I remember being sent to my room when expressing emotion showing I was upset. I was so anxious in general, my emotions would come out as screaming, crying or meltdown.
I knew being upset got me pushed away, either literally or in the form of oversimplified sentiment, “Just ignore it”, “You’re too sensitive,” “Quit being so dramatic!”
Nothing about how to make myself happy. Plenty about what I need to STOP doing so others can be happy with me.
What was it like for you?
Did you feel your ability to make others happy was always just out of reach?
I posed a question along this theme to my Women’s Inner Circle and the conversation BOOMED! The question is, “Does my worth as a person change if another person is unhappy?”
We’re raised in our culture to be people pleasers. We grow up having to please our parents, our teachers, our classmates, employers and so on. All to avoid rejection in some form.
Our Swiss army knife of tools designed to help us fit-in enough to survive, though not enough to belong, and thrive.
Believing you have the power to give someone else happiness, opens the door to them taking yours.
Say you’re in a good mood, then someone says something critical or disapproving. Suddenly, your good mood sours, and you find yourself in a formidable funk you can’t seem to find your way out of.
One reason for this shift may be a feeling of failure as a people pleaser. This is subconscious, of course.
The belief you can control someone else’s emotions, is bolstered by years of training, at the hands of a manipulative other. Using shame and blame as twin arrows to break your heart, time and time again.
You may even return to others in attempts to make them happy. They may even criticize you for your efforts. You can’t win.
Fortunately, the objective isn’t winning the emotional manipulation game.
Let’s return to the question, “Does my worth as a person change if another person is unhappy?”
How about, “does the worth of the ocean change during low tide”?
“Does the Earth lose worth when the sun sets?”
Your worth as a human being is constant, regardless of the ebb and flow of your or anyone else’s emotions.
My goal is to be the most human I can be. That means accepting everything about myself with kindness and compassion.
That is taking responsibility for keeping my consciousness clear of the cobwebs that make me want to vomit my suffering upon others.
Your inner work, learning to be responsible for showing up in the best way you know how, is the beginning and end of your responsibility to others.
Acceptance requires you to look your inner critic in the eye, while you assertively claim your power to own your story and your worth.
Then come the mighty boundaries you learn to make sure someone else’s pigeon can no longer poop on your head.
Let’s make this happen for you.