Your Feelings, Your Choice: No One Can “Make” You Feel Anything
“You’re making me feel angry!” “They made me feel jealous.”
Ever said this line (or similar) to someone? It’s OK, we all do it. This kind of comment can help us assign our feelings to others’ words or actions. However, the truth is that no one can make you feel anything.
Trigger, yes but make, no. Other people’s behaviors, words, and actions may affect your mood but that has nothing to do with your emotions. We’ve been there. The moments where the hurt in our hearts is too real because our loved one said something hurtful. In those instances, it’s common to believe that our loved one made us feel *insert emotion*.
Despite the belief, your reactions to your emotions are your call and not others’. They are not responsible for your feelings and emotions. Only you are.
Change Your Mindset
Trust me, the way you think can seriously influence how you feel. The game is all about emotions and it’s all about the feels. Changing your mindset means being aware of your emotions and you can do that by taking a pause to filter your thoughts and how they are affecting your emotions.
More often than not, our thoughts aren’t about the present. They can be the negative beliefs that we have towards ourselves.
What you can do is reframe these destructive and negative beliefs. When you reframe your thinking and your mindset, you begin to see things differently and clearly. However, it’s not always easy.
Reframing your beliefs and changing your mindset means challenging your thoughts and values while asking yourself if there’s any truth behind your beliefs and thoughts.
On a side note, when you say that someone is making you feel a certain way – good or bad – it can (indirectly) mean that you’re handing over the control of your feelings and emotions to the other person. It’s like saying,
“I’m not in control of my emotions…”
The Influence Of Emotions
You are solely responsible for controlling your emotions and feelings, however, other people can still influence your emotions, while not responsible.
In a study conducted in 2019, it was found that motivation can play a major role in how you let others influence your emotions. For example, if you think that a certain situation calls for a particular response, then it can affect the intensity of your emotions.
Another instance can be when someone shrugs off an uncomfortable comment to stay emotionally composed, someone else may get defensive and respond with an angry comment.
It’s up to you to decide whether someone else can influence your emotions and it’s also up to you to choose whether or not to accept the emotions others make you feel.
One of my favorite quotes from one of my all-time favorite authors, Susan Elizabeth Phillips perfectly fits here,
“Nobody else can demean me. I can only demean myself”
Only you are responsible for the feels you feel and the emotions you experience. If you believe that someone else has the power to demean you or make you feel inferior, then you’ll less likely to think the opposite.
Similarly, your words, actions, and behaviors can also influence others’ emotions. It’s the knock-on effect that can influence those around you. You can often see this kind of effect in the workplace. For example, if one team member always talks negatively, then it can create a toxic work environment.
The same applies to positive emotions as well!
You can also use your emotions to define an outcome of a situation. Emotions can be used to express care and concern, and to help others make feel at ease.
Taking Charge Of Emotions
Taking control of your emotions is in your hands. Remember, you get to determine how to react, not others. No one can “make” you feel anything. If your loved ones are used to seeing you respond with anger or frustration then it’s their desired response, not yours. You can choose to respond with calm instead of anger.
As I previously mentioned, when you say that “others are making you feel a certain way”, you allow others to take control over you. When you change your mindset, you change your response, and you take back control.
When you’re in charge of how you’ll respond, no matter how many buttons others push, they won’t be getting the desired response. They’ll understand that they (justifiably) have no control over your emotions. Only you do.
However, there will come a time when someone’s actions or words will hurt you emotionally or will “make” you feel other emotions. When this happens, you need to take a deep breath, pause, identify the emotions, and think of an appropriate response.
You can say to yourself, “I wish this didn’t happen but even if it did, it’s OK. I might not like it but I can cope with it. No one has control over my emotions. I get to decide how to respond.”
Let’s Debunk Some Myths About Emotions
Emotions are misunderstood so let’s take a look at some common myths about emotions and debunk them:
#1: You shouldn’t feel too strongly
Many times we criticize ourselves for feeling too strongly about minor situations. However, there’s no right or wrong way to feel. Your feelings are unique to you. All you need to do is to accept your feelings as they are.
#2: You can’t control the way you feel
Your thoughts can affect how you feel and how you express emotions. You can control the way you feel when you become mindful of your thoughts and reframe a positive attitude towards emotional expression.
#3: Controlling emotions equals denying your feelings
Not! Controlling or regulating your emotions does not mean you’re suppressing or denying your feelings. Sometimes, emotions can be too overwhelming, and controlling emotions is a way to find the right balance of emotions so that you don’t react inappropriately.
It is common to feel hurt by your loved one’s hurtful words, behaviors, and actions but those actions can’t “make” you feel anything. Yes, others can influence your emotions but it’s up to you to decide how to feel and react.
Changing your mindset and reframing your destructive beliefs into something positive can help. While it may take some time, effort, and patience, you can gradually learn how to take control of your emotions.
When your emotions become too overwhelming, you can always reach out to a professional for help. A therapist can help you find the right tools to help you learn how to balance your emotions.
I hope this article helped you understand that no one can “make” you feel anything. Your feelings are your choice. For more, you can connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on social media. You can also share your thoughts on the same in the comments section below.