To be responsible for how one feels is one thing and yet it is quite another to feel responsible for how other people feel. Owning how one feels and not to see other people as being the primary reason that they feel as they do, is a sign of self awareness and emotional maturity.
Through this, one can limit the drama in their life and not only find solutions a lot faster, but they can also grow significantly quicker. Other people are also going to appreciate them more and find them a lot easier to be around.
These people will be fairly self contained and not have a habit of finding someone else to blame. If one was to constantly point their finger at others, it would alienate them from others.
And not much is going to change in this person life; they would be likely to stay stuck. If one was around them, they might hear them talk about other people who are to blame or they might end up being blamed themselves.
So the ideal is for one to be responsible for how they feel and yet one can end up feeling responsible for how others feel. This is going to be a lot to take on and feel like an incredible burden to carry.
It could be something that they have always experienced and therefore they don’t even question if it’s how they should be. Or they might realise that this is not right and yet this is not enough for change to occur.
One is going to feel responsible for how their friends, family, partner or colleagues feel. This is also going to include the people they are not close to; so the people they meet when they are out shopping and during the times when they are out socialising.
It won’t matter if one has known someone for a few years or a few minutes, the same thing can happen. And this is going to have the potential to make interacting with others exhausting and one might even try to avoid relationships altogether.
A habit one might have got into is pleasing others and displeasing themselves in the process. While they forget about their own needs and wants, it will mean that there is less chance of them upsetting others.
They are not walking on stable ground, they are walking on eggshells. And there is naturally going to be extremes to this; for some people it might not affect their life too much and for others, it will make it hard for them to live the life they want.
However, even if other people don’t make one feel responsible for how they feel, one could still take it personally. Even if another person doesn’t blame them in any way, one could still feel responsible.
These feelings could arise through being around ones partner or a family member and yet they could also be the result of one watching TV. For example, a story may appear on the news and one instantly feels responsible and as if they are to blame in some way.
So there will be what is going on externally and what is going on internally. Another person can say that one has made them feel as they do and one can come to this conclusion through their own interpretations. In this case, another person doesn’t need to say anything and all because one has come to this conclusion themselves.
And along with the words that another person can use to trigger the experience of being responsible in someone, can be more subtle things. These could be: a smell, a certain look, how something is said and an item of clothing.
On one side there is what one’s mind believes and there is also what their body feels. Their mind will have formed numerous beliefs and one of these will be that they are reasonable for how others feel.
And their mind is partly going to validate this belief and others, through certain feelings that appear. While it could be that one has learned this during their adult years, it is more likely to be something they learned as a child.
During these formative years, one will have had at least one caregiver that didn’t take responsibility for their feelings. And whenever they were angry or upset for instance, one was made to feel responsible.
This could have been done through them saying that one was the reason they felt as they did or just by one taking it that way. At such a young age, one wouldn’t have had the ability to question if they had anything to do with it or not. And being self centred is normal at this age and one would have taken just about everything personally.
Through experiencing this so many times, one would have formed beliefs and how they felt during these experiences would have stayed trapped in their body. These feeling could include: fear, guilt, shame and rejection.
These early experiences could have caused one to believe that they can only be accepted if they are responsible for how other people feel. And if one was to change this and develop boundaries, it might trigger the fear of being abandoned and even death.
Untimely, one needs to from boundaries and to realise what they are responsible for and what they are not. And this means that they will need to change their beliefs and to release the trapped feeling and emotions in their body.
As their beliefs are changed and their feelings and emotions are released, one will no longer feel responsible for how other people feel. One can be assisted in this process through a therapist, healer or a coach. Reading about this area and then gradually applying what one has learnt is another option.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.