I read this recently, “How you make others feel says a lot about who you are.”

I know this quote means well. If you are consistent in showing patience, love and wisdom in relationship with others in your life, how others feel should be positive. If you are able to ride the waves of stormy relationships and come through the seas of tension with yours and others souls still on the healthy side, that is a major accomplishment! To which I would say, “Well done, faithful one!!”

But, I really take issue with being responsible for how others feel.

How others feel is how others feel. Sometimes, you can try until you are “blue-in-the-face” and still get negative emotional backlash. My opinion: it is not my job to make others feel OK, or good or successful. It is my job to care, to acknowledge positive things and pray for weak areas I might see in self or others. Others’
emotions are theirs . . . no matter how wonderful a person I may be.

Responses from others are not under my control—except when personal safety is necessary under the law of the land I live in. Then I have concrete tools for action and safety.

But, if relationships consistently result in toxic emotional responses, perhaps issues need to be addressed in those relationships. No, not perhaps. Certainly issues need to be addressed. If not possible for whatever reason, then I would suggest that distancing oneself from those relationships is the sanest choice for self and others involved.

If you are a caregiver, by choice, circumstance, and/or by employment or law, this issue is different. Usually in these instances there will be family, staff or agencies as support. Usually. If not, this support should be acquired for personal balanced health and safety.

But, in the regular daily encounters with family, co-workers and friends, I stand by my opinion. We, you and I, can do our best to learn where we need to change and where we need to firmly stand. With as much humility and love as possible, we stand as we are. And the responses and emotions felt by others are theirs and theirs alone to own. I have enough on my daily plate to deal with in owning my own responses. And there you have it.

Keep looking up,

© November 22, 2015

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