Self -help gurus say things like, “You cannot be responsible for someone else’s feelings, only your own”.
Still, your whole life, all you’ve heard is how good or bad you’re making someone else feel.
Not to mention, in your own experience, how good or bad other people have been able to make YOU feel!
We’re taught that caring about someone means you make them have good feelings. It’s completely baked into the emotional model we’re taught as children into adulthood. And we’re even taught that when a person doesn’t change their behavior based on what other people think and feel, they’re bad people.
Here’s the mind-blowing part, believing you are the cause of other people’s feelings, doesn’t make you a kinder, nicer person.
It actually makes you way less kind to yourself and others. When you believe you cause someone else’s feelings, that means you can’t feel ok about yourself unless they think and feel the way you want them to. And THAT means you immediately become totally enmeshed in trying to control and manage their feelings. So you start resenting that they are upset with you, and you get invested in them changing those thoughts and feelings so you can stop feeling bad about yourself. It just becomes a shell game, where you’re both trying to change the other so you can feel better.
How is that truly caring about someone else’s feelings? It’s not. You’re caring about your own feelings and trying to manage the other person to change your own emotions. You’re using them to feel better about yourself. That’s the opposite of true kindness.
True kindness is when you can have compassion for someone else’s suffering, even if you know their thoughts are creating it. It’s when you take responsibility for yourself, but not for them, and when you allow them to think and feel however they want, without making it mean anything about you.
When you take emotional responsibility for yourself but not for them, you are so much more present and so much kinder. It may not be what they perceive as kindness, but it will feel much more like kindness for you, which is all you can control.
If you would like to finally understand how to be in a reciprocal relationship that is fun and joyful, without constant jockeying for control, or emotional abandonment, contact me HERE and we can set up a strategy session this week.
Is a collection of Micah's views regarding men's skills in relationship and their ability to tap into their masculine frame.