I stopped repeating them.
A huge one for me is giving up on my own happiness and making someone else responsible for making me happy. And likewise I am responsible for making THEM happy. And that is SO MUCH pressure and so NOT fun or joyous.
So what makes us think that others should be the ones to make us happy? (and vice-versa)
First when you make someone responsible for making you feel a certain type of way be it happy, loved, safe or secure you set yourself up for failure immediately (and them).
You automatically betray yourself because when you give your happiness away to another person that means it can be taken from you at any given moment.
The real truth is that if you make yourself responsible for your own happiness it can never be taken away from you by another…NEVER.
And that is a beautiful empowering feeling!
To know that no matter what happens no other person on this earth can take away love, happiness or security from you creates a feeling of automatic joy!
But how do you actually make yourself happy? Without anyone else involved in that process?
The truth is that having connection and relationships with others especially romantic ones, does make us happy. Period. The rub comes when we put all responsibility for our own happiness on the other person – that’s when things start to go south.
Because the minute that person doesn’t text us back right away, doesn’t call, doesn’t remember our birthday or buys a crappy present for Christmas we automatically go into self talk that looks like this:
“Are they cheating on me?”
“Did I do something wrong?”
“Why are they pulling away from me?”
“I can’t believe this is happening AGAIN! Am I just that unlovable? What do I have to do to make someone love me?”
And the list goes on…and your self-worth plummets, your heart races, your chest tenses up and more often than not you blow up on the other person accusing them of all sorts of crazy things and then you feel even WORSE by the end of it!
We’ve all been there especially in romantic relationships because our society is setup to tell us that you can’t be happy unless someone else is out there working super hard to make you happy.
But what if you did this for yourself first? What if you created a foundation for yourself that made you feel safe and secure and loved and happy right out of the gate? What would happen then? What would your relationships look like then?
Here are a few ways I’ve learned to do that and just by doing these few things I’ve empowered myself to feel safe and create sacred space for my needs and emotions. (and totally remove that responsibility from my partner, my daughter or anyone else in my life)
1. Journal it out
When someone does something that makes you feel sad, betrayed, unloved, etc. talk with yourself about it first and be sooo honest with yourself! Write out how it makes you feel and why it makes you feel this way. Ask yourself “Why do I feel this way?” “What do I really need here?” and “How can I take responsibility for this?” (Note: the word responsibility means the ability to respond – it is simply a way of responding to yourself and your needs first and being very honest in the process.)
2. Write yourself love notes
Leave little sticky notes for yourself before you go to bed that you can read in the morning. They could be affirmations or just simple words of love like “I love you” “you are worthy of love, belonging and connection”, “you are doing so awesome, I am so proud of you”, etc.
3. Give to someone else what you WANT
If you want more love, more joy or more connection give that to someone else. Give it to the person you want to receive from. Sometimes without realizing it we block our own ability to receive love. Someone might be giving us love but we can’t see it because we aren’t receiving it. By giving to others what we wish to receive we open the door to receiving it!
When we are willing to be responsible for our own happiness we then empower ourselves to create relationships that are beautiful, honest and that feel safe and secure for both parties. We deepen the ability to connect and we are then able to create real intimacy and allow ourselves to be truly vulnerable.