“All negative emotions, especially anger, depend on your ability to blame someone or something else for something in your life you are unhappy about”
– Brian Tracy (famous motivational speaker)
We allow others to effect our emotions. Think of some of the phrases we have heard since we were little and we still pass along to our own kids:
– Don’t say that. It hurts his feelings
– The way you are acting is making me really upset.
– That hurt my feelings
– I can’t believe what she just did. That makes me mad
Of course we mean well when we are trying to teach our kids sensitivity for others. But could we be more impactful from teaching them resiliency?
These are all indicating that the actions of someone else dictated how another person felt. The reality is that we are responsible for our own feelings and how we perceive things. We have the decision to determine if something is bad, good, negatively effects us or makes us happy. We also can make the decision that it doesn’t really effect us at all.
What if we were able to teach our children that despite what others say or do, it doesn’t really effect them. I heard a saying, “I will not have anything break my serenity”. Or for example the saying:
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”
If they were able to truly stick to who they are. They could be happy regardless of what someone says. They would feel great despite the way someone may act towards them.
This is really powerful stuff that effects our children every day. Think about bullying, acceptance among peers, or even causes of suicide. People are so greatly effected by what others say and do. So what are some ways we can help impact our kids:
1) Refrain from blaming your kids for any emotion or state you may be in. So don’t say:
– You are making me angry
– What you said really hurt my feelings
– When you argue with your brother it gets me really upset
Instead, realize you have control over how you perceive and handle things. So fix the problems without stating how it effects you. Use phrases such as
– ” don’t appreciate how you are acting right now”.
– It sounds like you prefer something different. How could you have said what you did in a positive or constructive way?
– It looks like you and your brother aren’t getting along. How do you think we can solve this? Then also realize you need to calm down and not allow them to effect you.
2) Teach your child that they get to decide how things effects them. They are in control. While it’s ok to have feelings, they can begin to understand that the feelings are controlled by them, not others. Having the conversations over and over about their emotions and they get to decide. It’s ok to be sad, angry, and happy. But YOU are the one that get’s to choose.
3) Provide them examples in real time. When your child says, “what she said hurt my feelings”. You may say, “Did she hurt your feelings or did you decide that what she said was going to hurt your feelings?.” It doesn’t make what the person said right, but it does change the control.
We blame others when things don’t go the way we want. Why would we want to look inside for answers when we can stop the investigation by just blaming someone else. This goes for our personal relationships, our business relationships, and the relationships we have with our children.
If we can all take a little more responsibility for our own actions, feelings, and emotions, we may just find our lives have a little less conflict and more harmony.