You Make Me Feel ...
Do other people make you feel things?
Do they make you feel happy or sad?
I’m curious. How do they make you feel this way?
Do they say, “Hey, here’s a tin of sadness.”
Or maybe they say, “Ahh, you need a bucket of happiness. Hold on, I’ve got one here you can have.”
Can you find happiness or sadness on the supermarket shelves, pre-packaged and ready to go?
Shopaholics amongst you would argue that you could; however I would say you can’t.
We often rely on other people to “make” us feel a certain way. We rely on them to do something, say something, be something in order for us to feel happy. If they don’t do what we are expecting them to, we get upset, sad and hurt.
In short, we often attempt to control other people in order to control how we feel; that is, our emotions.
And when we do this, we are setting ourselves up for failure, because we can’t control anyone else. We cannot force anyone to do anything or assume they will.
There is just one person we control; ourselves.
People don’t make us feel certain emotions. We choose to feel them. We decide to react in a certain way. We make assumptions about what people mean. We leap to conclusions.
No one can give you a tin of unhappiness, or a bucket of joy. These things are not physical items that can be passed from person to person. They are intangible items that exist only in ourselves.
In fact just the other day I was at a wedding. I told one of my friends how wonderful she looked and how much I liked her outfit. She leapt to the conclusion that I was being sarcastic and chose to be offended by what was a genuine compliment.
Had I even been being sarcastic, she could have chosen to be complimented and replied with a, “I’m glad you like it” and felt better about herself.
There was a guy I knew when I was younger. He was short, balding, spotty and he had been short changed in the looks department. Yet whenever we went out to bars, he’d wander up to any pretty woman and start talking to her. If she turned him down, he’d shrug his shoulders and continue.
I don’t think it ever even occurred to him to feel bad about these rejections. He’d just smile and say, “Your loss” and move on to the next one.
Believe it or not, each of you are in control of yourself and how you feel. You can choose to feel anyway you want. Right now, you could choose to feel happy; or I am sure you could choose to feel sad. Just by thinking about it, you could change how you feel.
It’s almost magic isn’t it?
So what about choosing how you feel when you are interacting with other people?
The vast majority of people run on auto-pilot. They allow their body and mind to more or less get on with it, not worrying too much about the programs that are running or the condition of it. It doesn’t interfere with them too much so they allow it to get on with it.
It’s like watching all the cars driving around a city and not realising there is someone inside controlling them.
Most people have forgotten there is this “person” inside of them controlling them.
If you choose, you can take back control of how you feel and stop relying on other people to meet certain conditions.
When you go to the office and someone says, “Good Morning” to you, you can choose to grumble and mutter, “There’s nothing good about it.” Or, you can choose to reply in kind and say, “It’s a fantastic morning.”
That is, you can choose to feel bad or choose to feel good.
Which do you prefer?
Realise that you are the only person who can make you feel anything and stop allowing the people around you to make you feel bad. Decide to feel good and enjoy yourself.
If someone turns you down or rejects you, “It’s their loss” or something similar.
If someone says insults you, “Poor thing, must be confused” or something similar.
Decide to take back control of yourself and your life and to stop being on auto-pilot. Choose how you are going to feel instead of allowing other people to choose for you.
(c) 2005 Jason E. Johns