I recently was asked this great question…
Actually this is probably the most malicious myth about happiness at all!
But, it comes in several varieties… did you ever heart this before:
“In a world so full of suffering, you can be happy only if you’re callous and self-centered”
“Happy people become wrapped up in their own pleasure! They’re complacent and uninterested in the world”.
And just to make this clear right from the bottom: These are WRONG!!!!
Studies show that, quite to the contrary, happier people are more likely to help other people, they’re more interested in social problems, they do more volunteer work, and they contribute more to charity. They’re less preoccupied with their personal problems.
WHEN I’M FEELING HAPPY… I find it easier to notice other people’s problems… I feel that I have more energy to try to take action… I have the emotional wherewithal to tackle sad or difficult issues… and I’m not as preoccupied with myself… I feel more generous and forgiving.
How about you?
If you spend time with someone who exudes positivity, and you are more likely to feel positive… Hang with someone who acts like life’s number one victim, and guaranteed, Debbie downer is going to rub off on you. RIGHT OR WRONG?
It is called EMOTIONAL CONTAGION… and it means the emotions of others can influence us.
So if happy people make other people happy, why is it that happy people are sometimes thought to be selfish?
This myth that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided.
IN FACT It’s more selfless to act happy.
It takes energy, generosity and discipline to be “happy”, BUT yet everyone takes the happy person for granted.
“ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY IS TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE HAPPY;
ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO MAKE OTHERS HAPPY IS TO BE HAPPY YOURSELF”
Everyone accepts the first part of this phrase, but the second part is just as important!
By making the effort to make yourself happier, you better equip yourself to make other people happier, as well.
IT’S NOT SELFISH TO TRY TO BE HAPPY…
HAPPINESS is your BIRTHRIGHT!
With all my love. B.
Facts about Happiness you might want to know...
Happiness takes work. Happy people are taken for granted because they are thought of as naturally happy people or born happy, yet upbeat people have to work at being resilient, bouncing back, rising above, and staying positive. The outside world only sees the happy person and not the effort behind the scenes, so positive people don’t receive credit for creating their sunshine-like dispositions. “Happiness is a work ethic. You have to train your brain to be positive, just like you work out your body,”
Happy people are overlooked. If happy people are thought to be in selfish pursuit of their own fulfillment and pleasure, consider that the happy person often goes unnoticed. “No one is careful of (a happy person’s) feelings or tries to keep his spirits high,” Rubin says. “Because happy people seem self-sufficient, they become a cushion for others.” The happy person is expected to lift others up.
Happiness doesn’t mean you lack empathy. Just because your smile lights up a room, doesn’t mean you are blind to the suffering going on in the world. You don’t have to sacrifice your happiness to show the world you are compassionate. “Just as eating your dinner doesn’t help starving children in India; being blue yourself doesn’t help unhappy people become happier,” Rubin says. In fact, happier people are better equipped to demonstrate their empathy and help people because their emotional tanks are full. “When I’m feeling happy, I find it easier to notice other people’s problems. I have more energy to try to take action and I have the emotional wherewithal to tackle sad or difficult issues, and I’m not as preoccupied with myself. I feel more generous and forgiving,” Rubin says. There will always be tragic stories happening in the world, but empathy is better expressed with giving back and good deeds, than giving up your happiness in a show of support.
Happy people give back. Happy people are more interested in social problems, more likely to do volunteer work and contribute to charity, according to Gallup Well-being polls. While unhappy people tend to socially withdraw and focus on themselves, happy people turn outward and are more available to help others. And when people give back it only enhances their happiness, says Harvey McKinnon, a nonprofit fundraising expert and author of The Power of Giving: How Giving Back Enriches Us All. “People are hard-wired to give, and when people give to others, it makes them feel better.” Turns out, one of the best ways to get happy in the first place is to do a selfless act—help other people be happy. Rubin calls it a splendid truth: “The best way to make yourself happy is to make others happy, and the best ways to make other people happy, is to be happy yourself.”
It occurs to me, that it’s quiet important to care & fill our own “cup” first… just because of the fact that no-one can pour from an empty cup! so you want to make a difference in this world, care about yourself. Then… only then… you will be able to give to others from a healthy and abundant place!
with all my love, Birgit