The World Doesn’t Owe You These Things & You’ll Be Happier Once You Accept That

A lot of us have it ingrained in our minds that because we’re good people, we’re entitled to good things. While it’s true that plenty of us deserve some help from the universe and people around us, that doesn’t mean that any of it’s owed to us. It’s a tough truth to face, but the sooner you accept that you aren’t entitled to any of these things, the sooner you’ll be truly happy:

  1. Fairness Just because you treat everyone and everything with a fair attitude doesn’t mean that it’s owed back to you. Oftentimes, bad things happen to good people and vice versa. If you expect life to constantly dish out justice, you’re going to be waiting for a long time.
  2. Success You can work hard your entire life and still never become the success you wish to be. It can be exhausting, but in the end, you need to strive to be the best you can be regardless of how things might turn out. Success comes in many different forms, though, so if you feel like you’re not getting anywhere, try adjusting your definition of the word. You might suddenly realize that emotional success is far more satisfying than financial success.
  3. Happiness The only person that owes you happiness is yourself. Most people aren’t going to go out of their way to make your life more pleasant, so you’ll have to do it yourself if you really want joy.
  4. Respect Even if you’re the most respectable person you know, that doesn’t mean that others are going to treat you like you are. Even though it sucks to deal with someone who treats you like garbage, it’s important to remember that your own self-respect is more important than the kind that others may or may not be giving to you.
  5. Common courtesy  If you open the door for someone and they don’t say thank you, it’s pretty normal to get irritated. As frustrating as it may be, though, common courtesy isn’t owed to you just because you expect it or give it out to others.
  6. Health Even if you take great care of yourself, that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be struck with the flu on the day of a big presentation. Maintaining your physical well-being is partially up to you, but a lot of it is left up to luck as well. It might be annoying to see a person with unhealthy habits live an illness-free life while you get sick no matter how many green smoothies you drink, but the universe doesn’t owe you wellness.
  7. Luck You aren’t owed immunity from life’s trials and tribulations just because you think you’re working hard or acting like a good person. It’d be nice if good things always came to those who deserved them, but that’s not how things work. Some of the nicest people in the world get screwed over the hardest, and if you can’t accept that, you’re going to have a hard time coping with reality.
  8. Kindness Decency from others is something you should be grateful for and not expect. You might act like an absolute saint to people around you, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not going to turn right around and be jerks in return. It’s nice when people treat you well, but not everyone’s as good of a person as you are.
  9. Recognition When you get up in the morning, go to work, and pay bills, that’s not something you deserve recognition for — it’s what you’re supposed to be doing as a functioning member of society. Sure, some people will give you a pat on the back and tell you you’re doing great, but that should be considered an added bonus rather than the main appeal of getting stuff done.
  10. Sympathy If you’re going through something awful and have someone by your side to support you through it, that’s a blessing. No one owes you sympathy or empathy, and you can’t wait around for someone to take pity on your situation. It would be nice if everyone cared when something bad happened to others, but the truth is that most people are too wrapped up in their own issues to focus so much on other people’s problems.
Angelica Bottaro has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Trent University and an Advanced Diploma in Journalism from Centennial College. She began her career as a freelance writer in 2014, racking up bylines in The Good Men Project, MakeWell, LymeTime, YouQueen, and more. She eventually shifted her focus and began writing about mental health, nutrition, and chronic disease for VeryWell Health.

You can follow her on Facebook or check out her website at She also posts on Instagram @a.ct._b and Twitter @angiiebee.