Independently Happy

I take happiness seriously. So you don't have to.

Happiness Isn’t Something You Can Give

Giving makes both giver and givee (word!) feel great. If you’ve watched enough Hallmark channel during October, November, and December, you already know that giving makes you happier than getting. I’ll leave that for you to check out. Incidentally, A Golden Christmas II is one of our faves. Giving happiness doesn’t work, though. You can’t make someone else happy. Happiness isn’t something you can give.

Beautiful image by klimkin at pixabay.com

Beautiful image by klimkin at pixabay.com

This is the third of nine posts in my How to Be Happy series. To start from the beginning, check out Happiness Isn’t Something Can You Find.

It feels good to give

…and it probably even helps the givee fulfill some basic needs.

However, regardless of how amazing the gift is, you can’t give someone else happiness. Don’t feel bad when your amazing wonderful gift doesn’t make them happy. It might give them a few hours or days of pleasure and joy, but that will wear off.

Yes, I’m even talking about a trip to Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Their Happiness is not your responsibility

Don’t try to take that responsibility. You’ll only frustrate yourself. You might even become a little resentful of the person to whom you keep giving things only for them to remain unhappy. Plus you’re contributing to that person’s mistaken impression that happiness is something they can be given. See Happiness isn’t something you can get.

No matter how affluential, influential, thoughtful or determined you are, you can’t make someone else happy over the long term.  You can’t make them Independently Happy.

At best, they just become dependent on you to make them feel good. That eventually makes both of you miserable and resentful. You resent them for not appreciating what you’ve given, and they resent you for not giving enough.

The only way to give happiness

…is to teach others–especially our children–that happiness can’t be given or got. Model giving to others, then encourage others to build, contribute, deposit and give.

The only way to give #happiness is to teach that happiness can't be given. -Shayne Seymour Click To Tweet

Giving is good, just don’t give with the expectation that you’re going to give lasting happiness. Give to make someone feel loved, to feel good giving and to model giving.

Let’s model, not spoil.

In fact let’s segue into the next section.  One possible way to help someone become happy to is to help them realize that…

Check out the fourth post in my How to Be Happy series: Your Happiness Is your Responsibility.

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