Turns out, I’m not responsible for your feelings.

Another shocking revelation, courtesy of therapy, is that I’m not responsible for your feelings.

And, no, you aren’t responsible for mine either.

This is a concept that honestly, I don’t fucking understand. Hear me out.

If you kill my dog, I will be very sad and very hurt. You did this. You killed my dog. My feelings are 100% because of your actions! Therefore: you are responsible for my feelings.

Apparently not though.

Apparently, I am still responsible for my feelings. Yes, you killed my dog, and you are responsible for your actions. But I am still responsible for my feelings about it.

Shocking, I know. I really don’t get it. And yes. This is the exact example I brought up in therapy to try to get clarification.

I have a …habit? Of blaming other people for how I feel when they do something that is hurtful. If 1+1=2…I mean…but, no. That’s not how it works.

I still struggle with this concept a lot, and honestly, it’s a lot easier to blame other people for how I feel.

But they are not responsible for my feelings. Only I am.

And I am not responsible for your feelings…even though, again, in my head, I am, or at least, I feel like I should be.

I have more of an understanding of this than I did, but it’s going to take a lot of practice to really get it. In my head, your actions effect other people, and you are responsible for both your actions and the result it has on others. I don’t know why this is so deeply embedded in my head, but it is.

I think it might be really freeing to no longer have that mentality, because it does leave me feeling trapped and guilty over things that are so often out of my control…but perhaps it also gives me a greater responsibility to myself, which is just…terrifying.

This is something I’m still trying to wrap my head around. It makes sense logically, but when I try to apply it emotionally, it starts making a whole lot less sense.

I do understand that I can’t assign blame to others for how I feel. But then that whole, “if you kill my dog” thing…ahhh. I don’t know.

Is this complicated for anyone else?

I get it, I do. But I also very easily assign responsibility to others for how I feel. And on the same hand, I also easily accept responsibility for how others feel.

I’d love to not have the burden of responsibility for others, so I see the benefit of grasping this.

I think it’s just something that might take a while to fully incorporate into my thinking.

For now, at least I’m thinking about it and trying.

Progress, not perfection.

12 thoughts on “Turns out, I’m not responsible for your feelings.”

  1. Yes, I struggled for years with this. And am just finally applying “I’m in control of my reactions to …” anything. It’s overwhelming when these concepts finally start to apply in real life. It’s empowering to reach the stage and see others trying to warp us into their feeling states, and know that’s there’s, not mine. (I am so new to this stuff – like I’ve known it for years, but haven’t recognized how it applies in my recovery, if that makes any sense?)

    1. That definitely makes sense. This one is hard for me, and I know it’ll take some time to apply it too. It’s easier to accept that that’s theirs and not mine, but it’s harder to accept that that’s mine, and not theirs..if that makes any sense

  2. It is a weird concept to wrap one’s head around.

    With the you killed my dog example, let’s say a vet put down your dog. It’s the same fundamental action of causing the dog to die, but your mind makes sense of the circumstances differently than if some random person killed your dog, and your emotional reaction is likely to be different based on that.

    1. Yeah, that actually makes a lot of sense. I can see that. It’s still my reaction and my responsibility to deal with. It is such a weird thing though

  3. Wow, so beautiful! It is an amazing point which I really agree with. It’s great that you’re working through your emotions in therapy and finding out so many fascinating ideas.
    Keep em coming 😊

  4. Ow yes, I feel like you do. If I do something that may harm someone, I feel like I did that and I’m responsible. Same for someone hurting me. I also blame that person for my feelings…
    Very interesting to look at it from this angle. 🤔 Thanks for sharing this. 😊

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