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May 14, 2021

Who is responsible for what?

One mega piece of misinformation in our society today is that we are responsible for another’s happiness! This creates so much conflict, and this conflict creates chaos and confusion, in our mind, body and environment (relationships). This is not harmonious, healing or helpful and will NEVER bring connection.

Feeling responsible for anothers happiness creates conflict, is a burden that breaks our spirit, destroys us and our relationships and leaves us feeling we do not matter.

One of the driving needs for us social beings is connection, this helps us feel significant and gives us certainty and security.
In trying to understand where people have been going wrong and destroying their relationship, I am coming to understand that we, as humans, feel responsible for others happiness, and blame ourselves when the other is not happy! AND that when they are not happy you feel have failed them and failed yourself. For men this often looks like resentment and frustration and women it looks like disappointment and resentment. When this is not understood this ends up in a blaming, shaming cycle.

Imagine being told when you get married that it was your responsibility to make your partner happy and to please them?
Failure is looming on the horizon right there.

We cannot read another’s mind, we cannot understand another’s past, we cannot make them be or do anything – they choose.

You see, happiness is a feeling, not a state. The degree of happiness a person feels comes out as a state – Oh you are happy. Just like our anger comes out as a state – (withdrawal)imploding or exploding.

The most powerful thing as a human that we have is we get to choose how we feel, and many of us were never taught this nor were we taught that when we did not feel good about someone or something to honour that and choose what we wanted to feel instead. (but I digress)

We just want those around us to be happy! Who doesn’t love to be around happy people?

Happiness is a feeling that comes and goes, just like other feelings. Just because someone is not displaying what we think happiness should look like, or they are just not as high on the happiness scale as they can be, does not mean they are not feeling happy.

There are times another maybe preoccupied, have other things on their mind, maybe even feeling troubled about something…their happiness is just underneath that.

When we judge that, when we drop our happy, make no effort to enquire about their current state, or blame ourselves and make it about us failing to make them happy then the cat is among the pigeons.

We know how hard our partner works and know they often would rather be doing something else, something that satisfies lights them up, we feel guilty that we cannot help them, powerless to make it better for them, that perhaps in some way we have failed them and just maybe it is our fault they are stuck in the place they are.

We do things that we think will make them happy, and see that it does, yet because we are doing it out of duty, guilt, resentment, or whatever motivation, it does not bring us happiness – it has not come from our heart, not from a love to do those things and our resentment grows which feeds the guilt and failure. We feel used, like we are trading ourselves, our time, our energy and getting nothing in return.

We go into the “If Only’s, What If’s and maybe if I try harder, be prettier, thinner, or whatever’s” and the self-abuse cycle grows.

It is this anger, self-blame, and resentment we feel that others pick up on, and believe is directed at them, and they withdraw, we withdraw, and the separation grows…we are not connected and conflict reigns.

So, what is the solution? First off

• You are not responsible for anyone else, especially their feelings, actions, or words.
• You are responsible for your feelings, actions, and words.
• Own our own feelings – our emotions will only destroy us and others when we ignore, reject, or suppress them. When we can sit with them, honestly and feel them, not project them on others and let them go we feel safer with ourselves and others feel safer around us.
• Realise that often your feelings are directed at yourself – a part of you that wants to be felt, seen, heard, and understood – a part of you that wants connection, respect, and appreciation.

If you want to know how to do this, or this has resonated in some way with you and you want more information, I welcome a chat – I offer a 30-minute free consult around how we could play together to created connection out of your conflict.

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To write a comment please
Erena Oliver
May 22, 2021

Nothing needs fixing - this is where we fall over - all we can do is raise our thoughts and feelings from the place we are in and this will enable you to Be + see differently and this in turn allows others to be and see differently <3 When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change - hugs and if you wish to Be different, Be YOU, the you that is under all the masks, guilt, responsibilities and shame you are most welcome to reach out.

Emma Gardner
May 21, 2021

Wow, that's so true. I feel responsible for the bad mood of a person I haven't even contacted. He just sits next to me and I can't help but feel guilty about his dissatisfaction. I've tried so many ways to fix it, but it doesn't work. I can convince myself that I am only responsible for my feelings. What do you think? Maybe a consultation can help? Or maybe you could give me some personal advice, please?

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