“You made me feel bad!” – The sweatpants of emotional self-determination
It’s still there – the myth of other-directed feelings.…
The Lagerfeld sweatpants of feeling?
I always cringe when I hear questions like “what did that do to you?” or statements à la “you made me very sad …” or “… that makes you feel good!”. And every time I remember the legendary saying of fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld …
“Who wears sweatpants has lost control of his/her life”
Because I wonder: what’s the difference between Lagerfeld’s sweatpants and assuming that something or someone can determine my feelings?
If something or someone can “do” something with my feelings, haven’t I lost self-determination over my emotions, my feelings?
Your feelings belong to you – do not leave them to anyone else!
I can BE happy or sad, but nobody can MAKE me happy or sad. Someone can try to cheer me up or to sadden me – whether it works and I am then happy or sad is up to me!
Taibi Kahler has described this as the 4 myths:
- “You can make me feel good”
- “You can make me feel bad”
- “I can make you feel good”
- “I can make you feel bad”
It all starts with my attitude towards myself
Attitudes toward ourselves and others greatly influence how we will react and feel about statements and behavior.
When I say to myself, that I am only OK if I please others, then I will allow others to “make me feel good”. If I don’t think I’m OK myself, then I invite others to “make me feel bad”. When in doubt, I always give in just to keep peace.
If I have the strong belief that I can make others perfect and strong, then I will try to “save” you with unsolicited advice, believing that I can “make them feel good”.
If I think others are irresponsible and uncommitted, I will try to make them “feel bad” to get what I want.