How many times has someone made you responsible for how they feel?

emotional angerIf this has happened to you then you’ll know how frustrating this is, especially if you care about the person?

At some point in our lives we have all done it, and have been on the receiving end of it.

There is a difference between those who live happy successful lives and those that don’t.

Successful people will not make others responsible for their emotions and the behaviours that result from those emotions.

The reason they don’t is because they know that if others have control over how they feel they are very likely to make poor decisions that will affect the direction of their lives.

As you go through this article you will discover where this destructive pattern of behaviour could have come from, the impact it has on people lives, the process they go through to make it happen, and the freedom they will experience when they change this destructive pattern.

Where does this pattern of behaviour come from?

As we go through childhood we will have received more and more evidence that making others responsible for our emotional reactions is the correct way to behave.

Our parents and teachers can and probably have all reacted badly to us and communicated on some level that we made them lose control.

Some parents may scream at their children, some may smack. The messages the children are receiving LOUD AND CLEAR is that they (the children) are directly responsible for their parents act of abuse or violence.

Those parents are then surprised when their teenage daughter screams “… I HATE YOU…” when you tell her she can‘t stay out late.

Her behaviour is likely to be a result of how she has been taught to react. She now feels bad about this time restriction and now she’s blaming you for her own feelings.

Unless this pattern is corrected it travels with us into adult life.

What happens is those people who feel out of control of their emotions then feel comfortable to make everyone else responsible for how they behave.

If they behave in a way that contradicts their own values they then feel remorse and guilt at their behaviours. These feelings will compound an already unresourceful state that’s likely to trigger more bad behaviours that the world is then responsible for.

This cycle of experience or pattern will only serve to help them feel out of control of their own lives as they gather more evidence of how hopeless their current world is.

This makes creating goals or a vision for their lives almost impossible, as they are always waiting for something to go wrong. They are looking out for problems and aggressively protecting themselves from more pain.

People that are out of control of their emotions are more prone to depression and anxiety.

This is because they are reacting to a world that they have designed to protect themselves from pain. The world they create only serves to give them more pain as they get less of what they really need to be happy.

What they really need is freedom from the belief [they don’t know they have] that others have the power to make them feel a particular way. If you are going to have an emotion this emotion needs to support the future you desire most.

The way to free yourself from this misery is to take responsibility for how you feel.

Nobody then has the power to make you feel anything unless you allow them to. If you are having destructive emotional reactions to what others say and do then you are out of control of you and you have given that control to others.

Consciously you may have never give anyone permission to have control over your emotional responses, but if this is happening to you then this pattern is now automatic and part of your belief system.

Being aware of this destructive pattern means you are on the road to taking control of the direction of your life.

Understanding emotions and having emotional intelligence is an incredibly liberating feeling.

One of the most liberating and freeing moments is when you discover that the world is not controlling you and you are the one in the driving seat. This means that now you can decide what happens to you, what you react to and why, and then how to react.

So what happens to help us create an emotional behaviour.

People may say…

  • You make me so angry
  • You have upset me when you did X or said Y
  • She made me feel fat, unhappy or not good enough.

When people make these statements what they are doing is making something or someone else responsible for how they feel and then how they react.

On some level the person reacting will then justify their behaviour because it was not them that made it happen. They are then free of blame, especially if their behaviour was against all the values and standards they claim to normally live by. They might say “…I wouldn’t have done that [behaviour] if you hadn’t said or done that…”.

So what really happens to someone when they have an emotional reaction to words spoken by others?

When anyone speaks the listeners have to translate those words into a meaning for them. The listeners will then react to their translations of what those words meant.

So the listener is reacting to their translation of the words others speak. Their behaviour from their translation of the words spoken is affected by the emotional state they are in at that moment in time ( happy, sad, angry, depressed, etc). Their behaviour is also affected by their current values, beliefs, how they talk to themselves and a combination all their past experiences.

As you can see a persons behaviours is therefore created by the listener and not the speaker.

The speaker is not responsible for how anyone behaves because, they are not in control of those people actions, or the infinite possibilities of the meanings behind those words in the minds of other people past experiences, values and beliefs. I’m sure anyone would agree that would be unfair.

The reason a person can react badly if they feel that a situation is similar to a bad past experience and so it could have the same bad outcome for them.

The job of the listener is to understand the intention behind the words of the speaker before they create a behaviour.

Once destructive emotional reactions can be removed then what you are left with is clarity of thought, creation of great questions, clear communication, considered decisions and a clear way forward.

It is these qualities and defined values that create successful lives, rich with a wealth of experiences designed to provide you with everything you need to wake every day, grateful for what you have been given.



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