9 things happy people always do (but never talk about)

Happy people are happy for a reason.

There are some things they just do in their everyday lives.

If you asked them why they’re so content with themselves, they’d probably tell you about the things on this list.

But otherwise, they just do certain things like they are the most natural thing in the world to do!

Yet they won’t willingly talk about doing these things (i.e., without being asked specifically what makes them so happy).

Because when you’re truly happy with yourself and your life, you don’t feel the need to gloat about it or tell people all the reasons why you’re so happy.

You just are. And it shows in all your thoughts, actions, and everyday habits.

Want to know the things happy people just do – and never talk about?

Up first:

1) They forgive quickly but don’t forget

First up, happy people forgive others quickly. Sometimes, “quickly” can mean in a matter of minutes. Like if someone said something insensitive and apologized, they’d quickly tell them it’s no problem.

Other times, it can mean in a couple of hours, days, or weeks. Like if a partner or friend seriously broke their trust. Or if someone said something intentionally hurtful about them.

They do this because they know that holding onto anger doesn’t do anyone any good. In fact, it only leads to you being angrier, more anxious, and even depressed, according to experts.

They often won’t forget about the pain that was caused. Because with forgiveness comes the opportunity to reset your boundaries with people and prevent future hurt.

But they certainly won’t hold onto the pain for too long!

2) They leave the past in the past

No good ever comes from ruminating too much on the past.

The best way to handle our trauma and bad experiences is to face them and deal with them healthily – and then move on with life.

Sometimes that’s with therapy, sometimes it’s with self-help books, and sometimes it’s by reading online journals to process your feelings before deciding what to do next.

But what happy people don’t do is continuously live in the past and go over and over past traumas – making themselves mad, sad, and/or anxious every day of their lives.

I have a friend who’s always lived in the past. She’s always looking back and never moves on from the bad things that have happened to her.

She won’t let things go, even with years of therapy.

I know “letting go” is easier said than done. But she’s never going to truly move on if she doesn’t draw a line under the sand one day and leave it all behind her!

3) They respect themselves

People who are happy with themselves have high self-worth and high self-esteem. That’s just a fact.

And when you have these traits, you generally have a lot of respect for yourself.

I.e., you know your worth and you know what actions or behaviors (from yourself or others) won’t make you feel like you have self-respect.

Which could mean you leave relationships you know are bad for you. Or it could mean you often set boundaries with a friend.

It could even mean you say no to dares or doing what your boss asks you to do sometimes – out of respect for yourself!

Telling people you have respect for yourself can come across the wrong way (something people with high emotional intelligence will know).

Which is why happy people don’t talk about how much they respect their own mind and body.

They just do – and it shows in the way they talk about themselves and the things they do and don’t do.

4) They make decisions for themselves

Making decisions for yourself feels empowering.

It’s a good feeling knowing that you went for a walk today because you decided to go. Or that you got that new job because you made the decision to apply for it.

Research says that when you have autonomy, you feel happier, more engaged, motivated, and productive – in school, work, and your life overall.

When you don’t make decisions for yourself, it can make you feel like you lack control over your own life.

Which makes sense that happy people make their own decisions.

5) They are hard on themselves sometimes

This might be an unpopular opinion, but sometimes, you have to criticize yourself where criticism is needed if you want to find happiness.

I truly believe that you need to cut yourself some slack sometimes. But sometimes, you have to be a bit tough on yourself, too!

If you give yourself too much slack, you’ll end up falling off a cliff.

You can’t keep making excuses for your poor behavior. Or telling yourself it’s OK to keep doing these things that you know are bad.

Sometimes, you have to acknowledge that you did or are doing something wrong.

Because sometimes, it isn’t OK that you did that thing. And you have to tell yourself that it isn’t OK and acknowledge the reasons why.

Then, you have to forgive yourself and move on – committing to never doing it again!

6) They set goals for themselves

pic1445 9 things happy people always do (but never talk about)

People who are genuinely happy with their lives still set goals for things they want to do, see, and achieve.

They don’t set them because achieving that goal will make them happy. They set them because it will make their life even happier.

But they don’t shout about their plans from the rooftops. Why?

Many experts talk about how the first rule of achieving a goal is to tell no one at all that you’ve even set it. Apparently, it prevents untoward advice and opinions that could sway your judgment or scupper your plans.

Still, happy people may have an accountability partner who they tell. Or confide in a trusted friend. Or maybe even tell their partner if their goals impact them in any way.

But they won’t tell the world what they’re planning. Instead, they quietly do their thing and achieve their goals with utmost modesty!

7) They believe in themselves

Happy people don’t just set goals and think they’ll never make it there. They actually believe they’re destined for good things in life and that they can achieve their goals if they really want to.

The self-fulfilling prophecy is a real thing.

Which means that if you believe you can’t do something, you’re never going to do it! And on the flip side, if you do believe you can do something, you can achieve it.

They know if they work hard enough, they’ll reach that goal of gaining 10 pounds of muscle. Or if they keep running once a week, they’ll be able to run a marathon by the end of the year.

They probably won’t tell many people that they believe they’re destined for greatness.

But deep down, they believe exactly that. They believe in themselves, their abilities, and their perseverance.

And they know they can achieve the goals they set if they continue to dedicate themselves to them.

8) They talk themselves off the ledge

Not literally of course. But happy people mentally and emotionally “snap themselves out of it” when negative self-talk comes creeping in.

It’s like happy people often get told they’re “strong”, “brave”, and “resilient”. And quite often, those comments come as a surprise.

These people experience all their emotions, including the times when they feel low, insecure, or like they aren’t good enough. So they struggle to see how strong they really are.

But the difference is that they know how to pick themselves up when they’re feeling down. They know that they need to stop the negative self-talk when it creeps in.

And they know that the bad thoughts are just thoughts – and there are more positive thoughts to be had than negative ones.

It’s not that happy people never feel sad, insecure, or anxious. It’s that they handle those emotions well, persevere, and push through to come out shining on the other side!

9) They put themselves first

Finally, the last thing happy people do, but don’t talk about much, is put themselves first.

Other people will be their priority, like their kids, family members, partners, or close friends. And to maintain happy relationships and family dynamics, they put these people first when the time calls for it.

But truly happy people know that they can’t give to others if they’re not giving to themselves, too.

They also know if they have all of themselves away, they won’t be as happy as they are with their life.

And while they may sacrifice things occasionally and be generous with how they spend their time, money, and energy on others – they still manage to put themselves first overall.

Final thoughts

As we mentioned at the start of this article, happy people are happy for a reason.

They aren’t just dealt good cards in life. They still go through things, have bad thoughts sometimes, and meet difficult challenges.

But they don’t dwell on their problems for too long. They have a positive mindset about most things and a strong, capable sense of self.

They believe in themselves and have a lot of respect for the person they are deep down. And they know that no matter what happens in this life, they can handle it.

Which is why they find themselves, no matter what, overall happy!

Picture of Amy Reed

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is a content writer from London working with international brands. As an empath, she loves sharing her life insights to help others. When she’s not writing, she enjoys a simple life of reading, gardening, and making a fuss over her two cats.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.