How to Stop Taking On Other's Drama

I've always been the kind of person that people divulged their deepest darkest secrets. Like, I'd be standing in line at the grocery store and, before I knew what hit me, the person behind me would be telling me all of their problems and saying shit like:

I don't know why I'm telling you this. I never tell anyone this stuff.

I'd deeply listen, knowing they were in pain, and saying whatever I could to try to make them feel better.

It was like I had a tattoo on my forehead that said:

Tell me everything! I'll fix it!!

People would commonly report that they felt better after talking to me (they still do!) and I often felt like the life had been sucked out of me (thankfully, I no longer feel that way!).

I was like a sponge, absorbing all of the emotional energy around me and making myself sick (literally) trying to transform it.

Over time, though, and through some pretty deep introspection, I came to realize that I'd been telling myself some dangerous lies about myself and other people FOR DECADES.

Like, lies that were so fucking deep, I would have thought that YOU were the liar if you'd told me I had the power to believe something else. I genuinely didn't see them as a choice.

In fact, this month, I am going to share lots of them with you, and when I do, you might think I'm lying to you. (How meta!)

But, I promise, they are all OPTIONAL thoughts that you can change at any time. I know because I did it and I've helped countless others do the same.

In fact, I can go to Public, a concert, and spend time with my family. All in the same day. Without feeling drained, overwhelmed, or just this side of dead. I'll even wake up the next day in gratitude and looking forward to going on more adventures. With real live people.

#lifechanging

So, as I mentioned, I am going to share the other lies I stopped believing in my next few emails. But, for now, let's start with this one:

LIE TO STOP BELIEVING IMMEDIATELY: You feel other people's feelings.

WHAT?!?!

I know. Trust me. My entire identity was wrapped up in the idea that I could feel other people's feelings. It was like I didn't know who I was without that story. I thought that my ability to feel other people's feelings meant that I was an empathic and compassionate person who was earning her worth in the world.

But, come to find out, NOPE. It's a lie.

And when I stopped believing that I could feel other people's feelings, I felt better INSTANTLY.

Here's the deal:

Your brain has what is known as mirror neurons. They scan the other person's cues and then pairs them with your personal memories. And your mind creates an emotion, in your body, that it ASSUMES matches the scenario.

ASSUME being the key.

You aren't feeling what they are feeling. You are feeling YOUR brains ASSUMPTION about their feeling.

Now, that doesn't mean that the other person doesn't really feel the way your brain is assuming they feel, but you aren't feeling THEIR feelings. You're feeling YOUR interpretation of them.

And here's the good news about that:

When you believe that you are feeling their feelings, you are always going to be at the mercy of other people's emotions. You are going to get jacked around like you're driving a vintage fiat on a gravel road with potholes every three milliseconds. Because you have no control over their feelings. Ever.

But, you ARE THE ONE in charge of YOUR OWN emotions.

So, when you recognize that you're just feeling your feelings, you take all of that power back, especially when you know how to work with and transform your emotions.

You no longer have to live your life afraid of the weight of other people's emotions. You become an emotional master.

Like I said, #lifechanging.

I've got more secrets and lies for you in my future emails.

For now, hit reply. Who would you be without the story that you can feel other people's feelings?

And, as always, remember:

YOU are the magic.