What if the ones we surround ourselves with drain our happiness?


I have always been told that happiness comes from within but as I get older, happiness seems to come from more than one source. When it comes to getting happiness from other people, that concept seems easy—but it is not.


Other people’s encouragement or lack thereof in your life can make a big difference in the paths that you take in life and the happiness level you maintain.


Letting go of dead weight


“People stay in situations because of comfort.”


I had a very close group of friends my freshman year of college that I did not realize were toxic to my well-being and happiness until I stopped being friends with them. After I made that decision I gained happiness by having personal freedom. I started to realize that my friends were draining my happiness when they would question why I didn’t get mad in certain situations that they would or when they would make me feel like I was not part of the group.


This “friendship” was unfortunately characteristic of a catty high school friendships that would eventually end on bad terms. Many women and even some men will have at least one friendship like this over their lifetime, and it will affect their happiness level. The best way to not get caught up in this type of friendship is to know and be able to tell when someone does not actually support your decisions as an individual.


When another person does not support your actions constantly even though those actions do not affect them, it is time to let go of that friendship because that person is bringing down your happiness and not letting you be your authentic self.


Regain your happiness


The first step to regain your happiness from a toxic relationship is to first admit that there are problems that are making you unhappy with the friendship or relationship. You should admit that you allowed another person take away your happiness, which I think is one of the biggest—and most difficult—steps to take.


“Delayed happiness may be better than instant.”


In terms of intimate relationships, those can affect your life more than any other relationship besides the one you have with your parents. My uncle always tells me that I should make sure I do what I want in life and not let another person stifle my dreams. He has good knowledge about that issue because when he was younger, he let his girlfriend talk him out of going to school, because she wanted to spend more time with him.


Having the support of your significant other is a big reason why some people accomplish their goals and others do not.


If you want to be able to accomplish your dreams and your significant other does not support it, they may become something that drains your happiness and you may have to make a choice on what you want your happiness to center around (individual happiness or relationship happiness).


Happiness is something that is very fluid throughout life and can be hard to solidify into one thing. Yet we can always tell when another person is draining our happiness and they need to exit stage left for good.


One thing to remember about happiness is that it is also different for everyone. Someone might think that their family member or friend is unhappy because they would be unhappy in that situation but everyone has different limits on how much someone else can drain their happiness and only individuals themselves can figure that out.


Once you let go of the person draining your happiness, you may feel like there is something missing, but that feeling can be reversed in several ways. The best solution depends on the person. If you are more inclined to surround yourself with others, do that. You can meet new people at a networking event, concert or even at the park. Rely on family and friends or reconnect with someone you have lost touch with. If you are more introverted you can pick up that hobby you stopped engaging in or create a new hobby. I know for me music is very therapeutic so I try to look up new music at least once at week. That hobby has created a music library of over 3,500 songs, which gives me music for every occasion and mood.


“Happiness is something that you decide because you are in control and no one is holding you back.”


The main goal in most people’s lives is to be happy. Everyone deserves a true feeling of happiness at least once a day.



Candacea Bey is a Journalism Graduate student at Temple University and a newborn Photographer. She is a type 1 diabetic who tries to see the best in everything and strives everyday to be happy. She is interested in topics that include happiness, self-esteem, fashion and community involvement. She loves Soca music, the NY Giants, Man. City, fashion and anything that involves an adventure. Having women of all backgrounds and ages develop a personal and community sense of happiness is what she strives to bring about in her writing. You can reach her on her Instagram at candacea_almira.