Any time I hear the word "issues," I automatically think of the Kid Cudi line, "I've got these issues that nobody can see, and all these emotions are pouring out of me."
Although we all have our problems, many of us cover them up to the best of our abilities. Maybe we don't necessarily want to draw attention to ourselves, for fear of appearing weak or needy. Maybe we are ashamed of these particular problems, which leads us to ignore them and pretend they don't exist.
However, no matter how hard you try to silence them, they'll find their way back to you. (Kind of like that guy you had a sorta-kinda thing with, who will text you he misses you right when you're starting to forget about him. It's like THEY KNOW.)
Regardless of the reasoning behind neglecting to confront the dilemma head-on, one thing is certain: Although we all want to be able to handle things ourselves, we often reach out to others for help.
There are different methods of leaning to others for support. The first way involves talking to a close friend, family member or even a therapist. You are effectively opening up about what's been bothering you, and not only gaining comfort, but insight.
They not only tell you it's going to be okay, they also give you a suggestion about how to get there (keyword: "suggestion," not a requirement).
The second way also involves leaning toward another for support, but it's less about the advice and more about the way you feel when you're with them. This is because it's often not necessarily their words that make you feel better. It's just their presence.
When you stop and think about it, how weird is it somebody has the ability to instantly lift your spirits? You sure as hell can't say that about everyone. (For me, it's mostly just wine that does the trick.)
The problem with the second method is that, instead of facing our problems ourselves, we are simply escaping from them temporarily. Although we often talk about the dangers of relying on substances to clear our minds, we don't always address similar behavior toward other people. In reality, the two are comparable.
Surrounding yourself with this person can become addicting, and can start to have a dangerously heavy influence on how you live your life.
Instead of solely putting your happiness in someone else's hands, here are three ways to create it yourself (no matter how impossible it may seem):
1. Allow some quality alone time for yourself.
Introverts thrive on alone time, while extroverts are more naturally comfortable surrounded by others. Regardless of what you identify as, everyone can benefit from a slight recharge from time to time.
You know how antsy you get when your phone is on 20 percent and there's not a charger in sight? Try applying that same mentality to your everyday well being.
We may not always be conscious of it, but sometimes, we get anxious when we don't have time to stop and take a breather. Our minds are racing as we constantly think of our next move or stress about potential roadblocks along the way.
It doesn't matter if you decide to get lost in a book or turn up your favorite song and drown out the world. Just allow some time to disengage from everything and everyone else. Just focus on you.
The less effort we make to appreciate our own company, the more difficult it inevitably becomes.
2. Recognize when your actions have become contingent on another's opinion.
Getting advice is one thing; completely altering your life goals and general perception based on someone else's thoughts is another.
When we become captivated by another person, it's natural to gravitate toward following a path similar to his or hers.
Take input with a grain of salt and don't lose sight of the big picture. When you catch yourself starting to change for somebody else, you're already on a slippery slope.
3. Take responsibility for your own happiness.
Before you roll your eyes, this isn't me preaching that you are in control of your own happiness. I believe this phrase has been stressed throughout the Internet enough by now.
However, it is important to practice emotional self-reliance. When that go-to person is out of reach, we start to realize how dependent we've become on him or her.
This realization can be initially terrifying, but you're not screwed. Yet.
Experiment with different ways to mitigate those negative feelings yourself, and eventually, you'll find out what works best. It will take practice, but knowing you are capable of calming yourself down on your own will be an empowering feeling. You'll feel more in control and independent.
It takes time, but eventually we all learn the only person who can ultimately put the pieces back together is you.