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I Will Never Let Someone Else Make Me Unhappy: Will You?

I have done some thinking about myself, others, and feeling happy. I have walked and talked in circles up inside of my head, exploring nooks, crannies, and unknowns that are now known to me. I have thought deeply, analyzed much, and have thus discovered some of my own conclusions regarding my personal feelings of happiness and how others may or may not be affecting that internal state. At the same time, I have given some thought as to how my actions and words may or may not be affecting the personal happiness of other people.

For now though, I would like to focus on how I feel inside when I think of how other people act toward me and how I interpret those actions inside of my own mind. By taking time with this process and understanding it, I can come around full circle and begin to appreciate how I see myself and how others have the potential to negatively or positively affect how I see myself or how I am feeling inside. No matter what value I decide to ascribe to the words and actions of other humans, I cannot help but think that the value I eventually decide to ascribe can only be my individual perception or my take of how the world is impacting me.

My perception of reality and the people around me begins inside of my own mind or brain. It is in my brain where I begin to try and make sense of the world, complex and changing as it is. For my mind to successfully assess my environment, a whole bunch of collaborative processes has to take place. While this kind of collaboration is rather complex, there is no need to pick it apart bit by bit. Nevertheless, my perception and my feelings of happiness are produced inside of my mind and that is a fact.

This fact, does not change however, the reality that it is almost impossible to avoid the outside world and the people that exist and move within it. Tomorrow I will wake up, go about my day, and probably pass by and interact with at least a handful of people. Everytime I run into another person or interact with another person is a chance for me to have my perception altered. That is, every person whom I come across in my life has the potential to influence my decision-making, thought patterns, and how I am feeling.

While this is true for all of us, it is very important to remember that each interaction has the ‘potential’ to alter or influence how we are thinking or how we are feeling on any given day.

So long as you or I or anyone else can remember that others only have the ‘potential’ to influence or impact our general well-being, the more likely we are to reach and achieve higher levels of happiness and understanding of self. This is not to say that the words and actions of other people should be completely disregarded of interpreted as pointless dribble or incoherent fluff. Rather, this is to say that the mind, if well-trained enough, has the ability to build and incorporate its own psychological filtering process.

This means that you or I have the ability to receive thoughts and feelings from other people without incurring a negative experience.

While this may appear to be a trivial concept, it is actually one of the most difficult lifelong interactive skills to master. In other words, it is so easy to let other individuals sway our emotions and thought processes. It is so incredibly easy to let another person get under our skin and rub us the wrong way. In this way, we have evolved as a naturally defensive and protective species. We have been conditioned over hundreds of thousands of years to be reactive, especially as we exist in a harsh and unpredictable environment that poses certain risks and fluctuating threats.

Despite all of unknowns that we are facing on a continual basis, it remains exceedingly critical for you or I to be mindful and aware of the people who we decide to let into our minds. It is important to think about the thoughts and feelings that are entering our mind from the mouths and minds of other people. Ultimately, I am in charge of how I feel. I am in charge of how happy I allow myself to be. So are you. You are in charge of how happy you feel.

By the same token, but just speaking backwards, no one else has the ability to strip you of your happiness and confident state of mind. Other people may be able to jostle it, shake it, even turn your world upside down. Remember, you are the skipper of your own mind – you get to filter out that which disquiets you.

Train your brain, enhance the stronghold inside of your mind. You can love and welcome people into your life and still have an iron core. You are strong enough to not let someone else make you unhappy.

Where do you stand? Are you easily influenced or impacted by the thoughts and feelings of other people in your life?

Be good to yourself,

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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