One of the things I’m learning–like really learning–is the freedom that comes from not feeling responsible for other people and their feelings.
I’m a very empathetic person. I struggle watching shows like Arrested Development or The Office (both of which I LOVE) because those shows thrive on awkward situations. I feel like I’m right there experiencing that awkwardness and it’s almost too hard to sit through.
And then apply that to real life; if I sense that someone is tense or upset or sad, I internalize it and make it my sole responsibility to take that on and fix it. This can be a great thing in some respects, being empathetic has taught me to look out for people and to think twice about what I say to others. You never know the battles others are fighting. But it’s bad because I take on the pain and worries and fears of the crowd of people standing around me; then I get distressed when I can’t fix things and make those bad feelings go away.
There is a freedom in realizing that I am only responsible for me. It is not my job to make other people happy; I can certainly try and I think people who try to make the world a better place are people I want to emulate!
But I am not ‘Super Happy Girl’–taking on and curing the world’s sorrow one person at a time!!
I am learning that when I try to make people happy and make them feel validated, and they don’t get that feeling from me; I can be sorry that my attempts failed but their sorrow is their responsibility alone. You can only be happy if you are happy with yourself.
It makes the world seem a little smaller, a lot less daunting and the weight on my shoulders barely anything at all.
What have you been learning lately?