You can’t make people happy.

You can’t make people happy.

Many people mistakenly think that they can “make people happy”. This is untrue.

I posted this on my Facebook page the other day and thought I’d write an article on it, because it bears repeating. If you’re a “People Pleaser” you really need to read this. You might just be wasting your time. Of course, it is wonderful to be considerate and kind and thoughtful, however when you subjugate your own needs under the mistaken thinking that you can make people happy, you’re only doing yourself and the other person a disservice.

You can’t make people happy. Every single person is in charge of their own emotions. You can be considerate, authentic, compassionate & kind, and still that may not make other people happy. That’s because they will perceive your actions through their own filters and beliefs. It’s not your responsibility or problem. Just be true to yourself and let the chips fall where they may.


Between every stimulus and response, there is a gap. So no matter what anyone else says, or does in your presence, you can choose your response to that stimulus. Irrespective of what the stimulus is (i.e. what the other person has said or done) you have a million or more options as your response: cry, laugh, run away, fall to the floor, ignore it, punch them, walk away, scream, talk gibberish, there’s just the first few that came to my mind… Sometimes your usual responses to people become so habitual that you forget there is a gap there and you have the ability to choose a different response.

So regardless of how nice and caring you think you are, you may not make another person happy. They need to choose to be happy themselves, your actions might influence that choice, but the choice is ultimately up to them. And it works both ways. No one can make you happy either.  Or sad. Or mad. Or fearful. You choose to feel that way. So does everybody else.

How you choose to feel often has very little to do with the present moment and more to do with the weight of your thoughts, feelings and beliefs and decisions from the past. People’s reactions to you aren’t about you at all, they’re about that persons perception of you. Their filters. Their beliefs. Their emotions. And your thoughts and feelings about other people are about you. You have the choice and ultimate power in every moment to make a decision about how you choose to perceive the world. This is an incredible power, if you want to read an inspiring story about how one person used this power to survive the holocaust, check out – Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl

Till then just remember you’re in charge of your own emotions and everybody else is in charge of theirs. Interesting twist on reality, isn’t it?

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