When one takes responsibility for how they feel, they are going to be seen as mature and self aware. And yet when one doesn’t take responsibility for how they feel in the majority of cases, they are likely to be seen as lacking awareness and being undeveloped.
But while an outside observer can label them in this way and see their outlook as being self evident, to the person who doesn’t take responsibility for how they feel, they are likely to feel that they are in the right.
And should another person say that other people are not responsible for how they feel, they are likely to be met with resistance and denial. So it won’t matter if others are giving them feedback about this or not, as it is unlikely to be accepted.
To say that one is in complete control of how they feel is probably going a bit far. No one is their own island and one is therefore going to be affected by what is happening around them.
This is part of life and unless one becomes emotionally numb, this is something one is going to have to accept. However, there is a big difference between being affected by certain things that other people do and being affected by just about everything they do.
Part of being human means that one has the potential for experience empathy. The word potential was used because not everyone on this planet has empathy, and there can be many reasons for this.
But with those reasons aside, having empathy means that one is going to feel things as a result of what other people do. This will be something that happens automatically and without one needing to think about whether they should feel or not.
One is therefore not in control of how they feel when it comes to matters of the heart or when another person is suffering. And this ability is vital, as it allows human beings to support one another, to put an end to needless suffering and stand up for them, amongst other things.
Without this, another person is more likely to be seen as an enemy than a friend. And instead of seeing another person as an individual that has their own reality and feelings, they are going to be seen as someone that one can use for their own gain.
Even though empathy is automatic and out of ones conscious control, it is not something that is completely out of their control. And the same could be said about the rest of the feelings that they have.
This is because even if it doesn’t have anything to do with empathy, one can still feel as though they have no control over how they feel. Another person could feel amazed at how this person blames others for their feelings and this person can have all the reasons under the sun as to why another person is responsible. They might not actually know that this is not the case.
And the primary reason, as to why one will believe that that other people are in control of how they feel, will be the result of them not having boundaries. These allow one to realise that they are not only physically separate, but also emotionally separate.
It is then not that another person can actually define how one feels, but that one has not been able to form healthy boundaries. The reason they feel as they do in a lot of cases, is due to their interpretation of what another person does and not the act itself.
This is generally made clear by two people who are in the same situation when something doesn’t go to plan; one becomes angry and feels let down and another feels at ease and is able to let go. Both of them are in the same environment, but what is different, is how their minds are interpreting what is taking place
Or two people could be around someone who has a certain type of humour. One person just laughs and lets it go past them, whereas the other feels humiliated and ashamed.
This means that some people realise that they are separate from others and have boundaries. While other people don’t know this and are wide open to what others say. It’s like one person feels protected and the other person doesn’t.
And the reason as to why they feel this way is likely to go back to their childhood years. What happened here is going to play a big role in whether one has boundaries or not.
When one was a baby, they would have felt that there was no separation between them and their caregiver. Boundaries wouldn’t have formed yet and this allowed one to feel a sense of power and that they were safe and protected.
After a while, one would have had the urge to break away from their caregiver and to experience being separate. This is when one would have developed boundaries and realised that they were separate from others. One would have started to develop their own identity during this stage.
The Psychological Birth
Breaking away is often described as the psychological birth. But while it is vital that this happens in order for one to become an individual and to form boundaries, it doesn’t always occur. And this means that one will physically grow up and yet their emotional development will end up being stifled.
So as one feels enmeshed to others, it is not much of a surprise that they are going to blame them for how they feel; if anything, it is to be expected. Their emotional development will define how they feel and this is what will feel right.
Without boundaries, one is going to be unable to own their emotional experiences and to contain them. And this means they will have to go somewhere; with that somewhere being onto other people
If one wants to take reasonability for how they feel, then they will have some emotional work to do. One reason why they no emotional control could be due to them having trapped emotions in their body.
As these are released, one will begin to see that they are separate from others. This will then lead to boundaries being formed. The assistance of a therapist or a healer may be required.
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.