All your feelings towards others happen inside your own mind.
No one ever makes you feel anything.
What you feel about others is what you think about them.
I wanted to highlight this idea that you and I have feelings about people and circumstances because of what we think about those people and those circumstances. This flies in the face of the idea that “they make me feel this way.” That person would have to be amazingly powerful to enter into your mind and shape your thoughts. Another person cannot create the thoughts in your mind even though you may want to blame them for doing so.
There are two reasons this is so important to understand.
The first reason is that if you take full responsibility for your feelings, you are in a much more powerful place than if you blame others. Blaming others puts you in the role of “victim” and “poor me.”
The stronger and more empowered viewpoint is to say, “All the feelings happening in me are caused by my thoughts.” If you are angry, hurt, mad, disappointed or whatever feelings come up in relationship to others and situations, then you know you have to look at what you are thinking. You can always change your thoughts about any person or situation.
An example might be that someone didn’t live up to your expectations and you feel disappointed or angry. Instead of blaming them, you can say, “I had unrealistic expectations so I can change my thoughts or I can instead have compassion for them and their struggles.”
There is no personal power in blaming and putting yourself in the role of the victim of other people’s words and actions. You are the creator of your response to the world. You are much more powerful if you take full responsibility for how you feel.
The second reason is that if you take full responsibility for how you feel, then you change the dynamic of all your significant relationships. If you understand that your feelings belong to you than any issues with your partner, you parents, your children, and your co-workers are about how you think about them, not about how they make you feel.
This taking responsibility for your reactions to another makes most of the relationship issues much easier to deal with. Your partner does not enter your mind by doing something that irritates you and causes you to have certain feelings. What happens is that you are thinking certain thoughts that cause you to feel certain feelings about what they are doing.
If you take this understanding and integrate it into all your relationships, you clear the communication channel. Then you can have an open heart to those you love and an open way of communicating with those you interact with. Without reactivity things can work out much better in almost all circumstances.