Ok, I love this picture and everything it stands for.
Too often are we tricked into thinking we are responsible for the actions or happiness of others, when in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure we have a responsibility to be aware of how our own actions will effect other people, but this is different from being responsible for their happiness entirely.
Family, friends and partners are the three most common sites of misplaced responsibility. Caring about the people you love and wanting to help them achieve what they are setting out to is great. I would encourage it, but you can’t make it personal if they don’t do well or are unhappy. That has nothing to do with you, if you make it your responsibility it will exhaust you. Not only is it impossible to control how other people feel but you will only end up hurting yourself in the process, especially when you realise that you can’t help everyone, you will feel as though you have failed.
We often modify our behaviour in relationships to try and please our partners, thinly veiled by thinking we are making a compromise. Compromising is essential in a relationship, don’t get me wrong, but you have to keep an eye on how much you are giving up in comparison to your partner, If the balance is unequal, you may be doing too much just to please them. This is unhealthy, you can’t change yourself to make someone else happy. Even if you do, a hard lesson to learn is that it will never be enough, if they want to change one thing about you it will snowball until you don’t really recognise yourself. Don’t sacrifice your own happiness because you are trying to please someone else.
What we need to focus on is ourselves. As the picture states, our actions, words, efforts, behaviour, mistakes, ideas and consequences of the above are the things that matter. If we all focused on these aspects I would wager not only would we be happier but collectively we would be doing better. Stripping away your preoccupation with other people’s feelings and actions, and putting all your effort into your own makes it easier to do better. A weight will be lifted off your shoulders and sort of free’s up space and time to do things you have been putting off. Take the time to focus on your body, focus on your mind, focus on how to help causes you care about. suddenly this all seems easy, you aren’t worrying about all the other things that don’t apply to you anymore.
This is not to promote being mean or selfish in any way, but just to stop wasting your time imagining you are responsible for other people. They are their own people just as you are yours. If they followed this advice then I bet they would be happier too!