There are so many levels to do this. The first is probably a simple action like watching a TV show that you have no interest in because your partner is interested in it. Then it gets higher (like studying something to make your parents happy) and then finding that secure job to make your family happy. Then finally it’s living that all moral/high values life to make society happy. Don’t read this the wrong way; I’m not saying there is something wrong with it. On many levels we need this influence to keep us in check. Our actions do not just affect us but affect those around us. They probably affect more people than you realise. For example, think about if you just decided to quit your job tomorrow. If you have any dependants they would be affected by your decision; your colleagues and peers would be affected by your decision and because your attitude and stress levels would change your friends would probably be affected. Whether it’s negative or positive depends on how the decision makes you change and how it affects you.
But I digress.
So back to doing something to make someone else happy – I was often told that I am selfish and that I think about myself more than others and sometimes I would come across as being stubborn because I refused to do or be part of a certain action that would make many or one person happy. The question then becomes: Do we always have to make others happy or is making others happy part of what makes us happy? Or is making ourselves happy the way we make others happy?
Maybe the starting point with the first level is to spend time with people who bring out the best in you. And sometimes this may mean doing things you are not necessarily interested in and them doing things they are not necessarily interested in but it requires so little effort because making them happy truly does make you happy. This was proven this weekend where my friends joined me in watching a sport and team live that neither are convinced they support. They saw it as an opportunity to experience something different and my partner, who could have complained about having three females tag along on what most people would call, a couple’s special day (i.e. Valentine’s day) thrived with all the extra attention. And me? Well, I was enjoying spending time with some of the people who make me happy. And if that couldn’t have made me happy then I’m not sure what would do the trick.
On a higher level it becomes more complicated because it involves making decisions based on people you do not know or may not even care about. It involves a balancing act between living with a decision of making yourself happy in the hope that others would be affected positively or that you, yourself, would be affected positively. It is always those decisions that make us seem selfish or stubborn because it may seem that we place our happiness above others. The true intention however may be the hope that you have that if you become happier those around you will be happier.
And how could those around you and society fault you for being happier?