Do you ever blame other people for how you feel?
How many times have you heard someone say, “She really hurt my feelings!” or “He made me so mad!”
Accusing others of causing you to have a specific emotional response is both disempowering and totally irrational. It actually isn’t possible, if you really think about it. Can anybody crawl inside of your head and cause you to react a certain way emotionally in any given situation? Of course not, right? It doesn’t even make sense, yet this is something that we’ve been erroneously led to believe is a fact since the cradle.
You’ve heard things your entire life such as, “Smile and pretend you like it; otherwise you are going to make her feel bad.” “Say you are sorry to make him feel better.” “If you don’t say ‘thank you’, they’ll feel unappreciated.” And of course the classic, “You made me cry.”
The idea that we are somehow responsible for how other people feel is usually passed down through a familiar pattern of thinking, and is often more noticeable in certain cultures. People who love drama are especially benefitting from this irrational mindset.
I had quite a flair for drama myself in my earlier years, and can recall flinging countless accusations of blame at others for all of my suffering. I thought my mother made me feel worthless, my father made me feel inadequate, my siblings made me feel stupid, my classmates made me feel unacceptable, my boyfriend made me feel devastated… my list could go on and on and on… This was a natural outcome of my portrayal of the part of the victim.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” This is a true and brilliant statement, and you can expand it to encompass any and all feelings – No one can make you feel anything without your consent. Once you understand that your feelings are your own, you will begin to take charge of your own internal emotional reality. The truth is that your feelings are a response based on your own thoughts and beliefs. This is simply information for you to use to see how you respond to various ideas, concepts, situations, opinions, and so forth. If you can begin to take full responsibility, to view your feelings as a tool, as simply a barometer, then you have the power to change the feelings that are no longer working for you.
When I finally claimed my authentic power and realized that I was 100% responsible for how I felt in every given moment, I went from yelling at my partner, “You hurt my feelings!” to calmly sharing, “I experienced a feeling of anger when I heard that – and that is my stuff.”
I began to see that I had the ability to respond differently to my own feelings. If a particular feeling-energy did not work for me, by owning it as mine rather than blaming it on someone else, I was able to explore it, to trace it back to its origin, to have great awareness such as ‘wow – my mom never caused me to feel worthless; I felt worthless all on my own, and she just reminded me of how I was already feeling.’ Taking responsibility for my own feelings was one of the most life-changing steps I’ve taken, as I instantly shifted from creating high drama to interacting with peace and calm. Right here, right now you can let go of blaming others for how you feel in any moment, and take full responsibility for your own internal emotional response. Say, “I am the one and only one who is responsible for how I feel.” This step is liberating!
Many Blessings of Joy and Vibrant Freedom
Action Step ~ Let go of blaming others for how you feel and take full responsibility for your power to choose your own thoughts. Declaration: “My feelings are my own. I am the one and only one who is responsible for my feelings. If I don’t like the way I feel about something, I have the power to change my response.”
Additional Support: Listen to this 9-minute closed-eye process on owning your feelings; please refrain from driving while listening.