Can any partner make you happy?
(devoted to those of you who feel unhappy in life and hope that the right partner will change it)
If you feel unhappy in life, you might be hoping that, some day, having the right person beside you, or having a child, may change it and finally make you happy.
But will it? Can anybody else make you happy if you do not feel generally happy on your own?
This article aims at helping you take the control over your happiness in life into your own hands, starting now.
Happiness & The Partner
In a functioning relationship, partners feel generally happy about being together. But does that mean changing each other from unhappy to happy?
A functioning relationship includes supporting each other. However, making someone (your partner) accountable for many of your own negative feelings is something different. It is not an act of love. It can easily slip into being demanding or controlling, and into trying to use someone for something you have not managed yourself: being positive. That is why such a demand hardly ever works.
To prevent any misunderstanding, I am not discouraging you from finding a partner that is nice to you. I just believe that having a nice partner is not enough to change an unhappy person into a happy one. And also, that you do not need to postpone feeling good in life till being with a nice partner. Why not feel better already now, no matter what your relationship status is?
Happiness & What Life Brings
Different things happen in our lives and have impact on how we feel. However, we still have influence on how we interpret what happened (and thus feel about it) and how long the emotions last.
For example, we respond to highly stressful events such as losses, break–ups, or news about illness by being unhappy. However, you can choose between remaining unhappy for years and getting over it (on your own or with a professional) by accepting the event, dealing with it, and moving on.
Similarly, you can decide whether you stay in a bad mood after today’s challenging events at home, at work or elsewhere, or learn attitudes that will help you deal with such situations and move on faster, to smile again.
Happiness & You
Happiness is not based on something that someone does to you, but on your attitudes and interpretations: first of all, your attitude towards yourself, secondly, towards others and what happens around you.
Happiness is a state of mind you can work on.
What you can do
1; Take control over your happiness: actively and now.
The most important step is to decide to change something about yourself and the way you feel in life, and to work on the change actively. That might require changing some of your attitudes and daily habits, so the question is: are you ready to review your life beliefs and perhaps try some new approaches?
2; Accept that it is OK to devote some attention and time to fulfilling your own needs, not only those of others.
There is nothing selfish about devoting some of your time and attention to your happiness and feeling good – it would be selfish to throw that responsibility onto others.
Try doing more of the things that are highly enjoyable for you – whether it is sports, a hobby, a work activity, or the company of your friends. If you have problems finding time for it, try to give it such a high priority that it gets above some other tasks you used to find time for, no matter how busy you were (e.g. a housekeeping task, a TV programme, etc).
At your work, try asking your boss to give you more of the tasks you enjoy most and less of the other ones. (Impossible? Have you ever tried?) Browse this website for different ideas on improving your working life or use career coaching for specific challenges you face.
Remember, when you are happy, you are a nicer mother, partner, friend, neighbour, colleague, in short: a nicer person. Everyone around you will benefit from it, so, without feeling guilty, put it above other tasks that consume your time and might be much less important.
3; Learn paying attention to positive things.
Whether you devote attention mainly to negative or mainly to positive things is a habit. As such, it can be changed. So starting today, you can try devoting more of your attention to positive things.
Establish a daily ritual: every morning or evening, ask yourself one or several of the following questions:
What am I looking forward to, today?
What am I grateful for?
What has been pleasant and inspiring for me today?
Which tasks have worked out well today?
What nice surprises have I had?
What were the enjoyable moments of the day for me?
You might first need to ask yourself those questions consciously, practise it like an exercise, for example while brushing your teeth, or on the way to and from work. But step by step, it will become automatic – your new habit and attitude, a way of perceiving your life in a more positive manner.
4; Share the positive energy.
Share your positive feelings with others: the more you spread your positive energy around, the more you will get back from other people sharing theirs with you.
5; Be patient and kind to yourself.
If you have been used to focusing your attention on negative things, such as bad circumstances or unpleasing behaviour of others, it will take time to learn to switch it onto the positive things, but you can make it. Treat it as a long-term project and do it in steps: every day another small step, another positive thing you will pay attention to and enjoy more than you would have done before.
Several small steps can make the progress significant – and you happier.
Let me know what you think about the article and what topics you would like to read about: coach @ smallbigchange . com
Check other related articles:
In some cases, it might not be enough that you work on your attitudes alone.
If you rarely enjoy anything in your life; if you hardly have anything you look forward to; if you feel so exhausted that it has an impact on your sleep, diet and/or relationships; if you cannot see a way to change it yourself, then seek professional help: a psychologist, a psychotherapist or your general practitioner. You might be suffering from depression and the professionals can help you get better. Your partner cannot fix it.
If your partner scares you, controls you or hurts you in physical or emotional ways, seek help urgently. None of your characteristics or actions can justify your partner’s abusive behaviour. Browse for “domestic violence help” in your region.