Do other people drive you nuts sometimes?
Do you hate it when they just won’t quit? When they don’t get it?
When they won’t stop doing the thing you told them not to do? (It’s for their own good, right?)
Yeah, me too. So why are we the ones with the headaches, the ulcers, the high blood pressure, the once-happy-now-irritable temperaments? It’s their fault, not ours, right?
Let me throw this out there: has it occurred to you that the offending individual will most likely continue their behavior whether you badger them or not? Now, I’m not talking about young children that are our responsibility to teach and protect. I mean the spouse, the sibling, the friend, the acquaintance, the parent, the adult child… the ones that you’re allowing to get under your skin. If you just up and quit the reminding, the bailing out, the protecting, the defending, the hounding, the rescuing, I wonder what would happen? I’ll tell you what would happen, you’d be free!
Hear me when I say this: you can’t control them. You may try, but the reality is that you can’t. The individual that is causing you so much angst is responsible for themselves. Period. They make their own decisions whether you are involved or not. You can have influence, yes, but the choices they make are theirs and theirs alone.
The choice you have is whether or not you’re going to die a slow death of suffering by giving them the power to affect your well-being (do you really want to give that power away?), or to own your responses and process your emotions in a thoughtful, freedom-giving manner. You can do that you know. Amazing, but some of us have lived our entire lives without that knowledge. Somehow we have conducted our day to day lives with the belief that our state of mind or ability to have a good day or experience was dependent on how someone else behaves. Nope.
I’m not saying that what they do won’t affect you. I am saying that you have the choice as to how you will respond and what you will do with what they do or say to you. You can let it fester and become bitter, or angry, or hurt and dejected, or you can choose to believe that they don’t have the power to control you. How freeing is that?
Get off the roller-coaster sweet’ums. Take the power back, and take responsibility. You can do it!
- If your good feelings about yourself stem from how someone approves of you, or whether they seem to like you or not;
- if you can’t seem to be happy unless you are rescuing that person;
- you don’t really know what your likes or dislikes are anymore, but you do whatever they like;
- how that person presents themselves in dress and appearance or how they behave is to you a direct reflection on yourself;
- or the quality of your life is dependent on the quality, values, and opinions of that other person,
I encourage you to consider the fact you may be co-dependent. It’s “a pattern of learned behaviors, feelings, and beliefs that make life painful.” (Sondra Smalley)
A social worker named Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse has defined it as, “all persons who
- are in love or in a marriage relationship with an alcoholic (or someone who engages in addictive behaviors. ie: drugs, booze, work, food.)
- have one or more alcoholic parents or grandparents, or
- grew up in an emotionally repressive family”
According to her, this includes 96% of the population. Whoa. If this rings true for you at all, you’re not alone. I urge you to begin the journey to take your life back, by looking for an Al-anon group in your area and get the support you need. There are many experienced counselors out there too, so please don’t wait. I regularly attend a group in my area, and it has been life-changing. You can click on this link Al-anon to find one near you.
Take care of yourself.