wanting others to be happy

beautiful photo via peonies and polaroids

Meg wrote something in her post a few days ago that stuck with me because I think it is something EVERYONE experiences.

"... here is the key thing I learned: when people tell you they want you to do XXX, what they really mean is that they want XXX to make you happy, or they want you to be happy doing XXX. If you agree to do it, because you don't want trouble, fully knowing that XXX will make you miserable... nobody wins."

Isn't that the honest truth.

Whether we mean to our not, normally when we say things like "I just want you to be happy" when giving advice, it actually means "I want you to be happy taking my advice."

Haven't you heard this before? And I am not trying to say that it's ever meant maliciously, it's just the simple truth. People want others to listen to them and do what they think is right. Whether it's heard in wedding planning, party planning, buying a home, raising a family, dating, traveling- anything- the "I just want you to be happy/ whatever makes you happy" is just a passive way of saying "and you will be happy if you do exactly what I tell you to do." And what's worse is that no one wins with this type of statement.

If you do what you want to do, the advice giver is hurt. If you do what the advice give wants, it's normally not what you want and then you are unhappy. It's a lose/lose. So here is my take on it. Be a grown up and live a life that makes you truly happy.

Whether you are trying to decide on what flowers (or if any flowers) at your wedding, whether or not to take the plunge and actually follow your dreams to a new job/city/love, or simply deciding on what to do this weekend, listen to your heart, follow it, and then accept any consequences that come your way. (and in listening to your heart, you really have to listen. you can't just be stubborn and refuse to ever compromise simply to have your way.)

Because the truth is, you can NEVER make everyone happy all the time, but you always have the choice to make yourself happy.

*and remember next time you want to say "I just want you to be happy," take a second to think about what you are really saying. Do you mean it? Do you really just want your friend to be happy and you will be happy for her no matter what she does as long as it makes her happy? If you find yourself realizing that's not really what you mean, then do you best not to say that statement :) More often than not people just want support, not advice. And even more likely, when someone asks you a question, they already know the answer they are searching for.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic Wednesday!!