Many of us grew up in homes that were full of turmoil. We experienced a lot of anger and shouting on an almost daily basis. Or perhaps we were witness to one parent giving the other “the cold treatment”. Because we were young we attempted to create meaning to these types of experiences. Unfortunately, we often misinterpreted all of the commotion in our homes by taking responsibility for it. We thought that mommy or daddy were upset because of something we had said or done. This often followed us into adulthood. If someone was angry, resentful or upset, we immediately began to examine our actions to see how we had caused that reaction.
The reality is that just because someone is upset does not mean that we have done something wrong. Quite often people’s negative states have nothing to do with us. Even if we have done something that has upset someone we need to remember that people have choices as to how to react. If we have made our amends and they want to hold onto their feelings, that is their decision. We are no longer the cause of their upset. We just need to keep our side of the street clean.
Personal Reflection: Do I take undue responsibility for the feelings of others?