If You Want To Be Happy, Quit These Bad Habits (Plus, 18 Tips For Happiness)

Break habits that destroy your happiness.

How To Be Happy & Find Happiness Through Self-Care, Self-Esteem, & Feeling Good Unsplash 

Do you put other people's happiness ahead of your own, hoping that they will make you feel happy?

If you're not feeling good about yourself, you can end up trying to make other people happy in order to feel their love or approval. However, this can prevent you from being happy with yourself.

You can learn how to be happy in life by breaking the habits that destroy your happiness. But, first, you need to identify those self-deprecating habits.


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You may be a rescuer who takes care of everyone’s needs, but your own needs get left behind. You let others take priority over you. When you accommodate the needs of others, you end up feeling unhappy within yourself.


You might think that this is what makes you happy, but it's not. When you put your self-worth in the hands of others, you end up depending on the relationship to feel good about yourself.

Guess what? No one can change the way you feel about yourself. We are responsible for our own happiness and need to work on ourselves to be happy. We cannot expect others to meet our needs or make us feel happy about ourselves.

So, you lose yourself when you continually put effort into others and not focus on yourself. You end up feeling that you do not matter when your needs get squashed because you are giving to everyone and not yourself.

This pattern contributes towards low self-esteem and not feeling good within yourself. You become run-down and depleted by making sure everyone is happy, except yourself.


You’ve got nothing left to give to yourself and end up running on empty. So, you give up on yourself or doing the things that make you happy.

The more you sacrifice yourself for others, the more you lose your sense of self and stop believing in you. You live everyone’s life but not your own. You forget about your needs, wants, passions and aspirations. You end up feeling as though you do not matter.

You mistakenly think that meeting other peoples' needs will automatically make you feel happy.

Being overly empathic or having co-dependency in relationships causes you to please others and not yourself. You make other people happy because you do not know how to go for what you want. So, you end up giving to others in order to feel good enough.


Making others happy causes you to feel validated. If you make yourself important to others, then they will approve of you.

You end up living everyone else’s life and not your own. You solve everyone else’s problems while ignoring your own. When you lack belief in yourself, you can end up making others happy so they believe in you.

You feel good about yourself when you are pleasing others. You get acceptance, love, support, and acknowledgment when you make others feel good, so it's easy to make people happy but not sort out your own life.

You feel guilty when you stop focusing on others, so you avoid focusing on yourself and avoid the things that matter to you. You fear that if you don't please people they will not need you or leave you.


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By negating your needs and ignoring the things that matter to you, you make yourself feel unimportant or unsatisfied with life, ruining your own happiness. You end up relying on other people for happiness, so they can reassure you because you don't know how to reassure yourself.  

You seek approval in others rather than find approval within yourself. By searching for approval and acceptance in others you ruin your chances of being happy within yourself.

You cannot feel self-fulfilled or satisfied with life, if you are negating yourself and not finding happiness within yourself.


Instead of dealing with your feelings you attempt to feel better when you please people while destroying your happiness. You distract yourself from how you feel, giving up on yourself and diminishing your self-esteem.

The actual truth is, you are searching for happiness in others, instead of finding happiness within yourself.

You want others to approve of you because you do not approve of yourself and lack self-acceptance. The more you rely on others to feel good enough, the more you lose yourself and stop yourself feeling good within yourself.

So stop destroying your chances of finding happiness within yourself!

Here are 18 tips for how to be happy with yourself and your life through self-care, self-love, and feeling good. 

  1. Start to prioritize yourself and focus on yourself, rather than putting your happiness in everyone else.
  2. Stop being a "yes" person and a people-pleaser.
  3. Listen to yourself and be true to your own needs and wants, within reason.  
  4. Remember that you deserve to be happy and do what is right for you.
  5. Start asserting yourself by setting limits, having boundaries, and saying "no".
  6. Nurture yourself and be kind to yourself instead of being hard on yourself.
  7. Learn from your mistakes and don't beat yourself up about them.
  8. Change negative self-talk into positive affirmations.
  9. Make time for yourself, take better care of yourself, and do the things that bring you joy.
  10. Ask yourself what your goals are and what is most important to you. Make that your priority, so you don’t derail from yourself. Find a way to address the distractions that hold you back. 
  11. Back yourself and trust yourself. No one else knows you better than you, so reassure yourself to take control over your own life. 
  12. Stop feeling responsible for everyone else.
  13. Know that you do not need to apologize or blame yourself for things that are not your fault.
  14. Be aware that you are not responsible for how others feel.
  15. Stop worrying what others think of you and stop trying to make everyone happy with you.
  16. Do not let the self-critic within you control you. Do not let it sabotage your self-belief.
  17. Start sorting out your own life and making a clear plan forward — put it in your diary.
  18. Make a commitment to honor yourself and believe in yourself, as part of mastering self-love and self-acceptance.

When you stop focusing on yourself, you can seek approval and love from others, while giving up on yourself, ruining your chances of happiness.  

When you look for happiness in other people, you start relying on them to feel good about yourself because, deep down, you feel like you're not good enough.

Real happiness stems from having self-belief and feeling good enough about yourself. This allows you to have the fuel to pick yourself up, embrace yourself, nurture yourself, and invest in yourself.

When you give back to yourself you will become more available for you in order to build your self-esteem and live a self-satisfying lifestyle. You will be able to address the areas that hold you back and stop distracting from yourself.


When you find your own self-pursuits, you can find happiness within yourself, by finding passion, meaning, and self-fulfillment in doing the things you truly love.

Most importantly, by focusing on yourself, you can take back control of yourself, and not let your inner critic take control of you.

When you do not invest in yourself you seek approval in order to feel better. 

The real antidote to being truly happy within yourself is mastering self-love, believing in yourself, and focusing on yourself, instead of finding happiness in other people. 

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Nancy Carbone is a relationship counselor with a M.Soc Sc (Couns). She works with overcoming stuck patterns and assists her clients to master self-love. You can read more on her social media.