#333 - Wait! Why is your unhappiness my fault?

communication courage

Have you ever walked away from a friendship or relationship because it wasn’t healthy for you? Or maybe you saw red flags and recognized it was time to leave.

The next thing you know, your phone is blowing up with phone calls or texts from an irate and probably irrational person. In an instant you know you made the right decision.

I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
The truth is, no one wants to hurt anyone else’s feelings. But let’s think about this for a moment. Who controls your feelings? YOU DO!

Who controls someone else’s feelings? THEY DO!

This is where many of you start to feel guilty and maybe even get manipulated to go back to the relationship in spite of you knowing better.

This is also why you will stay waaaaay too long in a bad relationship. You know they aren’t the right one but you stay because you don’t want to hurt their feelings.

The reality is you have no control over anyone else, their feelings, or their reactions.

I’ve had to learn this hard lesson (a couple of times) in my lifetime. What you choose to feel and how you choose to react is…your choice. No one else can control your feelings or actions.

One day many years ago, my daughter and I were butting heads and having a particularly rough time. I asked her what her problem was. Her response was “You’re my problem! You put me in this mood!”

My response to her went something like this. “Well, if I control your moods then I command you to be in a GOOD mood!”

The look on her face was priceless. In an instant she realized that I wasn’t in control of her mood. Only she had that power. Her face softened and the rest of the day was extremely pleasant.

You can only be responsible for you.
Your moods and more importantly, your happiness, are your responsibility. It is not your responsibility to make someone else happy.

You can only enhance their life by being a great part of it and vise versa. If the other person isn’t enhancing your life there’s probably not much reason to stick around.

Being emotionally mature and emotionally healthy is so important to making great decisions for yourself. When you recognize that only you are responsible for your happiness (joy, sadness, glee, melancholy, anger, playfulness, and any other feelings) you’ll become a much stronger dater and mate.

How do you get to this point? One conversation at a time. One decision at a time. This is where adulting can be tough. Almost no one I know wants or likes to have difficult conversations with their partner, especially when you know you need to break up.

Even the most seasoned daters still get anxious about difficult conversation. In the end, you’ll be happy you had them. They’re not always easy to have. Sometimes they may get out of control and things get said that each of you may regret.

Learn to keep your emotions under control and not lash out or retaliate when the other person says things solely to be hurtful.

Sometimes you just have to stop talking.
Finally, there will be times that you just have to walk away and not say a thing. If you do speak, you’ll get sucked into a black hole of negativity and trying to defend your decision to walk away.

The problem with going negative is that you’ll regret some of the things you say (if not everything.) Then, you may start to feel guilty and want to apologize. When this happens, you may have to start the leaving process all over again.

Don’t be afraid to have serious adult conversation. They may not be easy but they will help you move forward in your search for your soul mate.

Manage your emotions in a healthy way. Know when to bite your tongue and walk away. Resist the urge to reach out later and share additional thoughts or retorts to comments your partner made. That creates a lose/lose situation.

I hope you’ll take some time to think about the next adult conversation you need to have. Think through your words ahead of time and it will help you stay focused on what you need to say.

If you get frustrated with dating, can’t pick a good date to save your life, or just struggle figuring out what you want in your next relationship, check out my book, Dating Backward: A practical guide to dating and finding your soul mate.

Until next week, have a great and blessed day.