13 ways to stop relying on others for happiness (complete guide)

Do you feel like your happiness heavily depends on other people?

You’re not alone with this, but that doesn’t make it any better.

It is not healthy or realistic to expect others to make you happy. And, it certainly is not enjoyable.

Here are 13 ways to stop relying on other people for happiness:

1) Stop expecting others to make you happy

The first step to stop relying on other people for happiness is working on your expectations.

There is a saying that expectation is the root of all heartache.

Well, it certainly can be!

In order to be happy on your own, you need to stop expecting others to make you happy.

You must realize that it is not possible for others to make you happy.

It is possible for others to contribute to your happiness, but it is not theirs to give.

Only you can give yourself happiness. So, start expecting less from others and more from yourself.

This will take time and practice, but it is worth the effort.

And the best part?

Once you do this, your relationships will improve automatically, as well!

Think about it: when you expect someone to make you happy and they don’t, not only are you not happy now, but you’re also disappointed!

You might blame them for your unhappiness and it puts a strain on the whole relationship.

However, if you don’t expect them to make you happy, all that can be avoided!

2) Take care of yourself first before taking care of others!

In order to stop relying on other people for happiness, you need to take care of yourself first.

If you don’t take care of yourself first, how can you expect anyone else to?

Self-care means putting your needs first and foremost.

You do this by making sure your basic needs are taken care of: physical health, emotional health, mental health, and financial security.

It also means that you make sure that your wants are met as well: education, career opportunities, and relationships with friends and family members who bring you joy.

When you take the time and take care of yourself, you will feel better about yourself.

Knowing that no matter what, you got yourself, makes you feel very safe.

And the best part?

You are teaching others how to treat you, so if you take great care of yourself and have lots of self-respect, you’re showing others to treat you the same way!

Now you might wonder how you can actually take care of yourself.

Believe it or not, the answer is simple: begin with searching for a fix in yourself.

Stop searching for external solutions to sort out your life. Why? Because deep down, you know this isn’t working. 

The only true way to stop relying on others for your happiness is to unleash your personal power.

I realized this only after watching this excellent free video from the modern-day shaman Rudá Iandê.

Rudá’s life mission is to help people restore balance to their lives and unlock their creativity and potential.

I’m sure that his incredible approach will also help you to realize that in order to find true happiness you need to build a better relationship with yourself.

Here’s a link to the free video again.

3) Be mindful of your actions

To stop relying on others for happiness, you need to be mindful of your actions.

If you find that your happiness depends on someone else and they don’t live up to your expectations, take a step back and evaluate the relationship.

If it’s not adding value to your life, it’s time to let go and move on!

Remember, you have only one life to live!

It is absolutely imperative that you make the most of it by being happy and taking care of yourself.

So many people live their lives stuck in a routine, never really paying attention to the fact that they are deeply unhappy with the life they are living.

And then one day, they are gone.

I don’t want this to happen to you.

That’s why I’m writing this article!

I want you to be mindful of your actions and your feelings.

When something makes you unhappy, it’s time to reevaluate things and make changes.

By being aware of your actions and feelings, you are able to make changes in your life that will lead you down a happier path.

4) Learn to accept your own feelings

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It can be hard to recognize our emotions, and even harder to accept them.

We often have the idea that we should feel a certain way, but that’s not always the case.

You are allowed to feel any way you want, so take some time to recognize those feelings and identify where they stem from.

Once you know what it is you’re feeling, you can start working on figuring out how to overcome it.

Accepting your own feelings is crucial in learning how to make yourself happy.

You see, you won’t ever reach a point of “you’re happy and now that’s it, you’ll always be happy”.

That’s not how life works.

In order to experience happiness, we must also allow pain and heartache!

Once you accept these feelings and let them flow through you freely, that’s when you’ll notice that fighting those feelings is worse than just allowing them to happen!

5) Don’t rely on events to make you happy

Another thing to keep in mind is that events can’t make you happy.

You’ll always be disappointed by events because they happen so infrequently and never live up to your expectations.

When you live your life never really present, always looking forward to the next event, you will never break out of the loop of relying on external things to make you happy.

You see, when you train your brain to always look forward to things in order to be happy, you will never be present in real life, and then when these great events roll around, you won’t be able to enjoy them.

The day comes and you’re already sad because this event will be over soon.

It’s truly a paradox, but when you learn to let that go, you are making yourself a lot freer.

6) Be kind to yourself

Be kind to yourself. This doesn’t mean that you should never work on yourself or never give yourself feedback, but be nice enough to let your own needs come first.

After all, you’re the person living with you.

Find a hobby that makes you happy and pursue it. Be creative and use your time for what you want: not just for other people’s wants.

Take care of your body and mind by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising.

Do things for you — get a massage or buy those shoes you’ve been eyeing for months — anything that will make you feel like a million bucks!

Sometimes we wait for other people to buy us flowers, take us on a nice road trip, take us out to dinner,… when in reality, we could be doing these things by ourselves all the time!

When you make it a habit to do little, sweet things for yourself, you will immediately notice that you don’t have to rely on other people so much for your happiness.

Think about it like dating yourself! What could you do to really make you like yourself?

7) Find a new hobby

It might be time to find a new hobby if you feel like your happiness depends on other people.

Doing anything outside of work can have a positive impact on your well-being.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to paint, but didn’t have the time?

Or perhaps you’re looking for a way to get more exercise and enjoy nature?

Whatever it is that interests you, find a way to pursue it, and then just go for it!

It can help stave off loneliness and can teach you that you don’t always need to rely on other people for happiness!

8) Learn how to say no

Do you find yourself doing things for other people because of guilt?

Or, do you have a feeling that if you don’t do something they’ll be mad at you?

It is important to learn how to say no, and also how to say no nicely.

If you are being asked to do something that will make you unhappy, or it doesn’t feel right, it is your responsibility to say no.

You deserve a happy life too!

Thinking that you should put other people’s needs first because their approval will make you happy is what is keeping you stuck.

When you learn how to say no, you’re taking important steps towards not relying on other people so much for happiness!

9) Avoid toxic relationships

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One way to stop relying on others for happiness is to avoid toxic relationships.

If you’re in a situation where you are unhappy and your partner is not changing, then it might be time to leave.

This type of situation will only make you feel worse about yourself and eventually, it can lead to depression.

The best way to find happiness on your own is by leaving a toxic relationship.

You see, toxic relationships often have the common trait that they are full of codependency.

This means the partners in the relationship rely on each other for happiness.

If one person is down, they will drag the other person down with them.

This is unhealthy and will not lead to a happy life.

Many times, people who are in toxic relationships, don’t even know it.

When you feel like you and your partner have toxic tendencies that you can’t seem to break, you might be better off spending some time apart!

10) Do something you love every now and then

One of the easiest ways to stop relying on others for your happiness is to do something you love.

This can be anything, from

  • playing a game
  • reading a book
  • watching TV
  • going for a walk
  • painting

The point is to do something that you enjoy and that gives you joy.

When you make more time to do the things you love, you learn to stop relying on other people for your happiness!

11) Get enough sleep

Start with the basics.

Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health.

It’s hard to feel happy when you’re too tired to function or when your mind is foggy from lack of sleep.

Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep each night, and, if possible, take a nap during the day when you’re low on sleep.

When you are sleep-deprived, the world can seem a lot more daunting and lonely than it is.

That’s why getting enough sleep is a great first step to only relying on yourself for your happiness.

12) Try out something new

The first step towards stopping relying on others for happiness is to find your own passions.

This can be a difficult one for some, but try out something new.

Find a hobby that will make you happy.

For example, go outside and take a walk, play games with your kids, or take up an instrument.

Giving yourself new activities to focus on will help you avoid feeling like your happiness depends on other people.

When you’re always stuck doing the same things again and again, you will always feel like your happiness is tied to other people.

Try and mix things up a bit!

Try to do something new every week.

Whether it be going to a new restaurant, learning a new skill, or taking a road trip with your partner, try to do something that you haven’t done in a while.

This will give you time to learn about yourself and what you like.

It will show you what your passions are, and help you stop relying on others for happiness.

13) Stop comparing your life with other people’s lives

When you compare your life to other people’s lives, it becomes frustrating because they seem so much happier than you.

When this happens, it can lead to feelings of jealousy and envy.

This is because when we compare our lives with others, we feel like we aren’t good enough or that we aren’t happy enough.

Usually, in those situations, you will be comparing someone’s highlight reel to your everyday life, so of course, it’s not gonna feel that rosy.

When we compare ourselves with others’ lives, we feel alone in our own lives and that there is no one else out there who has our problems.

Stop the comparison and instead, learn to be grateful for the little things in life!

You got this

Truthfully, you’ll never fully stop relying on other people for happiness because we as humans are social creatures who love to spend time together.

However, you can learn to be okay, even when other people don’t have time!

Working on a few things can really change your relationship with yourself and with other people!

Picture of Anna Scheucher

Anna Scheucher

Freelance writer specializing in holistic health, wellness, and psychology. Check out my blog to find out more https://www.fullyholistic.com/!

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