Can You Make Someone Happy?

1. delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing.
2. characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy.

All of us at some point in our life have experienced being happy as described in the first definition. It is usually connected to some event or thing that brings pleasure or fulfillment. Unfortunately, this type of happiness is fleeting once life creeps back in and the event or object that brought happiness fades.

One of the things I enjoy in life is observing people. I have learned that some people are happy every time you meet them. These people tend to also have a natural smile on their face. During conversations they have a positive outlook on life and the bumps in the road of life don’t seem to bother them. Even after one gets to know these people on a deeper level you find that their happiness is genuine. I have concluded that this is a gift that is part of their very being. Naturally happy people always lift the spirit of those around them. These are the people in the second definition for happy.

Then there is the other end of the spectrum where we meet a person who is the opposite of the truly happy person. We usually define them as grumpy, gruff, bitter, angry, grouchy, sad, depressing, etc. If you’re like me, when you interact with these people you tend to limit the time you spend with them.

1. a person characterized by constant complaining.

So this led me to ponder this thought: can you make someone else happy as in contentment or joy? I believe we all have the ability to be content and joyful but it is a choice that we have to make on our own if happiness does not come naturally. As a friend we can help others find contentment and joy in how we interact but ultimately it is their choice. It is at this point in my pondering that I realize that our interpersonal relationships with those around us is really complex. The more we get to know a person the more perplexing the friendship can become.

5 thoughts on “Can You Make Someone Happy?

  1. Great post today Patrick. As someone who flips between contentment and grumpiness it has been a gift to spend these past 12 years with my son who is truly a happy person. Watching his upbeat, joyful approach to life never fails to snap me out of a mood and remind me there is a better way to be living each day and better choices to make with my interactions. I absolutely believe he was born with this innate happiness and he wants to share it every day, with everyone he meets.


  2. It looks like you and I were having some of the same musings today Patrick. (If you have a chance, check out my post from today — I think you’ll find it resonates based on what you’ve shared.)

    My daughter (and my husband) are more innately happy. My son and I tend to be described as more pragmatic. But make no mistakes, I can easily go from pragmatic to grumpy. Easily. 🙂

    I think we can ‘learn’ optimism and happiness. But I think we need to work on it.


  3. I’m a naturally happy, optimistic person and I think I can learn something from grumpy people. I have in the past. They usually know the best fishing holes, too. Grumpy people don’t tell the whole world about them and that’s why they’re still good fishing holes. Also, they always seem to notice where the radar is. Saved me a couple of tickets, no doubt in my mind. Also if you can be happy and optimistic and QUIET around grumpy people, that cheers them right up.


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