One of the happiest moments in my life is when someone told me that I helped them in the past but I don’t remember anything about it. It makes me feel good and better about myself somehow because, I’ll be honest, there are times when I am kind and nice to people because I want them to be kind and nice to me too. I know it’s kinda foolish because we can’t expect lions to not eat us just because we don’t eat them, right? So when they’re mean to me after me being nice to them, somehow I feel betrayed; I am disappointed. But when I forget about the good things I did to help people, I feel good because I believe that’s how it should be. That I don’t remember anything about my good deeds in the past means I did it genuinely to help people and not to expect anything in return. And I think that’s just the right thing to do.
Hence, when someone told me how much I have helped them but I forget about it, it kinda reminds me that I was a good person. I mean, sometimes I feel awful about myself. Sometimes there are things that make me feel like a bad person. So when someone reminds me of the little good deeds I did for them, it kinda encourages me to be a better person. It’s because if I could be a good person in the past, then I can also be a good or an even better person now too. So yeah, I’m thankful to these people.
I’m not saying people have to always remember every little thing I did for them, no. And it’s not good to expect people to endlessly repay us for the kindness we gave them. I guess I’m just happy if I help people and that they become a good person and then help others the way they’ve been helped. As much as I love to help people, I’d love to help myself so that people do not have to help me and can help others instead. So, no, I don’t expect people to forever feel indebted to me because, I believe, it would be too burdensome. I love to be free so I don’t want to limit others’ freedom either. If they keep thinking about how to repay me, it means they ain’t free, and I don’t want that.
But anyway, the reason I wrote this is that the other day, someone reminded me how I have helped them with their thesis, and I completely forgot about it. I was like, “Are you sure you’re not mistaking me for someone else? Maybe someone else should actually be thanked for?” And they insisted that it was me. They explained some details, and I was like, “Well, maybe yes.” They said they weren’t sure if they could ever return my kindness, and I was like, “There’s no need for that. You just need to be good and kind to others.” Seriously, though, I’m happy enough that they’ve never been mean to me. I’m happy enough that they’ve never provoked me or upset me. And that’s enough. It’s because, you know, I get upset easily. So when I helped someone and then they upset me, sometimes I came to think that they were ungrateful when they should’ve been grateful for my help in the past. And that’s not good. It makes me feel bad because I know I shouldn’t think or feel that way. It makes me feel that what I did for them wasn’t sincere, and it kinda makes me hate myself to some extent. So yeah, call me a narcissist, but it really makes me happy when people tell me that I am a good person.
But I guess, sometimes we do need such reassurance. It’s not that I’m crazy about people’s validation. I’m not saying we have to kiss-ass someone saying how good they are when actually we don’t feel like it. But when we do, when we do think they are good, when we like them, when we feel grateful to them, etc., I think it never hurts to let them know. Nope, actually, in some cases, it’s always better to tell them. It’s because, again, we need it. While it’s true that we shouldn’t live by relying on validation or reassurance from others, it’s always nice to get such positive validation and reassurance. To have someone say that we’re good, that we’re not a bad person, that we’re loved, that we matter. Yup, that’s it. We want to know and be sure that we do matter. We want to matter. No matter how little.
Once in a while, people also thank me for the positivity I share with them, especially on Instagram, and honestly, I find it confusing sometimes. It’s because I am not always positive on my Instagram. I rant too. I express various kinds of emotion, and that includes negative emotion too. When I am upset about something, I let people know. And even though they’re not the ones I’m upset with, I know it can make some people uncomfortable (even though they don’t need to feel that way if they actually aren’t like what I describe in my captions. I mean, people can’t blame their guilty conscience on me, can they?).
But anyway, one of my students told me how positive I was and she was thankful for that. She told me how I helped her with her essay and that she could finally join an exchange program to Turkey, etc. And it really makes me happy. First, I am happy that she’s happy with my help. I’m happy that she could achieve her goals. I’m truly happy for her. Second, I’m happy that she told me how much my help meant to her, because again, sometimes I really need it. I need to know that I did the right thing. I need to know that I didn’t do things out of having a savior complex. I need to know that I was actually being helpful and not just being pushy, intrusive, and acting important and needed when I actually wasn’t. So yeah, it made me happy to hear that she didn’t see me in a negative way.
But, truthfully, though, when I help someone, it’s not because I want them to like me or be forever grateful to me, no. (Though, yes, of course, I’ll be happy if they like me and thank me, not gonna lie). But, I mean, when I decide to help someone, mostly it’s because I can see myself in their shoes. It’s because if I’m the one who needs help, I will want someone to help me too. And when I know someone can help but they don’t, I’ll feel sad. And it’s not nice. That feeling is awful ’cause our conscience tells us to not feel sad, that people aren’t obliged to help us, so we shouldn’t blame them for not helping us. I know all of that, but we can’t help feeling what we’re feeling, right? So yeah, if someone asks for my help, and I can help, I’ll try to help them as best as I can. Well, there are times when I think I can actually help but for some reason I don’t (I’m not an angel, ok?) and it makes me feel bad and guilty. So when I think I can help and there’s no reason to not help, I’ll be glad to help.
Now, some of you might think I’m flexing or bragging about the good things I did. Maybe I am. I’m not going to deny it (even though it’s really NOT my intention). But the reason I’m sharing this is, again, because I want people to know how they’ve made me feel. How the little thing they say or tell me affects me and makes me happy. And I think it’s not too conceited to say that, if such things make me feel happy like I matter, I guess some people will feel the same way if told the same, right? I mean, won’t you feel happy if someone tells you how much you mean to them? How much you’ve helped them? How much it meant to them? In your bad days, it becomes your dose of motivation and encouragement, a reminder that you’re not a bad person, a reminder that if you were good, then you can be good again, etc. Won’t you see it that way?
So yeah, back to the title ’cause I don’t know what to title this post with. But I guess, when we’re being nice and make other people happy, it will make us happy ourselves. I was being nice to these people, I made them happy, and unexpectedly they made me happy. Isn’t this a good thing? And when they were being nice to me, thanking me, saying how kind I was, I thanked them and let them know that they’ve made me happy, don’t you think it’ll make them happy? I guess that’s just how a great cycle of happiness is: Be nice and kind, make others happy, and be happy yourself. And when others are being nice and kind to you, let them know that it makes you happy so they can also be happy themselves. We don’t want to help people thinking it will make them happy when they don’t actually feel happy with it, right? So yeah, it’s always nice to know that it does make them happy. And it goes both ways, of course, i.e. when someone is trying to be kind and nice to us. Isn’t this simple? Or am I making this complicated, because apparently, I end up repeating and saying the same thing? Sorry, I’m drafting this past midnight, so I guess I should sleep now…