Are you chained to people’s emotions? Sometimes actions you did in the past have a really long reach. Maybe you made a bad decision and it did bad things to people’s lives, causing a ripple effect you hadn’t anticipated. Maybe you were so caught up in your own pain that you didn’t see or felt powerless to change what it was doing to someone else. If you are constantly tearing someone down or bullying, you are partially at fault for their feelings. You have to take responsibility for your actions.
However. There’s the flip side and that’s the one I want to talk about.
We all have them. That friend who analyzes every sentence, turning it from something we meant as harmless into a hostile attack against them. That person we have to walk on eggshells around or risk being accused of disregarding their emotions. The guy or girl who won’t take a hint or even an outright “no” whether it’s for a request to hang out or a project they want us to work on. That family member who has a legitimist need, the friend with a mental disorder, even acquaintances who are struggling.
Sometimes the lines get blurry. So here’s the deal.
- You are responsible for your emotions and your actions. Don’t use them to abuse or exploit other people.
- You are responsible for your emotional health. (Btw, so are they.)
So I’m giving you permission. Take care of yourself. Let go of everything you’re doing solely out of guilt. Hand back that project that was thrust upon you. Say no. It’s okay.
I repeat: It’s okay to say “No, I can’t do that right now.” And leave it at that. You don’t owe everyone explanations, you don’t have to defend your choice to take care of you. You are not responsible for catering to everyone who might get their feelings hurt by your declining of their agenda.
You deserve peace and hope. Your feelings count too.