Are you guilty of something I like to call I Feel Pain, What’d You Do?
The idea is that if you’re feeling some kind of discomfort, someone must have done something to cause it! This is not a conscious thought, but more of an instant, somewhat irrational, knee jerk reaction. I see it all the time in my office happening with couples and it tears them apart at the seams.
If every time you feel emotional pain you immediately look around you for the culprit, this says two things very clearly about you. You blame others for your feelings and you are not in touch with your needs.
#1 You blame others for your feelings. If every time you feel a negative emotion, you blame someone else for it, you are going to constantly be on the lookout for people to hurt you. What a powerless, exhausting, and lonely way to live! You honestly believe that everyone around you has control over how you feel! This victim mentality leaves you having absolutely no control over how you are going to feel each day – what a helpless and depressing way to live!
When you try to control your feelings by controlling everyone around you, it’s like single-handedly fighting World War III with a cheap plastic sword – and you are going to lose. YOU are the only one responsible for your feelings. Yes, people are going to do things that cause you pain, but you can’t control that! Until you stop focusing on what they are doing and focus on your feelings and learn about yourself, you will just keep fighting with your limp plastic sword – and losing.
#2 You are not in touch your essential needs. Can I be honest? People have NO IDEA what they really need. They think it is ‘attention’, to be a ‘priority’, to get a grandiose birthday celebration, spontaneous affection, for him to’ care’, etc., but those are all focused on someone else. Deep essential needs are not based on what others can give us, they are based on what we didn’t get as a child and we are the only ones responsible for those needs! We need learn how to give those things to ourselves – that makes us less desperate when we are needy, able to think more clearly, and we are less likely to blame someone else.
Once we are aware of our deeper needs and are not so desperate, we can ask people to help us with getting our needs met. “I feel disconnected and would like to spend some time together. When would be a good time for you?” But you must be in touch with your own feelings and quit blaming everyone for them in order to gain this kind of control of your life and your mood.
If you are guilty of blaming others for your feelings, step away from the plastic sword and start learning what your deeper needs are. When you quit blaming others for your feelings and take responsibility for your own needs, you will find you have more control over your life. Your needs will begin to get met and you’ll find peace and contentment on the horizon!