I don't know about you, but I thought whoever I was dating was responsible for my happiness. In fact, I used to pride myself in being this super chill, low-maintenance kind of girlfriend or partner, and when anniversaries roll around, or any kind of thing to celebrate, Valentine's day anniversary, birthdays, you name it, I would get upset. I would get upset for not having my expectations met. Expectations that I never shared, by the way, because I wanted to be this other version of a person. That was not true to who I was and what I wanted. I, for some reason, would judge people who needed this. Something that shows that that person was a big deal. I thought that if I wasn't like that, I was better, but I wasn't being honest with myself.
I would get upset because they wouldn't do anything. Or they would just, get me a card, and then we go out to dinner. I would have this inner conflict inside, where I'm like, “Well, I'm not happy with what happened.” And I don't like that I'm not happy with what happened. So I would get upset. I have a feeling that I'm not the only one that has done this or does this.
So here's reason number one. It gives your power away, you're literally handing it over to someone else, and how are you doing this, you're doing this because it's almost like you're playing into that, Prince and Princess kind of narrative. You are waiting for your knight in shining armor to come and save you from your sad, sad life. You're waiting for them to romance you. While that seems amazing for someone to come in and sweep you off your feet and know exactly what you need to be happy and feel loved and supported. What you're actually strengthening is your internal victim mentality. What I mean by that is you are now making your happiness dependent on how well others meet your needs. I'm going to say that again.
I want to have control over my happiness, and you only can control yourself. So if you're giving that control to someone else, you cannot be reliably happy. You're here waiting. It's like when you're stood up for a date. You're just waiting you're like I'm ready now. Come pick me up so we can have fun and you have no idea whether they're gonna come or not. You don't know if they're gonna come on time. You don't know if you're gonna have fun. You don't know if you know they know what you want. There's just a lot of uncertainty happening here and uncertainty doesn't feel comfortable all the time. That's not the kind of surprise that we like, most times.
Number two, it leaves you often feeling disappointed. When you don't take responsibility for your happiness. You don't know what makes you happy, because you've literally not spent time figuring that shit out. And if you don't know what makes you happy, oh, good luck to your partner. They're gonna have to guess and play a game of trial and error, and you're likely going to be really disappointed. And you might even start a fight over it.
Why did you think that that was going to be a good idea? But, you know, your partner can only go off of what they've experienced with you, and what they think that you like, and go off of their past experiences.
When you're disappointed by not getting what you were expecting or hoping for or wanting. What ends up happening is your partner is left feeling not enough or frustrated. Like what the fuck if you wanted that, why didn't you just tell me? Or they're like, oh my gosh, I must be a terrible partner because I don't know how to make my partner happy. Because you've put that responsibility on them and they have taken it in. They've accepted it, so their confidence is not there, and maybe they won't try anymore. So it's actually unfair to expect your partner to fill the role of making you happy. So a lot of pressure, right?
If you make it their job to make you happy, whose job? Is it to make them happy? Have you thought about that? If you think it's your job to make them happy, girl, let's not go there. Because when it's someone else's job to make you happy, they have no room for bad days. They have no room for them to prioritize themselves. Let's say they're sick, and it's their job to make you happy. Well, what happens then if they want to get better, and what's best for them is to really just, be a pile on the couch, and do nothing, so that they can rest. But if it's their job to make you happy, and they take it seriously, and sacrifice themselves over it, then they're going to be like, Oh, okay, gotta push through this, I don't have time to be sick, I'm going to still do what I normally do to make you happy. Because I don't matter, and you matter more than me. I don't know about you, but I definitely would not be okay with that, if the situation was worse. That would suck. As moms, we already know what it feels like to be expected to sacrifice ourselves for our children's happiness.
Instead, let's just take responsibility for our own happiness, then you can restore your own power. Then you can feel like you have a better say on how you experience life. You're not just waiting around for your partner to do things to help you out. But rather, you know what you need to help you out, and you can set them up for greater success by sharing what you know about yourself, and how they can feel like a successful loving, supportive partner for you. Then both of you can feel confident about how your marriage is going. Because you each have your own backs. Then you can choose to come together to do things that feel nice for them.
How about we just take care of ourselves. And then taking this a step further. This is just another reason why it's really important to know yourself. The self-leadership aspect of this. When you know yourself really well. You can lead yourself instead of giving that position of power to somebody else. Then when you can lead yourself you can support yourself through any situation any life challenge. Whether it's a conflict with your husband or partner, conflict with your children, conflict at work with family members, with friends, etc. Being able to have that heightened sense of awareness of yourself, knowing the good and the bad, the supportive patterns and unsupportive patterns that you go into.
Knowing all sides of you, as much as you can, obviously, because this whole inner work thing is a lifelong journey will help you navigate so much through life in a more resilient way. You'll be less apt to blame. To create conflict where there really doesn't need to be, because you're clear you'll know how to set your relationships up for success more so. Your overall outlook on life will be different. Because knowing yourself that well, and choosing to be intentional in choosing to grow as a person really not shying away from doing the hard work, the uncomfortable work of looking yourself in the mirror, metaphorically. That's what's going to help you feel more content in life. That's what's going to help you be more vulnerable to create a stronger connection in your marriage, and help you support yourself better. And that's really what I want for all of you.
When you feel like someone is calling you out. Or making an observation and sharing their experience, you'll be less likely to spin out in a story of feeling like you're being attacked, or going into victim mentality or getting defensive overall. So, the moral of the story, is you are responsible for your happiness you get to be, this is not a chore you get to be this is an honor. This is an honor. You get to reclaim your power, and not wait on someone else to give you what you need depends on how available they are, how they feel, what they want to do, and where you fall in line of their list of priorities. Now you get to know what you need and what you want, and how important it is to you. And when you want it. That's what's going to equip you with your life choices. That's what's going to help you not feel stuck in your situation. Because no matter how other people decide to show up, you always know okay, well what are my choices here? These are my standards. So what's next, it'll allow for you to really support yourself fully. Instead of going to that woe is me story, that victim mentality.
Which is destructive, but very normal and understandable. I still have times where I go into that mode, but because of what I have done in terms of inner work and what I've learned through various phases of my life, and even programs and books that I've read, I can navigate that stuff with more ease and faster. I can say I actually feel very free, and that's, that is one of my favorite things to hear from clients. And they say, “I feel lighter, I feel free because they have freed themselves from trapping themselves into thinking that someone else was in charge of how they felt and that someone else's actions can have that much power over them.” But it's a choice. There's 1,000% a choice.