I'm about to free a whole lot of y'all, right now. I recently came into a concept that changed my life forever. I'm going to tell you the name of this concept in a moment, but I'd like to explain it to you first.
Have you ever found yourself taking on someone else's feelings, as though they were your own? Have you ever found yourself doing something or going somewhere you didn't want to go, to preserve the feelings of another person? To keep them from being angry, upset, or disappointed? Or to make them happy? Have you ever been concerned with another person's approval or disapproval? Have you ever held yourself accountable for something that was really someone else's responsibility?
Welp, if you answered 'yes' to any of the above questions, I am here to tell you my friends that those are their feelings. They belong to them.
What do you mean?
Allow me to explain by using examples. Say at work you have to make an uncomfortable phone call. You know the customer or client on the other end of the phone is not going to be pleased. They might even be pissed. You, however, have done everything within YOUR power, but the outcome is not one the customer is going to be happy with. Well, sorry, that's their anger. It's not your anger. And even if you called with good news, their happy reaction belongs to them, too. You may think you had something to do with it, but you really didn't. Their feelings belong to them.
Here's another example. Let's say it's your turn to go in traffic, but you don't have a clear shot. Every time you make a move to go, a car jumps in your lane. Now the people behind you are getting impatient. They're shifting all in their seats, moving their heads around, throwing their hands up, and finally, blowing their horn. While you might be an idiot driver, at the end of the day you have to be sure, and that is THEIR impatience. The impatience belongs to them. Who are you to prevent another human being from feeling impatient? You are not God. From time to time in life, we shall feel impatient.
It may seem cold and callous, but it's really not. It's recognizing that you have no control over another person's feelings, and that you as a mere mortal cannot make someone else feel or not feel a certain way. If someone tries to give you their anger, kindly fold it up and hand it right back to them. It is theirs, after all. If someone feels disappointed with you, recognize that that's their disappointment, and life can sometimes be well, disappointing.
Once you really get a hold of the concept, it truly shall set you free. You'll start to see it everywhere. If you want to do more research on your own, it's called CO-DEPENDENCY!