Happiness Is Not Selfish.

Happiness is made to be shared.

The martyr ethic is built upon a number of erroneous and fearful beliefs about happiness, the major one being that happiness is selfish. Another great fear of happiness to the practicing martyr is that my happiness denies others their happiness. In other words, it appears to the martyr that there isn’t enough happiness to go around. Other fears of happiness for the martyr include: Happiness leads to conceit, my happiness has no value to others, and being happy is inconsiderate in a world where there is suffering.

The fear that happiness is selfish is not only untrue, it actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Psychology researchers find time and time again that it is the depressed people, and not the happy ones, who are intensely self-focused and self-absorbed. Happy people, by contrast, tend to be outgoing, sociable, generous, loving, and kind. They’re also more tolerant, forgiving, and less judgmental than people who are depressed….

In truth, your happiness is more than okay. Your happiness is also a great gift. It is a total inspiration, a wonderful example, and a great service to the world. Your happiness contributes so much more to the world than your suffering.

— Robert Holden, PhD, p. 114, 118

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