How to make someone happy

2020-01-04

You can’t.

No, really, you have almost no control over what they feel. We’ve covered this before.

That’s all there is to know. So you know. That’s it. You can’t make someone happy. Thanks for reading.

Okay fine, if you insist, if you must take some action to make someone happier, the best you can do is create an environment where they could be happy. Which encourages them to feel happy. Whether they then actually feel happy is the result of chaotic, unknowable variables that you can’t possibly understand.

If you read that advice and then rolled your eyes because it sounds an awful lot like making someone happy, you’re missing the point. Dealing with other people is not like building a chair. When you make a chair you have complete control over the process and outcome. If you end up with a bad chair, well, next time you can just do something differently.

Dealing with other people is more like planting a garden. You can till the soil, pull the weeds, water it all the time nad fertilize your heart out, but the results you get are never 100% under your control. If you get a bad crop, maybe you did something wrong. Or maybe the weather didn’t cooperate. Maybe you got some bad seeds. Any of a hundred things may have happened, and many of them have nothing to do with you.

The best you can do is try. Create the environment and hope for the best.

That’s why you can’t take too much credit or blame for the way someone else feels. You have some control, but not much.