Do you wish your boss, spouse, kids, parents, or co-workers would just stop or start doing certain things so they wouldn’t upset you? If only they would be on time, be more polite, clean up after themselves, be less angry, not disappoint us, or stop micromanaging….. If only they would do that, we would feel better!

If so, we are allowing someone else to determine how we feel. In other words, we are giving our power away, to someone whose actions we can’t control, in order to decide how we feel! If they behave the way we want them to, we feel good, if they don’t, we don’t feel good. We’re leaving it all up to them, not us!

Why would we do that? We complain about other people’s actions or shortcomings to ‘protect’ ourselves from looking at and changing our own behavior. Why? We don’t want to change. We complain about our boss because it’s easier than finding a new job. We complain about our spouse or family member because it’s easier than confronting a problem in our relationship. We yell at our kids because it’s easier than having to follow through with consequences for undesirable behavior. We complain about our coworkers because it’s easier than speaking up for ourselves and setting boundaries at work. What does our choice to blame others get us? It keeps us stuck and protected from having to change ourselves because we want everyone else to do the work of changing.

If we want to take back control of deciding how we feel, the first step is to stop blaming the other person. We are the ones that need to change our choices. We are the only person we can control. The next step might be to ask ourselves the question “what do I want in this situation?” The answer to this needs to be something within our control and not dependent upon anyone else. In other words “what can I change, about myself or my behavior, that would make this situation better for me?”

The good news is that we have the power to make ourselves feel better. The good and bad news is, the only person we can control is ourselves.
If you think about it, it can be liberating!

With love, Jackie

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