How to Manage Your Happiness by Keeping Yourself Sane

God Does Not Want You To Sacrifice Your Happiness To Keep Somebody Else Happy


How to Manage Your Happiness by Keeping Yourself

By Olga Hermans


Oh, how important it is to keep yourself happy and not be living to please everybody else. How easy we can get in that habit of taking on a false sense of responsibility, thinking that it is our job to keep everybody happy. Of course, it is always good to reach out to others and to try to help as many people as possible.

Do you sense the “but” coming? Too often, though, we get out of balance. We’re doing everything for everybody else, but we’re not taking the time to keep ourselves healthy and happy. God does not want you to sacrifice your happiness to keep somebody else happy.

Your first priority is to take care of yourself. I don’t mean to the extent of being selfish and only me, me, me. That is not what I am saying, but I am saying that you cannot be responsible for someone else’s poor choices. If you do, before long, that person will be controlling you and manipulating you.

I think we all know how that feels. God has not called you to be unhappy simply to keep somebody else happy. Truth is, some people don’t want to be helped; they don’t want to change. They just like the attention. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for somebody like that is not to help them.

I remember the time with my oldest sister, who lives in The Netherlands and is mentally ill. I don’t know how she did it, but she could make me feel so guilty if I wouldn’t do that particular thing that pleased her. A few years ago there was a time that I called her every day at the same time and spoke scriptures into her mind. She so enjoyed it and it looked like she was doing so much better.

Anyway, my husband and I were going to a conference in Dallas. She told me how afraid she was to not have me call her and this and that. So, ok I told her I would call every day. I think the 2nd or 3rd time I called her at our agreed time to hear from the front desk that she had gone to a movie. That was the moment that I started to realize I had to do things differently although she was mentally ill.

Life is too short to go through it being controlled and manipulated by people who refuse to make good choices on their own. You are not responsible for everybody else’s happiness. If people are controlling you, it’s not their fault; it’s your fault. You must learn to set some boundaries. Quit allowing them to call you at all hours of the day and night to dump their problems on you.

Many people are all upset, frustrated and discouraged because they’ve made a wrong choice of taking on way too much responsibility for somebody close to them who won’t do what is right. They carry a heavy load, trying to keep someone else happy.

You can be free from all that if you will just give those people to God. Quit trying to be the keeper of the universe. That is not your job. Of course, is not easy at first. My decision towards my sister was very hard on me, but I had to do it. I am not talking about selfish or self-centeredness. We should be givers and care for each other. But there is a big difference between giving and allowing somebody to control you and make you feel guilty until you do what they want.

To reduce stress, be aware of high-maintenance people in your life. Some people are almost impossible to keep happy. Maybe this is a turning point for you. If you have been living to please everybody else, or constantly trying to fix everything, rid yourself of that false sense of responsibility. Yes, be kind and compassionate and yes you should reach out to others. It’s like the saying that says: “you can’t help anybody who won’t help themselves”.

You gotta run your race and not let people control you and manipulate you; you will not only have less stress and more time and energy, but I also believe you will be much happier, and you will be free to fulfill the best plan that God has for you.

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  1. Carol Giambri says:

    Olga, great information. Taking care of ourselves is important and not selfishly either. When we are “recharged” we can be more of a blessing to others. We surely can only control our choices and decisions too. Makes it more peaceful. We do have a race and a calling to run so why not do it in full swing and do it with less stress. Thanks for sharing.

  2. As a mother and grandmother I always appreciate articles on self-care and this is by far one of the best I have read…we must care for and love ourselves to be of help and service to others…very important to teach children as well! Thanks for reminding us Olga!

  3. Victoria says:

    Great reminder, Olga. It’s so easy for us to fall into the trap of looking after everyone and everything else first. I’m still learning that lesson…

  4. Olga, this is great information and a great reminder. It is so important to be in charge of our own happiness and not let others determine if for us. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I agree… that life is so short to let others that are continually not making good choices influence and drag you down…especially after you have identified it…we are enabling if we go in to their place with them… thanks Olga…very enlightening!

  6. Olga, This is a great message for everyone. Everyone is responsible for their own happiness. We need to focus on taking charge of our own lives, not others’.

  7. Olga, sometimes we get caught up being manipulated by people before we know it. Thanks for the reminders not to stay there!

  8. Olga, I can relate to so much of this. I have spent a lot of time trying to make everybody happy and I finally realized a couple of years ago that there are certain people I’m just never going to make happy and most importantly, I realized that it isn’t my job to make them happy. Thanks for the reminder that there’s a difference between giving and helping someone and allowing them to control us or make us feel guilty.

  9. Great article! I agree with Lori: ” Everyone is responsible for their own happiness.” And Everyone is responsible for their own actions!

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