Wednesday, 13 January 2010

There are two kinds of happiness

And this, is 'scientifically' proven. (To find these articles and others like them, check out the Journal of Happiness studies)

Apparently there are two kinds of happiness. one that is hedonistic, and the other that is self sacrificing. now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am actually, much to my own dismay the latter. i take my greatest happiness from making sure that others, are happy. this is a major stumbling block for finding relationships that are happy and long lasting. Because in reality, no one want to be self sacrificing forever. Even Mother Teresa expected something back in return for her good deeds - and not surprisingly, they were MORE good deeds from others. This would mean, that people who get happiness from being self sacrificial, eventually, one day come to expect a little bit of that in return.

I took this realization to my therapist. I said to him, wearing a grin as a badge of unbridled pride: " OK, i get it. I get what my problem is." He smiled back, nodded silently, and waited for me to continue. So I did.

"My problem is that i am too self sacrificing kind of happy. and because of that, in relationships, eventually, I expect someone else to be self sacrificing too, to find some joy in doing things that will make me happy or smile. But because I am self sacrificng, I am too busy making sure that the other person is happy, and they never get the chance to do things for me in return."

I smile, and wait for the inevitable praise that will ensue.

"Ro, that's not why I wanted you to read that article"


Apparently, the take home point, was somewhere in the second article that I didn't read because I got too excited about my 'self sacrificng' epiphany. My therapist kindly broke it down for me. He said studies showed that the happiest people are those who engage in things that give them BOTH kinds of happiness. The Hedonistic kind (doing things for yourself, and just yourself to make you happy) and the self sacrificing kind (doing things for others, man kind, etc). Essentially, it seems that it's no one's job to make you happy. It's YOUR job to make you happy. and in doing so, sometimes you'll take care of others, and some times you'll take care of yourself. But ultimately, no one gets any real lasting happiness from waiting for others to take care of you.

And just like that, my days of being a Martyr for Love, came to a close (ish). The only thing left to do, is find someone who also gets a little joy from making me laugh a little.