How to find your own happiness

Yes, it’s hard to reach out when you’re empty within.

But our elder counsels that helping others can help make you happy too.

Dear EWC:

Hi I am a 20 year old college student. I often find myself having difficulty with friendships and relationships. I realized I think I couldn’t give love to people because I myself feel deprived of it. I messaged a classmate of mine who is sorta like a friend; we’re not that close but I guess we’re okay. I messaged her about her job since I myself am looking for one. Then it popped into my mind that ever since quarantine I haven’t really spoken to her. I thought why not ask her how she is as well.

But then again I find something inside me. This weird feeling that I am unable to do that. I can’t pretend to be light and caring and say how are you on chat like I have some love to give. Deep inside I feel like I wanna say please help me I’m dying. I’m so sad it feels like dying. Deep inside I want to be the one being listened to or heard, I want someone to listen to my problems and help me out. But then again I feel helpless and hopeless.

I just want to be a better friend, daughter, and person to everyone. But it’s like, I can’t make myself happy. I can’t make myself fun, loving, and caring. Though that’s what I feel, I have a hard time expressing it. I am so frustrated :(. Please help, I’d wish to hear your thoughts. Thank you.

Danray replies:

I am sorry to hear that you’re having difficulty with friendships and relationships. This must be very hard on you and I’m sure that the lack of fun, laughter, and happiness in your life is hard to deal with. Also, it was interesting to hear that you can’t give love since you haven’t received love in the past. Insightful. So what do you do?

First, be aware that many people have issues with friendships and relationships. I’m not a counselor or therapist but as you have suggested it’s not hard to understand that our past can have an impact on our current relationships or lack of them. For example, I was very shy growing up and feel that it had to do with a lack of confidence since I believed that my siblings got a lot more love and attention from my parents than I did. I had to work on my self-esteem and eventually realized that it was up to me to change how I looked at myself, how I acted and hence how people will look at me.

You didn’t provide any details regarding your comment about “I couldn’t give love to people because I myself feel deprived of ” but it’s clear that you believe that your past is affecting you today. Therefore, it’s important that you do your best to address what you feel is holding you back. For example, here’s a website that does a nice job of describing a situation where a young woman didn’t receive the love she sought as a young girl and what she did to move forward.

4 Steps to Giving Yourself the Love You Never Got

I’m sure your situation was different but the realization and the actions taken by the author are something we all can learn from. I do like her comments about loving yourself, let go of the past, don’t be negative, and choose to be happy. I know this is easier said than done but I can relate to some of these actions and how they helped me.

The bad news is you’re feeling sad, lonely, helpless, and hopeless but the good news is that you realize that something needs to change and that you want to change. Try to take some of the steps outlined in the article and don’t be afraid to get counseling to help with this process if needed. Today, I’m doing great and I know with the proper effort and support you will be feeling better soon.
I hope this helps and wish you the best going forward.


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