Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Is everybody happy?

In the past week I've encountered examples of how I feel the responsibility to make other people happy. I have to stop that, and realize that it's everyone's individual responsibility to obtain their own happiness. I can be a mentor. I can listen. But I cannot create happiness for someone else.

Example 1: I climbed with my ex on Saturday. He was talking again about he has no friends, and now noone to climb with either. And said something about going to see a movie sometime. And asked about climbing with my friend B and me on Mon/Wed. I felt a little suffocated, but also sorry for him and wanted to help him out. I sent some email later that day and we had some back and forth that led him to ultimately call me. And he reminded me that I'm not responsible for making him happy. It made me cry, because I really want people I care about to be happy.

Example 2: This one was so friggin' convoluted. S is a woman who was at J-tree last year with another friend. I want to climb with her someday on a trip. I mentioned J-tree to her this year before plans were being made. M is the one who owns the house. Exhibit A had mentioned how he would like to see S again. So I sort of created a mess because I don't really know her well enough to push to have her at J-tree (ie twist M's arm), and M kinda wanted a small group this year. And she's a climbing fool and will do anything to climb. So I told her to sort of invite herself, and that went over poorly. And I finally had to tell M that I was responsible for the chaos. Ack, you likely don't understand this one, but let me just say it was hard for me to admit my part in it all since I thought M would be mad at me and I thought I had created stress for him. And I almost cried talking to him.

Sigh. I need to just work on making myself happy.


Susan said...

Do I need to send you another snail mail, woman? I'm actually better at that than blogging to be honest.

Ananda girl said...

I have a similar deal with wanting everyone to be happy. I can't stand strife. I will give up just about anything for the sake of peace. It's usually a no win situation that I end up in, wishing that I had stayed out of it.

laura b. said...

It seems a lot of women, in particular, have that issue...you're not happy? What can *I* do? Well maybe something, maybe nothing.
Don't beat yourself up about it, but yeah, just work on making yourself into the happy one. You deserve it.

3GirlKnight said...


I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to make people happy. First and foremost though would be to choose to do the right thing..

Choosing to do things to make someone else happy is part of loving that person. There's nothing wrong with loving people. (Of course, the closer you get to people, sometimes loving people is to help them stop destructive behavior...which usually doesn't make them happy. 'Nuther subject...)

I've learned to not worry so much about how other people might react, but still be cognizent about their feelings and look for things to do for them that they would like, rather than not. If I get it wrong...try, try again.

Good post!

Pamela said...

Susan, no, though I love getting them!

Andanda, which is exactly what happens. It's really no win.

Laura - yes, women tend to do it more, for sure.

3GK - doing things to make others happy is different than feeling responsible for their happiness and trying to change the world so they are happy. very very different.

Churlita said...

I used to be the same way. I still wish everyone could be happy, but I don't feel responsible for it. I spent 4 years not being in a relationship and working on my own happiness. It really helped me. I'm not happy all of the time, but I am most of the time.