Wow, that is a loaded title!! I mean dang, but this idea and topic came from the conversation that formed under the article, ‘ 5 Defeating Actions Keeping You From Success‘. What a powerful conversation that was and a great way to bring the community together. Thank you to everyone who shared!
I noticed a majority of comments touched on the idea of not taking on other people’s problems. The messages ranged from having a hard time with this idea to completely seeing how it has changed lives, and others spoke about how they really want to implement this idea into their current life. I found this fascinating and was really moved by each one.
Your Happiness Is More Important Than Other People’s Misery
I, myself, had a hard time learning this life principle. Which is why I thought it would be important to continue sharing on it. I found the more I read, heard and saw the message the more it sunk in. My eyes opened up to the possibility that not only can I handle things differently so that I would be happier, but the people around me would benefit as well.
Before I changed and stopped taking on other people’s problems as my own, I had helped loved ones with issues for years. To the point I would drop what I was doing to be there for them. Where did it get me? I became physically sick, miserable, depressed, and not any closer to my own personal goals. Where did it get my loved ones? Not one step closer to living a happier, more fulfilling life. In short, it was an epic fail all around.
What I learned is everyone has their own journey and own lessons. Often they need to learn these lessons on their own so they can really get the message deep down inside! I myself, learn the best that way. I don’t like when people tell me what to do, I need to experience it on my own.
Then there are other people who simply don’t want to change. They rather complain about what’s wrong than to do something about it. Trying to help them change when they don’t want to change, is a bunch of energy down the drain.
Now, what are we suppose to do when we see a loved one struggling or that one person is about to start on a rant again? We could keep listening to them complain about their life, try to be there for them when we have other things to do, and give them ample advice that they probably won’t take… Or we can let go, use that time and energy to build our own dreams, and take necessary steps towards our own happiness.
I always fall back on the quote, “by saying yes to others, am I saying no to myself?”. By saying yes, I will help you [friend, family member, spouse] and I saying no to my own happiness, self-improvement or growth? Let that resonate or jot that down to think about the next time these scenarios come up. If helping them will in turn make you feel useful, inspired, or gain positive energy – then do it! If you know that it will drain you (mentally, physically, financially), you frankly don’t time, or will be a one sided conversation, I would pass.
At the end of the day, the choice is really up to us how we want to spend our time. YES, of course, it is really difficult! It is extremely difficult to tell loved ones, “hey I am no longer supporting this conversation. You either need to get help and change or stop complaining to me.” It is even harder to close the door on long time relationships because you can see the effect they have on your own life and you know nothing will change. It is hard work, yet the payoff is significant.
I can promise you this, it does get easier telling friends and family you are no longer willing to support their “misery”. And I can promise you this as well, most will have much more respect for you. Not only will you see that big shift in your relationships, but you will start to see miraculous things happen in your own life. For me, I started to earn a lot more money (so random but I’ll take it!), I had room for really healthy relationships after letting go of the ones who didn’t value me, and I was so much happier. Which is all we really want in life anyway, right?
I know this is a big article to digest, and pretty controversial because it goes against what most of us have been taught. But I encourage everyone to just take a moment and ask yourself “are you valuing your own happiness and self-worth, or are you allowing other people come before you?” It is okay to help loved ones here and there, as long as it isn’t taking over your entire life. And as long as you are still putting your own happiness first. Because honestly how helpful are we when we ourselves are depleted and miserable? Just know you are worth saying yes to, and your time is very valuable! Thanks for reading, I look forward to the comments you all leave!