OTHERS ARE NOT THE SOURCE OF OUR HAPPINESS
Human beings require social interaction to remain mentally and emotionally healthy. One of the fallacies of humankind insists that our value comes from being loved or being loveable. It suggests being in relationship makes you valuable. A formula like that insinuates others are the source of our identity and happiness, which is destructive to self and relationship. We must not rely on others for our happiness.
In Crazy Rich Asians, Astrid Leong discovers her husband had an affair. As they are parting ways, she makes a remarkable statement.
“It’s not my job to make you a man. I can’t make you something you’re not.”
In marriage, we often have an ideal of what our spouse will be, how they will look, how they will behave, and how they will treat us. We force our ideals onto our spouse, often forcing them to live in conflict with their true self. We try to make them something they are not.
Inner conflict produces resentment. Resentment produces contempt and condescension, which destroy relationships. When we force our spouse to be something other than what they are created to be, we create conflict and unhappiness for them and eventually for us.
Additionally, we do this with our children, coworkers, neighbors, family, and friends. We expect them to be something they are not. We expect or force them to behave, speak, and engage the world in ways that are not natural for them, but seem right for us.
This faulty way of thinking indicates you have the cognitive distortion referred to as the “shoulds.”
DON’T SHOULD YOURSELF
If you are struggling in relationship with someone, first ask yourself if you are trying to make them something you want them to be rather than who they are created to be. When you learn to support them in their true identity and help them attain their true self, they will be happy, and you will be happy.
So remember, don’t rely on others for your happiness and fulfillment. Likewise, don’t be the source of happiness for others either. It’s not your job to make someone happy and it’s not their job to make you happy.
Most importantly, stop should-ing yourself.