“No one is capable of making you upset without your consent, so if you begin practicing the intention to be authentic and peaceful with everyone, you connect to peace itself- and gain the power to change the energy of your relationships with family and friends.”–Dr. Wayne Dyer
I have a problem. I’ve been working on it for years, but it’s still a problem I sheepishly admit to having. See how I’m beating around the bush here in getting to the point? It’s that shameful I don’t even want to share it with you. Okay, okay, here it is… I let other people bother me way too much.
And not just the big things they do, but the little things too. I am most especially bad at letting my family get under my skin because after all, they’re my family and I have to put up with them no matter what, right? Yes and no. They are my family, yes, but no, I don’t have to let their problems bring me down.
I think sometimes we forget that our family’s problems are not our own. That’s not to say we shouldn’t care and be there for them when they need our love, help and support, but all too often I found myself taking on the burden as if it were my own. On top of my own life obstacles and problems, the weight of someone else’s troubles was often too difficult to bear. It’s not only a sense of obligation that made me feel like I had to carry around other people’s problems, but from time to time, I was presented with expectation. “You’re the big sister, it’s your place to set a good example…”
And I would step in out of a sense of guilt and duty. When things got worse, I felt like my own world was crumbling, and much of the time my own mental health and family life suffered because of it.
No one else’s problems are my own, and they aren’t yours either. Even if they try to manipulate and guilt-trip you into feeling a sense of responsibility for their hardships, you have to draw the line somewhere.
Dr. Dyer’s words were obviously inspired by the wise quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, but no matter how says them, they are true. No one can make you feel bad without your permission. No one can manipulate you unless you allow it.
Setting boundaries and approaching all of your relationships with that knowledge, whether they be friends or family, definitely puts up a buffer that makes it hard for anyone to make you feel bad about things that are not your fault or responsibility.
Life is tough sometimes. We don’t need the added stress of other people’s problems to make every day of our lives even harder, even when those other people’s problems belong to our family.