How do you want to live your life?

Truth behind staying happy

on July 4, 2014

I want to start off the post by sharing this piece that I read recently:

‘Once you learn to be happy, you won’t tolerate being around people who make you feel anything less.’

Yes, I can see some of you smiling in acknowledgement. I would like to break today’s post into 2 parts. First part examines why we feel a certain way about some people; second part is aimed at helping those who find it difficult to defend their own happiness.

Just last week I had some friends come over for dinner and after they left, I was in great spirit, gushing about how wonderful dinner was…etc. My husband in response to my lovely mood, commented:” Well, you do choose friends who adores you.” My immediate response was to defend my integrity as a person! I most definitely do not choose friends based on how much they adored me! Piff! Ah, but I have learnt over the years that a good response is usually not made in haste. So I sat on it and had an honest conversation with myself. I concluded that yes I do choose friends who adores me. I mean who would want to be around people who says hateful things about you all the time? But these friends also had to meet certain criteria. They had to be real, share common value systems, great sense of humor, smart, compassionate, passionate about life…yes it seems like it is an impossible list but you will be surprised how many people possess such qualities!

We NEED to be around friends who validate who we are, yet unafraid to speak the truth when required. Yes, this post is not called the definition of a true friend. But it is a fact that a true friend also validates you; they are sincerely happy about your successes and are there for you in times of need. One without the other will not work. It is, in my humble opinion very much a give and take relationship. All these circles back to the quote today, once you had a taste of great friendships that leaves you giddy with happiness, why would one go back to those who cannot provide such happiness? We are drawn to certain friends because of the way they make us feel.

Now, let’s move on to the next part, we all have different types of friendships. Those aforementioned, and the ones that we hold on to because ‘it is the right thing to do’. How often have you come away from these obligations and felt dejected and lousy about yourself. People who are supposedly your friend but cannot validate or inspire you to be better are not good for your self-esteem. And yet, time and again we find it difficult to cut the cord and set ourselves free. I am still trying. But how about this for a start? Begin by trying to spend more time with those who lifts you. And do your best to minimise contact with the ‘not so healthy’ friends. In order for this to work, you need to be honest with yourself. Remember, all relationships need to have an almost equal amount of give and take. A friend who gives all the time is not good, nor is one who takes and drain you all the time. For me, it is so important that good friends can share your glorious moments as well as help you sweep up your mess. Again they need to be able to do both. You do not need a ‘fixer’ friend who is super helpful when you are in trouble, because you are not broken, just need a little help to clean up some mess. Similarly, you do not want party friends who are only good when things are going well.

I hope that I am making sense to you and that you feel more equipped and empowered to select the friends around you. In all honesty, a bad friend is not better than no friend. You are better off without until the right one comes along! Good luck and choose to stay happy!


anything less



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