Emotional adulthood is taking responsibility for how we feel. It is a powerful thing and also very rare. Not taking responsibility for how we feel or blaming others for how we feel is much more common and is called emotional childhood. We are not taught how to take responsibility for our feelings, as children we were taught that what we do makes other people feel a certain way. When we blame others for how we feel we give them all our power.
When we realize we are in control of our thoughts, that means we cannot blame someone else for how we feel. We are also responsible for how we behave. Think about your relationships. When someone does not do what you ask, what do you think and how does it make you feel? If you ask your husband to take out the garbage and he does not do it, it might make you mad. But he did not cause you to feel mad, your thought about him not taking out the garbage did. Maybe you were making it mean that he wanted you to do everything or that he did not love you. Those thoughts are optional and are what caused the emotion, not the situation of your husband not taking out the garbage, which is a neutral circumstance. Maybe he just forgot and had every intention of taking out the garbage. We blame other people not only for how we feel but for our actions and the results we get in our lives.
For many people including myself, eating is fueled by trying not to feel negative emotion; so we choose to eat comfort foods to avoid being responsible for our feelings. Or we blame other people for overeating if they offer us foods not on our food plan.
You know you are in emotional childhood if you:
Feel like a victim and as if you are the the mercy of other people in your life
Aren’t taking responsibility for how you feel
Are dependent on other people for positive and negative emotions
Blame others when you are not happy all the time
Try to change circumstances, the past, or other people so you can feel better
Emotional adulthood is when you manage your emotions internally regardless of the circumstance.
You know you are in emotional adulthood if you:
Take full responsibility for all your feelings, positive and negative
Take ownership for your mistakes and don’t blame your actions on others for how they made you feel
Take your power back, don’t expect other people to make you feel secure
Realize that your feelings determine the quality of your life and you get to decide how we want to feel
When someone says something to you and you have a negative emotion, own that it is your thought causing you pain. It is OK if you want to feel bad; you get to decide how you are going to think and feel about the situation. The worse thing that can happen is an emotion. The most powerful thought is that I can handle any emotion.
If you have problems with blaming others for how you feel and want help getting your power back, click below for a free initial coaching session.