• No one should be alone in this. We can help.
If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.                                                                            If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Advertisement

Main Menu
Sponsored Links
Donate to DF
Latest Forum Topics
Search

Find a Therapist
Powered by Good Therapy
Lindsay  Lindsay

You Have To Be Happy Before You Make Someone Else Happy

5.19.2011


I repeat this phrase a lot to my friends: you have to be happy before you make someone else happy. So often I hear of people unsuccessfully trying to make someone else happy. They give and give and give, but nothing seems to work. They actually believe that the more they sacrifice, the more it shows they care, even though it couldn’t be further from the truth.

You can give all you want, but you can’t give something that you don’t already have. If you haven’t achieved happiness for yourself, then how could you possibly help someone else achieve their happiness? It’s impossible. You may be able to provide some short-term pleasure, but you can’t teach someone something that you have no understanding of.

When it comes to first achieving happiness for yourself, I’m reminded of the lecture they often give on airplanes about oxygen masks. They always tell you that in times of emergency you should put your oxygen mask on first, then help your neighbors put on their masks. The reasoning is simple: if you don’t put on your oxygen mask first, you suffer a greater likelihood of dying; and you can’t help anyone once you’re dead.

In the same way, you can’t make someone happy if you’re depressed. You have to take care of yourself first before taking care of others. Anything else is a recipe for disaster for the both of you. Some may even try to do charitable things with the expectation that it will automatically make them and the other person happy. But, while doing good things for people can increase your own well-being, if you don’t do it from the right place – with the right intentions – then you won’t get the long-term gratification. Especially if you are helping someone just for your own sake (because you expect it will make you happy), then the warmness of the act is lost, and your pleasure from doing the act will be minimal at best. Helping others feels best when you genuinely want to help others.

Now let’s say you have already achieved happiness. Now you are in a much better position to help someone else achieve their own happiness. When you walk into a room and light it up with joy, other people catch that like an infection. When you share your stories and advice with enthusiasm, people will begin to perk up their ears and actually listen to you. And when people see you standing up for your beliefs and achieving your goals and values, they are more motivated to do the same for themselves. You become a role model.


 








Still, nothing is guaranteed. You can’t change anyone without their permission. And some people just aren’t willing to permit themselves to be happy no matter what. Like I described in my post

The Desire To Change People: we can try to talk with someone, reason with them, encourage them, or lead by example, but if someone isn’t open to learning something new, they won’t learn it. People have their own sense of free will, so we can’t always change them to think and feel how we want them to think and feel. That’s an important limitation to acknowledge (even if we don’t know exactly where the line is drawn). Of course, I don’t want to discourage you from helping others, but I want you to know that there is a point where it may be best to cut your losses and walk away. Some people can be emotional leeches, they depend on your pity in order to manipulate you. It’s sad, but some people don’t want to be happy simply because they don’t want to take action or take responsibility. They want someone else to do all the work for them, but that too is impossible.




theemotionmachine.com

This Month In Pictures
augatlanticcity.jpg
Members Online
Follow Us On Twitter
Like Us On Facebook
Medical News
  • At the origin of language structure
    There are languages that place the verb between the subject and the object (SVO order-Subject/ Verb/ Object) while others place it at the end of the trio (SOV order).
    Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today
    Friday, 28 August 2015 06:00
  • Aggression in children linked to gene variant
    Norwegian researchers have found a correlation between aggression and the particular gene variants present in children when they had experienced or not experienced serious life events.
    Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today
    Friday, 28 August 2015 06:00
  • Could neuroticism stem from overthinking?
    Researchers have proposed a new cognitive model for neuroticism, suggesting that this personality trait could be explained by overthinking rather than sensitivity to threat.
    Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today
    Friday, 28 August 2015 04:00
  • About 10 percent of mothers experienced depression 2 years after Hurricane Katrina, study shows
    About 10 percent of mothers experienced chronic, persistent depressive symptoms two years after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,800 people, displacing hundreds of...
    Depression News From Medical News Today
    Friday, 28 August 2015 00:00
  • UF researchers find memory problems in some people with Parkinson's disease
    Using a combination of neuropsychological testing and brain imaging, University of Florida researchers have discovered that in a group of recently-diagnosed patients with Parkinson's disease, about...
    Mental Health News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 27 August 2015 23:00
  • Circadian genes go to sleep every day at the periphery of the nucleus
    Mobility between different physical environments in the cell nucleus regulates the daily oscillations in the activity of genes that are controlled by the internal biological clock, according to a...
    Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 27 August 2015 22:00
  • Self-control saps memory, study says
    Cancelling an intended action seems to weaken memoryYou're driving on a busy road and you intend to switch lanes when you suddenly realize that there's a car in your blind spot.
    ADHD News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 27 August 2015 21:00
  • Goth teens could be more vulnerable to depression and self-harm
    Young people who identify with the goth subculture might be at increased risk of depression and self-harm, according to new research published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.
    Depression News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 27 August 2015 21:00
  • Covert and overt forms of sexism are equally damaging to working women
    Frequent sexist wisecracks, comments and office cultures where women are ignored are just as damaging to women as single instances of sexual coercion and unwanted sexual attention, according to a new...
    Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 27 August 2015 06:00
  • Taking a cue from nature: Turning alcohols into alkylating agents
    Researchers at Princeton have developed a dual catalyst system that directly installs alkyl groups--fragments containing singly bonded carbon and hydrogen atoms that have extremely useful properties...
    Pharma Industry / Biotech Industry News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 27 August 2015 06:00
  • Is neuroticism fueled by overthinking?
    Isaac Newton was a classic neurotic. He was a brooder and a worrier, prone to dwelling on the scientific problems before him as well as his childhood sins.
    Anxiety / Stress News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 27 August 2015 06:00
  • Study finds fair trade logo boosts consumer's willingness to pay
    Researchers at the University of Bonn investigate how our brain responds to the ethical logoProducts labeled with a Fair Trade logo cause prospective buyers to dig deeper into their pockets.
    Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 27 August 2015 05:00
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Latest Articles
Andertoon
Daily Toon Click to enlarge
ANDERTOONS.COM PSYCHIATRY CARTOONSPsychiatry Cartoonsby Andertoons
Favourite Tweets by @DepressionForum
Depression Forums - A Depression & Mental Health Community Support Group
Copyright © 2014 The Depression Forums Incorporated - A Depression & Mental Health Social Community Support Group. All rights reserved.
The Depression Forums are intended to enable members to benefit from the experience of other members who have faced similar mental health issues by sharing their experiences.
* DF does NOT vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any posting or the qualifications of any person responding.
Use of the Forums is subject to our Terms Of Service (TOS) and forum guidelines which prohibit advertisements, solicitations or other commercial messages by members, or false, defamatory, abusive, vulgar, or harassing messages and may subject violators to be banned from the forums.
All postings reflect the views of the author but become the property of DepressionForums.org. Your personal information will never be shared with others.
If you have any questions on how it will be used, please see our our privacy policy.
Information supplied on Depression Forums should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.
* DF © is an acronym for DepressionForums.org