Choosing Happiness in Your Life
All too often in our lives, we place happiness squarely out of reach. I hear people complain, “I’ll never be happy,” and “Happiness just wasn’t meant for me.” Unfortunately, these statements are symptomatic of the problem. Happiness is not out of reach; we just put it there due to other, often less important things, getting in our way.
The Arguing Duo: Mr. and Mrs. Smith
For example, let’s look at how Mr. and Mrs. Smith communicate when they argue. Their communications are often marked by one contradicting the other. Blame is thrown around, and Mr. Smith often insists that his point of view is the one and only right one.
Mr. Smith is choosing, whether he realizes it or not, to be unhappy. He has chosen to be the one in the “right,” rather than to work toward tranquility for himself and his wife.
While Mr. Smith feels vindicated, his wife now feels angry, upset, and very much unhappy. Her unhappiness will eventually filter down to him, since they share much of their lives together. Perhaps they will both feel much worse off after such arguments, even though Mr. Smith continues to win them.
If life is all about winning such argument, Mr. Smith will have “won” at life. That will be little solace to him when he looks back at such wins and see how miserable he made life for both himself and his wife. We often get caught up in the emotion of an argument, and in this feeling of “being right,” that we lose sight of the purpose of the argument. Winning the argument becomes more important than the person’s feelings with whom we are arguing.
But what exactly has Mr. Smith “won?” Is it likely that Mrs. Smith will slap herself on the side of the head and say, “By golly, George, you’re right! Thanks for spending the past 15 minutes arguing your point, because now I see the light!”
I don’t know of too many people who come away from an argument saying that (other than sarcastically). By beating the other person into seeing your point of view in an argument, the only thing you’ve “won” is bitter misery and resentment from them. Ask yourself a simple question… Do you feel better or worse about yourself after arguing with someone (especially a significant other)? How do you think the other person feels??
Most arguments are ultimately pointless, meaningless, and conducted over small matters that have little to no real meaning in life. By choosing to argue, rather than choosing to be happy, you are setting your own course. The two are mutually exclusive; I’ve never met two people who were truly happy when arguing.