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  • Writer's pictureJenn

The Subtle Ways We Use Each Other

How to stop doing it and how to know if someone is doing it to you.

It's at the heart of people-pleasing, feeling like "If they truly knew me they wouldn't like me", the fear of being authentic, feeling responsible for making others unhappy or happy, pressuring others to show us how to love us in our way and then often feeling disappointed that they are not doing it willingly or voluntarily...

We are talking about the skill of using others as tools to generate a feeling inside of us.

Feeling safe, loved, secure, happy, successful, fulfilled, enough.

In ways that we often don't even recognize in ourselves

And often in others.

The process is exhausting, stressful, the best way to feel out of control and frustrated, and it is IMPOSSIBLE.

But we keep trying.

We keep trying to do things that make us feel like we are good parents or make us not feel annoyed.

We keep trying to make the spouse make us feel loved and safe and not make us feel hurt.

We keep trying to feel accepted by others and keep from being rejected.

Which sound like logical goals, right?

Let's break it down and see why we do these things and if they actually align with our true beliefs.

Why We Do It

1. If we believe that others/things outside of us determine how we think, feel, and act we will naturally keep trying to change the things outside of us to feel better.

This is often the job, the spouse, the kids, the money, the number on the scale....

2. If we believe that our value and identity are determined by the things outside of us...things like how happy others are with us, whether or not others are disappointed in us, how good we look, how much money we make, we will naturally try to work these things to feel more valuable or worthy or enough.

3. If we believe that we are responsible for others' thoughts, feelings, and actions we will naturally put effort into managing these things. We would consider it our job and hard-working people like us get our things done.

So let's do some checking:

How do you act when you believe these things?

Constantly try to change how the spouse shows love...

Try to change how the child is acting...

Blame the money or lack of money on the amount of debt...

Blame the boss for our unhappiness at work...

Try to change the hard-to-get-along-with coworker so you can enjoy your job...

Try to change that crazy family member so you can like being at home...

Give up caring for yourself so someone else doesn't struggle...

Comply when someone else make demands out of anger and then feel resentful...

Do you actually believe that others control your thoughts, feelings, and actions?

Do you truly believe that your value is based on evidence that others must provide?

Do you believe that you are in control others' thoughts, feelings, and actions?

If you find that you actually do not believe those things you have the opportunity to step into your power to

Feel however you choose to.

Love people no matter what.

Love yourself no matter what.

Allow others their own feelings without feeling like you must "fix" them.

Your thoughts, feelings, and actions are YOUR VEHICLE to your own results.

If you are the one saying, "My kids are driving me nuts!"

WHY are your kids driving your vehicle?

Those emotions are yours.

Tell those kids it's time to buckle up in the back because you're taking back the wheel.

You don't have to feel crazy

Or irritated

Or frustrated

Or disappointed

If you genuinely believe that all people have control over their own thoughts, feelings, and actions and your value is inherent then using others as tools, and accepting others using you as a tool to feel something will just not feel right.