You Make Me Feel – (Part 2)

Here's the big secret: No one can make you feel anything. Watch to find out why.

This is the second in a 2-part series. Be sure to watch the first part before starting in on this one.

Last time, we talked about how there is no cause-and-effect to people’s communications and how we are impacted by them. Now we take this to the logical conclusion, which is this: No one can make you feel anything.

Other people are in our lives and going about doing the things they do and saying the things they say, and they have some influence on us, to be sure. But they cannot make us feel anything. We often hear people say things like, “You make me so angry.” But it’s not true. The other person is being them, and we are feeling angry, and those are two independent events.

To bring in the previous video, they communicate something, then there is a space in which we quickly (and mostly subconsciously) interpret what they said, then we are impacted emotionally by our interpretation. And since we’re reacting to our interpretation, we are not reacting to them. Therefore, we are not feeling something because of them, so they are not making us feel anything. We are just feeling a thing. No compulsion has happened.

Whenever we think “you make me x” or “you make me feel x,” we are subtly giving that person control over what is happening inside of us. That’s crazy, that person doesn’t have any control of what happens inside of us. But it’s often easier for our psyches to blame someone else than to assume responsibility ourselves. This is a mistake.

While more responsibility doesn’t sound fun, it is the reality. Others don’t make us feel a think. And if that’s true and all of the responsibility lies within us, then the choices to change those reactions/feelings lie here as well. This is the good news of all of this. We can’t blame others for how we’re feeling anymore, but we can take that power and know that we have choices in how our life goes. And this is the goal: More Choices to determine the course of our own lives.

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Tim has been practicing and teaching interpersonal relations and communications skills since 2006. He leads the esteemed Boulder T-Group community and has taught circling and relational leadership for the Integral Center and C4 Institute.

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