Welcome to all of my Moms who have T1D kids!
Today’s question is: Do you have a Manual for someone in your life, about how THEY should behave, in order for YOU to be happy?
This topic is one I have always found interesting. I never realized I had a manual for everyone in my life. This manual was how I expected them to behave in order for me to be happy. I had a manual for my husband, T1D son, and my other three children. I never even realized the pain my manuals caused me.
Do you have a list of things that someone in your life needs to do in order for you to be HAPPY? Do you tie your emotional happiness to them behaving in a certain way?
The manual that affected me the most was the one I had for my husband. It consisted of expectations I had for how he should just know what I needed from him. He should know when I needed his help with blood sugars, he should know when I needed help with the kids, he should know when I needed a few minutes to regroup myself. What’s so interesting is that…I expected him to follow my manual without even telling him exactly what was in my manual. He should just know if he loves me, right?
Do you believe you would be happier if someone in your life would change some aspect of what they do? Do you consistently feel “terrible” because someone is not following your manual?
This is a huge part of your suffering. Handing over how you feel to someone else. Allowing someone else’s behavior or lack of behavior to control your happiness. The best news is that other people’s behavior has no impact on you emotionally until you think about it, interpret it, and choose to make it mean something.
Regardless of what others do, what they say, how they act, you do not have to give them the power to determine how YOU feel.
The truth is that you cannot control another person, and there is nothing they can do to make you as happy as you want to be. All of the power to feel happy lies within you. I realized the best relationships function when both partners are responsible for their own happiness. It’s not that you don’t support each other, you still have expectations, you still do kind, caring things but you don’t tie your emotional well-being to all of it.
Take responsibility for how you feel, regardless of other people’s behavior.
It’s empowering and will create better results in your life. This does not mean you stay in a relationship that is harmful or not serving you. You always need to do what’s necessary to protect yourself. Setting boundaries are different than having a manual. In order to create a boundary there has to be a violation, the boundary request is made and the consequences of violating that boundary are put forth (and followed.) Manuals you have do not involve a violation that’s occurred, they are a mental list of expectations for others.
Explore what manuals you have for people in your life. What do you want them to do differently? The answer is always that you think that if they changed their behavior, you will feel better.
However, if you understand The Model (explained in the Bitter or Better Blog), you know that another person’s behavior doesn’t control your feelings, EVER. It is only your thoughts about that behavior that affects how you feel.
Understand it is perfectly reasonable to make requests, have expectations, but always remember that whether or not they decide to honor your request has nothing to do with you. It has to do with them and their thinking about the request.
You can always choose to love and enjoy them just as they are. The thought of loving them unconditionally is always available to you.
Want to learn how to stop causing yourself pain because of the manuals you have for others? Join me in a FREE 20 minute Exploration Coaching Session! It’s confidential one-on-one coaching. Click here to sign up for a free session.