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Other people, your life’s greatest teacher.
I’m sure most of you have heard the phrase, but what does it actually mean? How do you actually take that phrase and implement it? Well, I have been thinking about this a lot lately just as I observe the people in my life and how relationships morph over the years.
Relationships—and the people in them—can be the best look into your internal world. Other people are in your life to show you where you still have blocks or challenges. When you are triggered by the actions of someone else, that’s the biggest sign as to where you are still struggling within yourself.
Other people’s actions and words only have a meaning when you give it one. So, if you are feeling a strong reaction to someone else, that means there’s something deeper ready to be learned.
I find that there are four main emotions that other people ignite within us. The four emotions that someone else can make us feel are guilty, angry, judged, or ignored. Now, of course, that’s not the entire list, but those tend to elicit the strongest response.
What happens when you feel a strong emotion based on what someone else did? You may want to get mad at them or make them feel just as bad. While that may provide temporary satisfaction, that’s not really getting to what the deeper meaning is. These emotions are an amazing opportunity to grow your own self-trust and acceptance.
This is the beautiful thing about big emotions; the more you invite them in and cherish them, the less scary they feel. The moment you stop running from them, the faster they pass through you. Because that’s exactly how life works. Everything comes in waves; nothing is permanent. Learn from the tough times and relish the good ones.
So, below are the big four emotions that other people ignite within us. You’ll also learn the deeper meaning behind them and what they’re showing you about your internal world. I invite you to take out your journal and reflect on your own life and feelings with each emotion.
How do you deal with it when it shows up? What actions from other people cause you to feel it? How can you show yourself deeper love and appreciation? It’s your turn to learn about yourself.
If someone makes you feel…
Guilty. This is an indication that you have little to no boundaries. When you feel guilt, it’s usually because you think you have hurt or upset someone. But the deeper meaning here is that you are lacking boundaries for yourself.
Guilt shows you who and what you are allowing to overstep a boundary. Women are prone to feeling guilt because society teaches us that we need to be subservient to everyone else around us. When you have clear boundaries, you can tell other people what is and isn’t allowed with you.
You can clearly let people know what you are able to provide for them and what will be too much for you to handle. So, if someone is making you feel guilty, turn inward and decide what your boundaries are in order for you to be your best self. From there, you can clearly communicate with everyone around you what you need, guilt be gone.
Angry. This is a sign that you are ignoring your true feelings. Anger is a healthy and necessary emotional outlet, not something to be feared. Unfortunately, society has taught us that anger is too extreme and should be avoided at all costs, especially for women.
But when you can use anger as a healthy coping mechanism, you will feel lighter and be able to handle emotions easier. So, if someone is making you feel angry and you have a strong reaction, it’s time to ask yourself: what am I stuffing down? What emotions or feelings am I trying to run from? From there you can start to discover healthy ways to cope with anger.
Maybe it’s physical exercise, maybe it’s punching a pillow, or maybe it’s writing an angry letter that you never intend to send. Once you allow the emotion of anger, it will pass through you just as fast as it came about. Get angry at whatever you need to and feel freer, happier, and more alive.
Judged. Feeling judged by someone else is a direct mirror into your internal world. When you think someone is judging you, or maybe they outright voiced it to you, this is showing you where you are judging yourself. Have you heard the phrase “Other people are the best teachers”? That couldn’t be more true in this sense.
Other people’s opinions and judgments about you have no real meaning, unless you give it one. Seriously, outside opinions only become a problem when you let them. No other soul on this planet can dictate how you feel about yourself.
When you have a strong relationship to self and focus on your life’s passion and purpose, external opinions will be like a passing breeze that you don’t even notice.
So, next time someone is passing judgment, ask yourself how you really feel about the situation. You’ll soon realize that you only care about one person’s opinion: your own.
Ignored. Now I have to preface this by saying, if someone is truly ignoring you or leaving you on read, it’s time to seriously reevaluate that relationship. A meaningful relationship isn’t meant to feel one-sided, and if you’re putting more into it than you are getting out, then it may be time to end it.
But on the flip side, if you think someone is ignoring you or maybe you feel sad if they don’t respond to you quickly, it’s time for a healthy dose of self-love. Your reaction to this feeling is telling you that you are ignoring parts of yourself. Is there an emotion or feeling you are avoiding? Have you been neglecting your physical and emotional self-care? A part of you feels ignored from your own self.
When you place all your worth and validation outside of you, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. But you are in the right place, my friend! All my writing focuses on how to build a strong relationship to yourself and grow your confidence.
Has anyone made you feel these emotions listed above? It’s normal to feel a reaction to other people’s actions or words. But when you let it consume you and make you feel insecure, it’s time to turn inward. It’s time to fill up your own cup and give yourself the validation and love you are craving.
Next time any of these emotions come up for you, revisit this article and learn the deeper lesson within you. When you start to give yourself genuine recognition and support, your relationships, self-worth, and happiness will flourish.
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