You Are Not Responsible for Other People’s Emotions

Photo by Danka & Peter on Unsplash

You are not responsible for other people’s emotions.

And they are not responsible for yours.

I recently learned that there is strength in vulnerability and courage in honesty.

You can’t change how someone feels. You can influence their emotions — for the better or worse — but ultimately, they decide their emotions and behaviour.

I struggled for a very long time until I realized this. It took a while, and it was hard to change a belief I have had my whole life. I believed other people’s emotions were my responsibility. As if the world revolved around me. I was doing something wrong. I wasn’t enough. I needed to try harder, to love harder, to give more.

I was wrong.

Every person is responsible for their own emotions. And they are the only person responsible for their emotions.

Just as we are the only one responsible for our actions. We cannot expect to change how somebody else feels or change how or what they think. The only person who can do that is themselves.

This was a liberating realization for me.

People choose to act and feel based on their personalities and moods and education and family and how they grew up. There are many factors that contribute to how someone feels and acts. But you are not responsible for how someone else feels.

Same goes the other way. You, and you alone, are responsible for your emotions. No one is going to make you happy. You choose to be happy. It is a choice, and not one made by other people, but one made by yourself. It is not up to you to ensure someone else’s happiness, just like no one can make you happy except yourself.

You cannot make someone else’s emotions or thoughts your responsibility. They choose those thoughts and emotions. The most you can do is influence them, but even then, the other person will interpret your actions in whichever way they want.

As soon as I understood this, I saw my relationships differently. In a freer way. No matter what I do or say, I cannot change how someone feels or what they do. That decision is theirs.

Keeping this in mind, there is nothing wrong with you if you can’t make someone happy. That is up to them, and only them. Take that pressure off you. It’s not healthy for either person.

We choose our own emotions and choose how to act upon them. They are our responsibility. We only have ourselves to thank or blame for how we feel.

You, and only you, determine if you’re good enough. Emotions are a perception and there is no truth when it comes to them.

Every emotion is valid. We all have our own truth regarding our emotions, and that’s why it’s not up to someone else to make us feel worthy, validated, or happy. It’s on us. And no one can make you feel stupid, ugly, or not good enough. We allow ourselves to feel that way. But we don’t have to choose those feelings. And no one is making us feel that way.

You are the only person that can make yourself happy. You have to choose that emotion, and realize you are the only one responsible for it.

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