Do you know anyone with the victim mentality? You know, the type who are always complaining that someone else did them wrong, that someone else is the cause of their problems, that someone else is the reason they are in a bad mood or having the trouble that they are having. Sure you do, we all know people like that.
When circumstances aren’t going the way they would like, they immediately begin to point fingers. “Why did he say that?” “She makes me so mad.” “My husband doesn’t listen.” “My wife doesn’t listen.” When they are in a bad mood, it’s always because someone did something to them. Someone was rude to them, or someone cut them off in traffic, or someone looked at them the wrong way. The problem always lies at someone else’s doorstep. Now, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Am I like that? Am I one of these people?”
“If you think other people are the cause of your problem, you’re going to have to send the rest of the world to the psychiatrist for you to get better.” – Wayne Dyer
When you are learning to add fractions, you’re taught that you have to find a common denominator. When the number under the line is the same for both fractions, then you can work with them, because there is now a factor that they have in common. You’re comparing “apples to apples”. When everyone around you is causing you problems, when you catch yourself complaining about other people doing you wrong, stop for a moment and look for the common denominator. The odds are, most of these people you are complaining about don’t know each other. There isn’t a conspiracy to ruin your day. What is the one factor they they all have in common?
You are the one factor. You are the common denominator. If you’re getting uncomfortable reading this, don’t be upset. That’s a good thing. It means you’re becoming aware of something about yourself, and that’s the first step toward change and improvement. The second step is understanding that your feelings are completely in your own hands.
One hard point for many people to grasp is that no one is responsible for how you feel but you. Yes, others may do or say unkind things to you. They may even do things to make your circumstances more difficult. They cannot, however, do one single thing to change your mood unless you let them. They have no more power over your emotions than you give them. You decide how you feel, no one else does. When you realize this, you open your eyes to the incredible freedom you possess. Once you understand that the only person responsible for how you feel is you, and that you can DECIDE how you are going to feel, you can see improvement immediately.
How do you do that? How do you decide what you are going to feel? Change what you are thinking. Our emotions are mirrors of our mind. We feel what we think about. Change the images in your mind. Change your thoughts. Get your mind off of the person who did you wrong, and start thinking about something you like. Turn on your favorite music, or go watch a movie you enjoy. With the technology we have available today, you can simply pop over to a website and watch a short clip of your favorite comedian, or one of cats/dogs/children doing silly things. Or go the low-tech route and take a walk. Whatever it is that you enjoy, do it, think about it, talk about it. Put your mind on that and take it off what bothers you. That’s how you decide how you’re going to feel.