When was the last time you said or heard someone say, “He or she made me feel so (enter emotion here)?” The emotion might be sad, mad, outraged…the list goes on and on. But regardless, it is a phrase that, as humans, we say pretty frequently.

But the reality is, nobody can make you feel a certain way. You allow yourself to feel a certain way. You have a choice in how you choose to feel. More specifically, your beliefs about the situation are the cause of your feelings.

Let’s dig a bit deeper. We are in charge of our emotions.

I know this is way easier said than done. As I have said before, when you find yourself saying unproductive things (like this phrase), stop and realize that you are making yourself feel whatever you’re feeling. The other person is not.

I remember being 14 years old. I was angry at a friend who wronged me. Honestly now, I can’t even remember why I was so upset. My dad saw that I was upset and asked what was wrong. I said, “My friend wronged me.” To which my dad replied, “Hey Jeffrey, it’s not him; it’s you.”

I looked at him the same way most kids look at their parents at that age. You know, the ‘you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about’ look. He went into more detail and explained that I had a choice to (or not to) hang out with this kid. I had the choice to wallow and be angry, but that kid wasn’t worried about what he had said to me, so why was I?

I know it wasn’t as profound to me then as it is now, but thanks Dad.

So, what if we decided not to let what others say cause us negative emotions? It seems like life would just be a little bit better, right? Life can be cut short at any time, so it really sucks that we allow other people’s actions to take up precious time and energy in our lives all too often.

Here are a few really smart people who sum this idea up well:

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Try not to take things personally. What people say about you is a reflection of them, not you.” – Author Unknown

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you allow others to influence how you feel, think about those words.

Life is good.


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