How to Make Everyone Happy

How to Make Everyone Happy (Hint: You Can’t)

Can you make everyone happy? And if you can, should you?

Here’s the short answer to both of these questions: no.

How to make everyone happy is an issue that bothers many of us. We are often torn between our duty to ourselves and others (particularly our loved ones) when it comes to happiness.

This is such a contentious issue that we decided to tackle this topic head-on. Let’s look at why we feel the need to put others’ happiness before our own.

We’ll also give some advice about nurturing happiness and what this means for your emotional health.

How to Make Everyone Happy

We all have people in our lives that we want to make happy. These may be our family members, romantic partners, colleagues, or friends. We cannot stand to see them unhappy or having a bad day. Our compassion and empathy are part of what makes us human.

woman leaning on her friend's shoulder

There is nothing wrong with wanting to make others happy. The problem comes when we despair because we cannot figure out how to make everyone happy. When we shift our focus from our growth and development to that of others, it’s problematic.

Why is this problematic? By constantly putting others’ needs ahead of our own, we risk sacrificing our own happiness, potential, and dreams. We must ensure that we create the right balance between looking after ourselves and caring for others.

Is It Possible to Make Everyone Happy?

It is possible to make other people happy, even many people. But it is not possible to make everyone that you know or come across happy!

We are all unique individuals with different wants, needs, and dreams.

No single formula for happiness exists that will please everyone. However, there are many ways in which you can make most people a little happier.

What are some of these ways?

Spend time showing support to a friend, even on a phone call. Listen to your partner talk about their hard day at work, or your kids talk about what happened at school. Share a laugh with a colleague on your lunch break.

Greet a stranger on the street. Make eye contact and smile at your neighbor as you pass by. Random acts of kindness can go a long way to making people happy, so do not underestimate them.

Should You Try to Make Everyone Happy?

It is human nature to worry about others and want them to be happy.

But while it is commendable to want to make someone happy, it does not mean you need to make everyone happy.

Would you want to make everyone happy at the expense of your own happiness if it were possible?

If your answer is no, it should be! Your happiness is important. Do what you can to bring love and light into the life of others, but don’t forget your duty to yourself.

woman with her fingers intertwined and her arms stretched out in front of her

Making others happy can make you happy, but only when it does not conflict with your values and goals. Taking care of others’ happiness should not be an obstacle to your own.

A good way to achieve your happiness, and work on the happiness of others, is to engage in community service of some kind.

Charitable work and volunteerism are excellent means to make a difference in others’ lives. This can make them happy while bringing joy to yourself as well.

Does Focusing On Yourself Mean You’re Being Selfish?

No! You have to focus on yourself before you can focus on others.

It is your duty and responsibility to support and promote your emotional health. You, and you alone, know what makes you happy. Just as you should not rely on others for your happiness, they should not rely on you for theirs.

Self-love and self-care are never selfish. They are essential for your emotional and mental well-being and physical health.

How to Be Happy When Others Might Not Be

Few people can honestly say that they never have a bad day or experience a bad mood.

We all bear the weight of negative thoughts from time to time. Life can be stressful, and some of us are better equipped to deal with that.

Just because someone in your circle of family and friends is having a bad day doesn’t mean you have to too.

We understand you want to be there for them and make them happy. But if their happiness is reliant on you sacrificing your own needs, think again.

The suggestions below are not meant to make you selfish or self-centered. Quite the contrary, they are designed to make you happier within yourself and, as a result, make your loved ones happier too!

Start today, and you’ll soon learn that one way to make others happy is by making yourself happy first.

You need to have the capacity to help other people in life. If you’re doing poorly, you can’t be a positive force in the lives of others. Look after yourself so that you can look after others!

Let’s go over how to be happy when those around you might not be.

1. Spend Time Being Your Own Best Friend

We all feel good when we have friends to share things with.

Having a friend to share your feelings with and receive support from is great. But do you know what is even better? Being your own best friend!

smiling woman sitting on a ledge looking down

This means nurturing your happiness, thinking and speaking kindly about yourself, and cutting yourself slack when you are having a difficult day. Don’t worry about a lousy day; it inevitably ends, and things usually perk up soon.

Be kind to yourself! Spend time doing things you enjoy, like having your favorite takeout food or pursuing a hobby you’re passionate about. Listen to some happy music. Such things are essential for the soul!

Want to bring a smile to someone’s face? Start with your own! Read this article on how to find what makes you happy in life.

Learn to indulge more in what brings a smile to your face, like cooking yourself a nice meal on a bad day. You will find that when you’re happy, you’re in a better position to make someone else smile!

We’re not saying that you should isolate yourself. Hanging out with close friends is essential for your mental and emotional health. But remember to surround yourself with positive people who will be supportive and nurturing.

2. Be the Happy Person That Inspires Others

When you are surrounded by unhappy, negative people, you have three choices: Be as gloomy as they are, flee the scene, or be happy despite the prevailing mood.

Being happy should never be hard work. If it feels like it is, some changes need to be made.

When you look for reasons to be happy, even during tough times, you will inspire others to do the same. Rather than let their negative feelings rub off on you, let your positivity rub off on them, and be the reason someone smiles today.

You can brighten someone’s day just by being joyful and in a good mood. Stop feeling guilty about being in a good mood, even if others around you are not.

two woman laughing while walking down a street

When your friends, colleagues, children, or partner see that you have inner joy and are full of positivity, they will want this for themselves. Feeling happy yourself can be the best way to make others happier too.

If the naysayers still wallow in negativity despite your best efforts at being a beacon of positivity, move on. Surrounding yourself with persistently negative or unkind people will drain your energy and bring you down. Don’t let them!

3. Make Sure That Your Thoughts Are Your Own

It is far too easy to get swept up in public opinion about sociopolitical challenges and other issues in the world.

Social media is especially problematic, as we are constantly bombarded by others’ thoughts and opinions, most of which are pessimistic.

Read the Optimist Creed, and avoid falling into the trap of collective negativity. Unplug your devices for a while, and give the social media platforms a break.

woman holding her head in her hands lost in thought

Keep yourself busy with pleasurable activities where you can live in the moment and enjoy peace of mind. Go for a hike, or walk along the beach at sunset.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to stay informed of current events and social trends. The danger lies in the exposure to mass negativity. Many of these social media platforms are a breeding ground for the pessimistic and even downright harmful thoughts of others. Avoid this as much as possible.

Watch that when you post anything yourself, you do so with respect for others. Be the person who shares positive stories, ideas, and news with the world.

Focusing on the good and only sharing happy thoughts with others will naturally lead to a shift in perspective. Be the person who helps create a more positive and uplifting environment in your circles of influence.

4. Listen to Your Heart and Follow Your Dreams

Not everyone will agree with your thoughts, hopes, and beliefs. This is fine – they don’t have to.

When it comes to your goals and dreams for your future, don’t expect everyone to understand those, either.

When you’re wondering how to make everyone happy, leave your dreams out! These should not be sacrificed to keep everyone around you comfortable.

When you follow your destiny, a magical thing happens. You build confidence and self-esteem and start to enjoy greater life satisfaction. You may also find that your loved ones become happier as a result.

smiling man looking at his laptop with his fists up in celebration

Live in the moment, and celebrate every milestone that you achieve. Your long-term goals matter, but so do your short-term ones. Celebrate the small wins!

When others see the joy that following your path brings, they will be more likely to accept and support your dreams and be happy for and with you.

5. Show Kindness – It Makes Both You and Others Happy

There is one way to make everyone happy, and that’s by showing kindness.

Happiness and kindness exist in a virtuous cycle. The more kind you are, the happier you feel. And the happier you feel, the more kind you’ll be. And, of course, when you are kind to others, it makes them happy.

Acts of kindness don’t have to be grand, sweeping gestures to have a lasting impact. Sharing feedback, paying it forward, and lending a helping hand are all small gestures that can make a big difference.

volunteer unpacking a box of medicine

House sit for a neighbor or offer to run errands for a family member or friend in need. Call one of your elderly relatives who live far away and may struggle with loneliness. Ask a colleague how their day is going and really listen to the response.

If you need more ideas, reflect upon your own experiences and share the things that make you feel happy. Give away a cherished book, bake someone your favorite cookies, or praise others publicly.

Kindness is contagious and is free! You’ll be surprised by how much joy a small gesture of kindness can bring – for both you and the recipient. So spread kindness to brighten up your day and make others happy too.

Final Thoughts

It is not possible to make everybody happy all of the time. And this is not something you should be striving for either. It is not your job to make other people happy. Rather, it is your job to be happy with them, for them, and sometimes even despite them.

Focusing on making everyone happy at the expense of your happiness will only lead to emotional and mental health issues down the line.

We are all of far more benefit to our loved ones when we are truly happy ourselves. So take time to focus on yourself and create your own happiness from within. When you’re truly happy, you can share that joy with those around you.

At the end of the day, it is impossible to make everyone happy – but you can do your best to spread kindness, positivity, and support. These things can make a real difference in someone else’s life – and yours too!

Check out the Do Happy App to promote happiness and kindness in your life.

You may also be interested in these a little dose of happy resources:

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