The solution for authoritative attitude is to take personal responsibility for one’s own happiness. This is the sure shot solution for authoritative attitude, which is an impediment for happiness.
The meaning of personal responsibility for one’s own happiness is that one should not blame others or the life’s circumstances for one’s happiness. We, many a times, have too many expectations from our lives. Our imaginations have larger impact on our emotions than reality has. We often imagine a lot about how we will celebrate a birthday and the scenes we imagine are always too rosy. The actual experience may not be that exhilarating.
This leads to the fact that we can turn our thoughts by regulating our imagination and thus, regulate our emotions. Taking control over your feelings is not same as controlling people and outcomes. Taking control of people and outcomes means controlling external circumstances. Controlling one’s emotions is like controlling the internal environment.
John Milton had said that “The mind in itself can make a hell out of heaven and a heaven out of hell.” It is not an easy task to develop the ability to gain control over one’s emotions. It takes a lot of time and requires overcoming internal obstacles for this. However, it is possible with practice.
Pessimism is a factor that influences the internal environment. It makes no sense to us that we must be happy after losing a job. But this way, one can never be happy. It is not required to be happy in extremely bad or depressing situations. What is required from us is the ability to retain happiness in the simplest of situations, like being stuck in traffic, listening to manager’s scolding etc. Resilience is required in our emotions.
Each one of us needs to stretch a little beyond our current levels of resilience. Another obstacle is the misconception that people will take advantage of our good behavior. However, being personally responsible for happiness does not mean that we should not blame others for their deliberate mistakes. However, we should not impact our happiness by shouting at them or fighting with them.
Being personally responsible for happiness does not make you a ragdoll of people. You need to have an attitude where you feel the need to control your emotions for happiness and not unnecessarily blame others for your unhappiness. Self-control helps in better adjustment with people, less abuse of alcohol and drugs, higher self-esteem, better relationships with other people, secure attachment and better emotional responses.
In the next chapter, we will learn how taking personal responsibility does help us as an antidote to the authoritative behavior we possess and what are the strategies to regulate our emotions to enhance happiness.