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17.1 Emotional Adulthood & Emotional Childhood

Taking Responsibility for your Emotional Health

Because we’re talking about relationships this month, we want to revisit the idea of Emotional Childhood & Emotional Adulthood. The idea that we acknowledge that other people can’t make us feel good or bad – and so the good news is that WE can not make other people feel good or bad either. And when we try to, we’re trying to manipulate them out of negative emotion because we don’t want to feel negative emotion in ourselves.

Transcript

Okay, so in this video, I want to talk about something called emotional childhood and emotional adulthood. We may have talked about this already, but I want to introduce it into a formal setting.

What we’re doing here is we’re actually going back to the third month, where we talked about processing emotion. And it’s really important when we first start feeling emotion, oftentimes, it gets really confusing and we aren’t sure we can’t really separate other people’s emotions from our own. So, if you’re in that spot, you’re right on track, just keep doing the work to try to figure out what it is that I’m feeling.

What emotional adulthood and emotional childhood is the idea that other people are responsible for what we feel emotionally. We hear these types of phrases all the time. And it’s something that we teach to our children. So, we say things like you hurt my feelings, or I hurt your feelings, or “oh, Johnny did Debbie hurt your feelings when she took away your toy?”

And it’s really important to really separate out that technically we can’t hurt someone else’s feelings. Now, this is really good news because what that also means is that other people cannot make us feel a certain way. And this is good news because what it does is it gives us agency over our emotions.

Oftentimes, we have these emotional outbursts, or these emotions, and we’re like, “I don’t know why I’m feeling this.” The reason that you’re feeling anything is always because of the thoughts that you have in your brain that are making you create that feeling in your body.

Now, when I say something like that, I want to make it very clear that you may want to have the thoughts that you have about the situation. That’s totally, okay. It’s just understanding that the reason I feel terrible is because I have the thought of my partner is a “j**k”. Okay.

And so, when we have that thought, my partner’s a j**k, then of course, I’m going to feel terrible. Now, what my partner did may have been a jerkish thing. Okay. And I get to decide whether I want to keep believing that or not. But it’s really important to understand that the reason that we feel anything is because of our thoughts.

And so, why this is important is because other people feel emotion because of their thoughts. And so, when we’re talking about the model, okay. If someone says something to me, that becomes my circumstance. I have a thought about that circumstance, which evokes an emotion. And then, it causes me to do, or say, or think something, all right?

Now, if I say something in response to someone else, then my response becomes their circumstance. Okay. Now, when we say that other people are responsible for their own emotions and that I can’t make someone feel a certain emotion. I think that it’s really important to also point out that this is not an opportunity to go around saying to people, “Hey, you’re a j**k.” And then, saying, “oh, but I didn’t make you feel that way, you made yourself feel that way through your thoughts.” Okay?

So, this is not an opportunity to abdicate responsibility for what we say and what we do. What it is doing is it’s really understanding that we need to allow people to have their own emotional experience. And we’re going to be talking about this again next week and the week following in terms of people pleasing and acceptance.

But for right now, It’s really important for you to understand, for us to understand that when I have an emotion. Whether it’s love, or frustration, or anger, or sadness, or grief, the reason that I feel that way is because of my thought process.

And how we know that? Here’s a really good example. So, let’s say that you find out that someone who’s close to you has passed away. They passed away maybe a week ago. We know that it’s our thoughts that are creating the emotion because the person actually died a week ago. We didn’t know about it. And so, therefore, we didn’t feel grief.

Now, that we know we have this thought of that person isn’t around anymore. And that makes me sad. Okay. So, it’s a very primitive example, but it is the example that circumstances do not cause our feelings. It’s our thoughts about the circumstances that cause our feelings.

And so, again, it’s important to understand emotional adulthood versus emotional childhood. And be aware that emotional adulthood, isn’t necessarily a destination. It’s something that we all strive for. All of us will go in and out of emotional childhood and emotional adulthood. It’s just being aware of, “okay, I can control my own feelings through my thoughts.” I’m not abdicating my emotional health to the other people around me.

And so, therefore, the good news here is that I am not responsible for getting someone else out of a bad mood. It’s not my responsibility to cheer other people up and I get to do, what I’m going to do. And if that upsets other people, as long as it’s not hurting them, then it’s totally okay. They get to have their opinions about what I’m doing, and I get to keep doing what I’m doing, knowing that this is the best thing for me.

So, again, we’re going to be talking about this a lot more throughout the month. And so, just be aware that we’re just introducing it in this chapter and then we’re going to go through it again and apply it to the other areas as it pertains to relationships.

What I have next then is our two sub-topics to emotional childhood and emotional adulthood, which is boundaries and the manual. And what we’re going to do is we’re just going to get into that throughout this month. All right?

That’s all I have for you right now.

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