Often in therapy, caregivers caution against trying to make others happy. “You can only control your own emotions, not those of others” is a common phrase to hear. There is great truth in that. If we live to please others, we end up drained and unfulfilled. You cannot make everyone happy all of the time.
However, bringing happiness to others can also bring great joy into your life. When I make a friend smile, warmth fills me and their elation brightens my mood. Causing excitement, kindness, and love can be a nourishing and healing way of touching others as well as yourself. At the same time, you add light into the world, making it a better place.
This wonderful clip exhibits this phenomenon perfectly. I encourage you to watch it to the very end to fully understand what I mean.
When we focus too much on making others happy, we forget our own needs. However, being a bringer of joy and smiles improves the quality of life for everyone around us and ourselves. Do not discount how wonderful it is to bring delight and laughter to others.
We can bring this joy in numerous ways. Some people tell comical jokes or laugh at difficulties and bring laughter with their sense of humor. The little boy in the video above seems to do this. Others might spread happiness through kind words, gifts, acts of kindness, listening, warm hugs, or showing up often to support their friends or family.
Just be yourself. That is what this boils down to in the end. If you are the best version of yourself, you will bring happiness to others in your own way. The joy that you cause will be unique and beautiful. Sure, not everyone will be touched by it, but that is ok. You do not need to please people; you want to make them happy. If they choose to reject the good feelings that you bring, that is their problem not yours.
Today, I will attempt to be myself and bring positive feelings into the world. This will not be an easy task but will be worth it when I look back on the day with a lighter heart. Who can you lift up and bring joy to today and how will you do that?