#397 – Journey of Attachment: When Someone is Mad, It Doesn’t Mean It’s Your Fault

How often do you try to avoid someone being mad at you? Do you attempt to do things perfectly for fear of being blamed, then berate yourself when you fall short? Let’s say you usually do the ironing at home. One day your partner goes to grab a shirt before a big meeting. There are a few wrinkles—nothing major—but he/she is clearly upset. You feel horrible. Your partner doesn’t say it’s your fault, but they are clearly annoyed, so you feel this wash of shame and your “I’m not good enough” belief surfaces. But what if his/her reaction has nothing to do with you? Perhaps they were triggered, but instead of sharing what was going on, they snapped back in anger.

You can’t control how other people feel, so walking on eggshells to avoid upsetting someone doesn’t work (nor is it a fun place to live). If you do anger someone, be compassionate toward yourself and allow the feelings of shame to surface. When you feel them, they will disappear much quicker. Not taking on the responsibility of other people’s feelings isn’t narcissistic—it’s self-care. If they aren’t taking care of their own well-being, you can’t do it for them, so let go of your perceived control. It doesn’t work.

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