“Nobody Can Make You Feel”…Breeding An Insensitive Generation?
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent” is a quote you may have heard before. Over the years, I’ve heard counsellors, psychologists, friends and definitely many life coaches talk about feelings, especially in recent years. More specifically, the concept that you are the only one who can control your feelings and nobody else is responsible for them, but you.
Which, for many years, I believed. It always took me a moment in times of distress to stop, realize this and shift how I wanted to feel about something if I needed to. But more recently, this concept was challenged by a friend of mine, and he was passionately against this theory.
He comes from a different generational upbringing than I do (I’m roughly 10 years younger) and that no doubt has an effect on his differing opinion, however, it really got me thinking….is this the right way to think about feelings?
First off, I’ll explain what I mean by “nobody can make you feel”. Essentially, the theory is that our feelings belong to only us and we have control over them. Nobody can control the way we feel about a situation and everyone feels differently about a situation, so there would really be no way of making someone feel a certain way.
For example, if there are 10 different people and each of them are told they are ugly by someone else, some of those people will feel hurt, some sad, some won’t be bothered by it. This part, I completely agree with, we definitely can’t say something hurtful to someone and know exactly how they will feel about it. Everyone responds differently and we can’t control that no matter what we do.
The same goes for positive emotions. Example: you may feel like you really want to make someone happy, you can do everything in your power to try to change that and make them feel better, but you can’t. It’s not in your control, it’s in their control.
Others do not cause our feelings, we are the ones who cause them ourselves. True enough, right?
After giving it some thought (thanks to my friend challenging me) I think this theory has become a little taken advantage of. I see it now being used more as a defence mechanism and a hurtful way to shield…