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
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.
It is out of alignment with your core beliefs.
When you genuinely believe that we all control our own and your value is inherent you gain the ability to be yourself in all situations, you gain the ability to love others unconditionally, you get to love your job even if your boss or coworkers are tough, you gain the ability to leave a situation that you don't want to tolerate and not have guilt or shame.
You get to be rejected and know you are amazing anyway.
You get to allow someone to work through their own anger without trying to "fix" them.
"How" is a coach's work.
It's where we get the tools out and stop trying to change the world to make us feel better and start changing ourselves to feel exactly how we choose to regardless of the world's shenanigans.
We get our mindset aligned with our actions.
1. Replace the belief that we can control others' thoughts, feelings, and actions.
And trying to isn't good for us and it isn't good for others.
It sets us up for some very unhealthy habits and boundaries issues.
Begin watching how you are trying to change someone else so that you can feel better
Using or giving into guilt
Watch for others doing it to you,
"You made me angry"
"Do X so I will feel loved"
"Look what you made me do"
And the hundred other flavors...
Use a thought like, "I can only control how I think, act, and feel" and begin working on your own thoughts ASAP.
Become really good at finding the thoughts that are behind those actions.
You may find ones like, "It is my job to make them happy"
"If they are disappointed it means that I am not good enough"
"If they are unhappy it means I have failed as a mom, spouse, etc"
And then challenge them.
Is it REALLY my job to make them happy?
Do I truly believe I am not good enough?
Have I really failed if someone else is feeling uncomfortable?
How are you hoping to feel when they feel better AND FIGURE OUT HOW TO FEEL THAT WAY without using them to get there.
Be enough already.
Know who you are.
Meet your emotional needs so that your offerings are not just attempts to make them feel things or you feel things...because you are covered.
You've got this.
These skills are things that you work on and improve just like a muscle.
But they are worth the work.
When you get proficient you find that the world changes:
People become enough.
You become enough.
And you learn to stop tolerating the things that are just not good for you.
It's an amazing feeling and it is yours for the taking.
Just get in the driver's seat and buckle up.
#strongerbecause I know what I control
Do you need help developing these skills?
A coach can help.
I have done this work and keep doing it every day. It has changed my life. I have found so much happiness, fulfillment, love for others, and peace in my existence.
I know what I control and know how to not waste time on the things I don't.
It is laser-focused self-development and the key to creating the things in life that we most truly want.
Please message me if you would like help beginning your journey.