This is a topic that I have dealt with and in my 30 year psychology practice, I have had more than one person in my office with the same problem.
They are trying to make everyone in their life happy and they are miserable because they feel like they are failing.
When they perceive that someone is not happy whom they have taken responsibility for, well, they become miserable.
You see, the one person that you have control over – you – is now subject to any number of other people and how you perceive their happiness.
Not that you can really tell.
Do you see how impossible this is?
You – can’t – make – everyone – happy!
Just not possible.
We can do things that please other people, but we are not responsible for their emotional health and happiness.
You are responsible for your emotional health, and they are responsible for theirs.
The first way to address this problem is to ask yourself, “Is this working for me?” If it's not, let it go.
The second one is something I teach to all my clients. I call it metacognition, you may know it as mindfulness. It is thinking about your thinking. It is about creating a space where you can open up other possibilities.
You see, something is not a possibility until you see it as a possibility.
We want to open up all our options because then we have choices.
You can choose to be responsible for everyone’s happiness – or not.
It really is that simple.
And, simple is not always easy. That is why people hire coaches.
Third, choose a job that you have control over.
Trying to make everyone happy is not a job that you can do or control. You aren’t a puppeteer controlling everyone’s strings.
What if your job was to love them no matter what and even if…
Do you see who is in control of that?
Does it depend on what anyone else does?
You may not be happy with choices people make, but you can choose to love them.
It also helps us to get clear on what we are trying to do when we say we want to make everyone happy. Are we really trying to make them happy or are we trying to control them? Have we figured out in our minds what they need to do to be happy and so we are attempting to steer them in that direction?
Once we release ourselves from that responsibility we are then able to let go of what is weighing us down.
It worked for me, for my clients and it can work for you.