In our everyday interactions with others, we experience a wide variety of responses, or sometimes even lack thereof from others. When dealing with other people, there are so many emotions and situations that we face and naturally a lot of the time, we as humans wonder our place in it all. How much of other’s emotions and actions are a direct result of us?
When we communicate and relate to other people, we are constantly regulating our feelings and perceptions as well as taking in verbal and non-verbal cues from others. A lot of how we communicate is a reflection of ourselves, or how we perceive ourselves. As human beings, we put a lot of focus, blame, attention to the things that we do “wrong,” or “right.” In a lot of cases, we are quick to assume that if someone is upset, or is not acting themselves around us, that it’s somehow possibly our fault.
How many times can you recall that you have said things like “I wonder what I did wrong?,” “Could I have handled that better?,” “Did I say all the wrong things?,” “Does this person care for me anymore?,” Lots of questions like these can go through our heads when someone we know acts different towards us. Most of the time, it actually has nothing to do with us, it’s not personal.
Say for example, your significant other is being really quiet one day, so many things run through your head and then you start replaying the conversations that you had with them that day to see if you have somehow caused them to be upset. You later find out after your significant other has a chance to relax and unwind that they just had a really rough day at work. Another example, you and your best friend talk often, always exchanging text messages and phone calls, one day your texts and calls are not returned like they usually are. Again your mind wanders and thinks of all the possible reasons why, including the fact that somehow you may be the reason why they have gone distant. Later on that night, you find out that your best friend had a ton on their plate that day and that they put their phone away most of the day wanting some much needed alone time.
It is really important to remember that most of the time, other people’s emotions and actions have nothing to do with us. Even when we are mistreated, that has more to do with how the other person feels about themselves, or their life than it does with us. We can really drive ourselves crazy taking everything in life personally. It’s often quite a relief to find out that most of the time it wasn’t about us at all.