The Art of Happiness - Compensatory Forces


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The solution for authoritative attitude is to have regulation of emotions and feelings. By being personally responsible for one’s own happiness, we tend to develop an internal control. When we develop internal control, we will find that no external control. We seek external control only when we don’t have internal control. If internal control exists, there is no need to control people and outcomes in life.

Internal control and external control are compensatory forces. Thus, when internal control exists, external control is no longer required. This is why people, who have control over their emotions and feelings, don’t usually tend to control people and feelings. People’s tendency to seek control over their surroundings increases when they are anxious. When we lack control over eternal environment, we tend to seek control over internal environment.

Internal External Control

Being Spiritual Helps

Spiritual people are generally happier with life than non-spiritual people. It is because their belief in God teaches them they must not try to control the external circumstances. They think a divine force will take care of it. This is the reason why spiritual people are happier than their non-spiritual counterparts.

Most people have a desire to get control of the external environment because they know they don’t have internal control, i.e., control over their emotions and feelings. However, this does not mean that if a person has internal control, then the person will not try to influence other people. A person having internal control can still influence others. But that desperation is not there. The attempts of influencing will be mixed with love and care, rather than dread and authority.

Hence, taking personal responsibility for one’s own happiness leads to development of internal control, which eliminates the need and tendency to have external control and thus, makes us less authoritative and control-seeking person. This makes us likeable and more welcoming to people. This impacts our decision making capability and hence, improves our relationships with other people. This further leads to enhancement of happiness levels.

Internal Control Improves Relationships

In one of the earlier chapters, we studied that better relationships help to increase our happiness levels. If we try to control other people, they will start resenting us and this will lead to ruining of relationships. Moreover, trying to control outcomes in life will be futile because one cannot control time and luck. This is the prime reason why those people who try to control outcomes of life get frustrated easily and quickly because life often does not give them what they want out of it. As a result, depression sets in and the authoritative person becomes avoidant. This leads to severing of relationships, and hence leads to greater unhappiness.

Hence, if a person has internal control, it compensates for the need of external control. As a result, we need to develop internal control to ward off the need for external control. This leads to happiness and satisfaction. This is the concept behind the desire for external control and the need for internal control acting as compensatory forces for each other.

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