Making Others Happy
In day to day life, we sometimes find ourselves doing things or taking part in activities which we, personally, would never choose to do. Why? Well, aside from tasks assigned to us at work or menial household chores, the chances are it’s to make someone around you happy. Everyone knows that relationships (and friendships which are just platonic relationships) are all about compromise, and sometimes this compromise means doing something to make someone else happy even if you yourself wouldn’t usually find happiness that way. Except you will do; but your happiness will come from seeing their happiness.
In order to make others happy, you don’t necessarily have to do something which makes you unhappy or something you actively don’t want to do. Too much of these aspects in a friendship or relationship and you may want to rethink this. But there are times when our friends or partners want to do something which doesn’t exactly fit with our plan of the day, week, month or even year. But we do it anyway. We may end up genuinely enjoying this activity but the point is that we enter into it not for our own pleasure but to see happiness in someone we care about.
I’ve written before about how doomed the human race would be if everyone acted in their own interest. This article is talking less about teamwork and more about taking the desires of others into consideration. Acknowledging and recognising events and activities which make those in your life happy will, in turn, make you happy. Most humans (and probably everyone reading this blog) feel happy themselves when we see others enjoying life. It’s why we like to give gifts, why we find ourselves eating at restaurants we don’t particularly enjoy, why we find ourselves in karaoke rooms … It’s happened, I hate karaoke. But I went because my friends wanted to go. And despite the fact that I didn’t actually sing a note into the microphones which were relentlessly thrust into my face, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw how happy my friends were and I’m glad I got to share that experience with them.
There is, however, a fine balance. It is often said (and it is true) that trying to make everyone in your life happy will lead to your own misery. If you find yourself always doing things to make others happy, you will, inevitably, become unhappy yourself. While this article highlights how we can gain pleasure from seeing those whom we care about happy, this alone is not enough. The problem often is, I suspect, that people who work hard (too hard) to make others around them happy are taken advantage of. Whether deliberately or not, if those whom you love and care about take for granted your willingness to do things for others, suddenly you may feel far more burdened by these good deeds.
Society only functions correctly when people are equal. So while it is a positive personality trait to want to do things for others, one person performing all of these selfless good deeds isn’t going to work. It needs to be a universal ethos. The majority of people, incidentally, do derive their own pleasure from making others happy, which is why a community like More Good Deeds can not only exist but grow and thrive. All over the world, most people do find pleasure in seeing a smile on the face of those whom they love, and that smile is even more powerful when we know it is us who put it there.
Making those around you happy is a fantastic way to spend your life. But make sure your efforts are reciprocated and appreciated. Much as you may enjoy making others happy (and some people do derive more pleasure from this than others), it is important that those in your life deserve your kindness. Doing good is a two-way street: make sure you’re not the one sat at the junction, giving way to everyone else and never taking your own turn.
Go. Do. Experience. More Good Deeds.