Do you know people who are determined to steal others’ joy? The adage misery loves company is sometimes true whereby others want you to experience their pain. In some cases it has more to do with power and control. They maintain power over you and control your emotions by manipulating you into thinking that everything is your fault. This leads to you feeling guilt along with your happiness. Some people are chronically unhappy and hate to see others experience joy, especially if they believe they don’t deserve it. Often those who seek to take another person’s joy have a void in their lives that they’ve been unable to fill. We all know the person who tries to bring us down because of their own unhappiness.
So what causes someone to be a joy thief? As mentioned above, some believe that everyone has it better than they do and are convinced that their misery is not their fault. They also believe that they can’t do anything to change their situation and are completely helpless and powerless. Blame seems easier than change. Some remain victims their entire lives, instead of recognizing their power to change. We are all victimized at times, but can we work through the experience and heal.
Sometimes our guilt or our fear of disapproval prevent us from confronting those stealing our joy and we remain stuck. In those cases, we need to choose not to feel guilty when we’ve done nothing wrong and decide that we can’t make everyone happy. Also we need to accept that other people’s problems don’t have to become our problems. We need to learn better boundaries and set limits with those individuals who try to suck us into their drama. We can choose to be like teflon where everything slides off of us, instead of velcro where it all sticks. Ultimately we want to separate ourselves from the negativity and misery that others want us to absorb. Stop trying to fix problems or situations that the other person doesn’t want fixed and let go of your need to rescue the world. Lastly, focus on taking care of yourself and allow others to do the same. Protect your joy.