When Your Happiness Depends on Others

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This weekend I had an interesting meeting where I was reminded that not everyone thinks as I do and that it’s good to have a variety of ideas. That is until we feel terrible. Something I hear over and over from clients is, “I would feel better if…”. And usually, that is followed by how a change in someone else’s actions or behaviors would make them feel better. When we allow their actions to determine our emotional state, that’s where the problem begins. Because they usually get it wrong and then you have given them the power in your life. Our happiness shouldn’t be dependent on someone else’s ability to change, and when we do the work, we hold the power.

Topics in this episode

  • The manual 
  • Often we don’t tell them what’s in the manual. We just expect them to know. 
  • Things that are common sense for us aren’t always common sense for everyone else.
  • Alternative options 
  • They still get to choose if they comply or not
  • Focus your efforts on what you can control


Hello hello hello
Welcome back to the podcast –
I’m so happy you are here
What’s new?
You guys – I had the most interesting meeting for work this past weekend.
I was doing some new coach training within my corporate job –
which –
super side note –
I’m so pumped to be part of
But listen – while I was there –
It started on Thursday
and do you know what else happened to be the same day?
A Trump rally
and protestors
Literally outside my hotel room
My colleague and I were out early for some dinner
and we actually saw some wonderful interactions between both sides
I think it got not so nice
as it got to be later in the night
but what I saw seemed to be fine
It was people expressing different opinions –
and even engaging with each other –
from the parts I saw – in a civil way
this is for sure not any sort of a podcast on politics
What I found to be interesting was the next day when we started our training
They did an activity of
would you rather

Now don’t get too excited – not that drinking game you might be thinking of..lol
It was simple stuff
Would you rather a cat or dog
You know what I picked right?
Dog everyday baby
And then
would you rather
Mountains or beach
Beach for sure
Would you rather
Chocolate of vanilla
I’m vanilla
I won’t go through all of them
So now you might be like –
What does a trump rally and a drinking game have in common
Hahha.. oh – that answer could go in so many directions I’m sure..lol.
But here’s the common thread –
The point of the activity
Was too show us people are different
Not everyone thinks like we do
I mean – sometimes I think more people should..lol
But it is damn hard to force them to do that
And truth be told
I think it’s good to have a variety of ideas in life right?
Well, its good until we feel terrible
If there is one thing I hear over and over with clients

Its that they would feel better if …
Well you name it –
They would feel less stress if their teammates didn’t text them 35 times a day
They would feel more worthy if their boss had a clue as to what they were really doing
They would feel more loved if their partner would just do what they wanted them to do
This one is a big one –
because we … often times… want them to do better
right? Lol
I’ve talked about the idea of The Manual in the past
But it is worth discussing again
Because it is a concept
so many of us can benefit from
And sometimes you may hear it a little differently
and it might land with you more than ever before
So – we all know a manual is something you get
which allows you to know how to operate something right?
Like a washing machine –
or dishwasher –
anything like that
It gives all the details of what needs to be done in order to run properly
Here’s the thing
We all have manuals for people in our lives as well
Think of it like an instruction guide –
Or rule book
And sometimes …
those manuals are pretty thick! lol..
We think we know best as to how they should act

But here’s the thing
We –
Now by all means
can have ideas as to how we think others should be
We can have expectations of how we think they should act
But when we allow their actions
to determine our emotional status
We are screwed
Because they usually get it wrong
And then
they hold the power
When we think they have to act a certain way
in order for us to feel a certain way
Then the only way we feel good
is if they actually follow the manual right?
Here’s the funny thing – most times we don’t even tell them what is IN the manual
We just expect them to know
I’ll share an example of what I used to do
Let’s say I had a long day of work
And my husband was home before me
The dishwasher was clean
And when I return from work
all the dishes are still in the dishwasher!
I start fuming inside
Because it seemed super obvious to me
that he should’ve put them away
So I would get upset

He would have no idea
And then finally he was like -you know –
if you just ask I would do it
Of course my next thought was – why should I have to ask?
Its obvious
But my friends…
Its not
Things that are common sense for us are not always common sense for everyone else
And here is the thing –
We are the ones
that feel terrible in those moments
Getting angry
or upset
or whatever the feeling is –
well that is something you feel
– not the other person
So in a case like what would be some alternative options?
Now of course You can continue to get angry and not tell them what you want
Or – you can begin discussing some expectations you might have
Fill people in on how you think they should act
But the key is
Listen up –
the key is
They still get to choose if they comply or not
lol.. they “get to” – its so nice of us to allow people to be themselves right..lol..
And then what do you make it mean if they don’t?
This is everything –

What do you make it mean?
Because lets be honest – you end up putting the dishes away anyhow
You can also choose to just think you can take care of it yourself
Because you do
And it doesn’t mean they love you any less because they didn’t put the dishes away
But sometimes we go there in our cray brains right
Like – well if you really loved me you would’ve taken care of that
Its silliness sometimes
It feels way more powerful to know you can take care of it –
Since you do
Do you see the difference there –
it is so important to recognize the difference
It all comes down to what we make it mean when they – lets say
Don’t do it
So do you make it mean they don’t love you
Or respect you
It has nothing to do with that
We want them to act a certain way because we think we will feel a certain way
But what if we don’t need other people to do anything for us to feel a certain way
What if we just respect ourselves
Or what if we work on loving ourselves
we want other people to do the work
And sometimes – think about this
Sometimes we act weird and creepy because
we think if we manipulate the situation they will do what we want them to
And then we will feel what we want to feel

I see this with a lot of couples
This idea that
somebody else needs to do something so we feel loved
But what if we each come to the relationship as 100% ourselves and
Move forward as a team – each whole
We appreciate each other for what we bring to the table
Not expecting either to change so we feel better
If you listened to the Self Coaching Model episode –
you know its aways
Our thoughts
that create our feelings
Not somebody elses’ actions
We have the power to decide what we want to think in our lives
In Every single moment
Let’s use a work example
Maybe you have a boss that you think is the death of you
Maybe you think he or she should give you more positive reinforcement
Maybe you think he or she is too cold
But when you are thinking of all of the ways she – or he –
isn’t doing it right
You are the one suffering
What if they just get to be themselves –
by the way
they are
And it doesn’t have to mean anything about you
You always get to decide how to respond

You can also choose to focus your efforts on what you can do to excel at your career
You give yourself the positive reinforcement
Thats the work friends
We abdicate the jobs to others
And then get angry when they don’t do it correctly
But take a minute and just think about how hard it is for you to change
Why do we want to have our happiness be dependent on someone else’s ability to change
When we do the work
We hold the power
So whether its a political rally,
a would you rather game,
Your boss
Your spouse
People are different
And that is ok
I promise – when you start to take control of your own emotions
You will find so much more peace
Ok – that’s what I have for you today
Let’s circle back next week
For now – make it a great day –
Take care!

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