Hello, dear reader!
You don’t need other people to make you happy. If you think you do, then you’re giving away your power.
That power is your ability to decide for yourself, make mistakes and be responsible and independent. In other words, it’s your ability to live, succeed and find happiness on your terms.
Choosing to rely on others to make you happy can be convenient. It can make you feel comfortable and forever safe and cared for.
But have you thought how your caregivers might feel? Being responsible for someone else’s success and happiness is a heavy burden.
Imagine watching your parent or significant other do nothing for themselves, while you must make them feel fulfilled. You’ll soon resent them. Your resentment will lead to conflicts in your relationship and destroy your mental well-being.
About the elderly and the disabled.
Some people do need others’ help because of health-related conditions that limit their functionality. For the elderly, it’s (mostly) their old age and the maladies it brings. The limitations of the disabled come from injuries, genetics, illnesses and the like.
But their caregivers aren’t there to take away their independence. In fact, caregivers serve only to help their charges overcome their conditions and lead fulfilling lives.
About social support: the healthy way of relying on others.
Another important thing to think about is social support. It’s the healthy and natural way of receiving others’ help.
Examples of social support:
Sometimes you have to finish a report for work and also have a child who needs dinner. You can ask your spouse to provide that dinner so you can focus on your report.
Your car breaks down in the middle of a road. You can ask your friends or even strangers for help. You can also call a service to fix or tow the car.
When you feel sick, you go to the doctor.
In grief or after a breakup you need to confide in someone. This someone can be a friend or a mental health professional.
All scenarios above are examples of social support. We use them regularly without thinking about it.
Social support comes from your friends, family or strangers on the street. Our civilization has also put services in place and trained specialists whose function is to provide support.
Asking others for help is healthy and necessary to lead a fulfilling life. But problems arise when you rely on others too much and end up giving away your power.
How you can reclaim your power.
First of all, you need to face your emotions. Next and every time you feel anything, be it anger, fear, worry, joy, pleasure or anything else, feel it through. Don’t act out. Don’t fight. Just feel your emotions and, at the same time, detach from them. It’s a lot of practice, and you’ll be healthier as a result.
Process your emotions. Try to have a name for each, a reason and a trigger. It’s hard, almost impossible, painful and uncomfortable. It takes time and practice and is necessary for your emotional and mental health.
Then, remember what you’ve learned and how you’ve felt and let your feelings go. This may be the hardest step in the process, so keep trying.
You don’t have to do all that alone. Seek out and accept whatever mental, emotional or spiritual guidance you need.
Then, you need to break your negative thought process that’s causing the drama. Repeat:
How you can keep your power.
Take a hard look at yourself and your life to define your boundaries and needs. Find ways to satisfy most of your needs without involving others.
Of course, you can’t fulfill some needs, such as communication and relationships, on your own. That’s what you need other people’s help with. Still, don’t over-rely.
Set your boundaries through being assertive but not aggressive. You don’t need to make others feel inferior, guilty, ashamed or flawed so that you’re happy.
As you’ve noticed, feelings and emotions play an important role in harnessing your power and happiness. Let’s go over the most common dangers of not being able to control them.
Anger makes you aggressive and forces you to oppress and terrify. You become an abuser.
It’s not cool, doesn’t make you a better man, more alpha or more masculine, and it hurts everyone, including you. Anger takes away your power and authority. People would rather follow a level-headed leader than a yelling, raging and swearing hostile.
So, it’s imperative that you express anger in a safe way and a neutral environment. That means no violence and only mature and trusted friends. You can rant to a friend or a therapist, beat up a punching bag or do something artistic.
Booze, drugs ‘n f-you-all.
It’s completely natural to be angry at the whole world for a few minutes, hours or days. Unfortunately, when you’re angry for weeks, months or years, you’re poisoned. You spiral into self-destruction, sometimes flat-out aggression. You destroy valuable relationships, opportunities and property. People get hurt.
That kind of behavior is immature and destructive. Yes, it hurts, and no, it’s not the end of the world. You can control it. It will hurt. (It hurts anyway.)
When you’re angry, stay away from booze, drugs and all other addictions. Avoid all obsessions.
Dive into your feelings. Experience them without acting on them.
Cry, if you feel like it. Crying is the natural human reaction to intense feelings, not just to anger and sadness.
These are just the raw basics. The entire process is long and difficult, yet necessary if you want to be a healthy human being.
How happy can you be on your own? And how much do you rely on others?
Thanks for reading!