Dreamstime.net/ Taking responsibility for your own feelings in life and relationships
Since I have learned not to take things so personally, my mood and life have improved. I used to think that if someone I was close to was upset, that it must be about me, and spend the rest of the day feeling terrible. Each person is an individual of themselves, and, unless there is a direct fight between you and the other, then why would it be about you?
Let’s face it. Each person is the centre of his or her own world. By that I mean they have their own job, their own chores and duties, their own bills, often their own families – and countless other stressors the other person may not be aware of.
Except for exceptional circumstances such as when people are treated unfairly and the fact is inarguable, people need to take responsibility for their own feelings and their own lives once they reach adulthood.
We all carry “baggage”, whether we are aware of it or not – of things from childhood – and from later in life. However, there needs to come a time when you need to choose to be empowered and take responsibility for your feelings and your choices.
Unless someone has tied your hands, and is carrying a whip behind you, flogging you, no-one is making you do anything.
If someone reacts a certain way to you and it actually is personal, for example, you could not attend a function with them for some reason. You still need to own your feelings. They are not making you feel that way. You are making you feel that way.
People often think that others’ expect things of them, when it’s really their own expectations of ourselves.
I am not saying that there are not real and valid forces that may create this kind of mindset, such as working with a boss who’s expectations were, by anyone’s standards, unrealistic for years on end.
When you own your own feelings, you have greater power to change them. You can challenge the accompanying thoughts that are associate with them.
For example, Max is grumpy and it’s all my fault – I feel terrible, with the thought and I’m a bad person.
If you tell yourself Why is it my fault? Max is an adult. He also owns his feelings and behaviour.
Taking responsibility for your own feelings and behaviour is empowering because you don't need to waste excessive time trying to live for someone else, or make excuses about your life.