You are NOT responsible for other people’s emotions! :o)

We are not responsible for other people’s emotions. To try to be is to sign up for massive amounts of pain, distraction and to step away from our own personal power.

Remember, the only thing we have 100% control over in life is our response to what happens. We get to 100% choose what meaning we give the events of our lives.

To hold ourselves accountable for how other people feel takes us out of alignment in at least two ways:

1. We cannot control how they feel – only they can – by the meaning they give the events of their lives.

2. We take away the other person’s sovereign right and free will to choose how they want to respond.

This is not to say that we should not take the other person’s emotions, feelings and well-being into consideration or that we should not care about how the other person is feeling – that would be pure narcissism. We must genuinely care for the other person, and part of that caring is giving them the space, the time and the respect to let them choose how they want to interpret the events of their life.

When creating a healthy and loving relationship, it is important for two people to be able to give each other this space, and at the same time genuinely care for the other person’s well-being.

The danger of not doing this is that we end up walking on eggshells depending on the emotional state of the other person, or they end up walking on eggshells around us.

No one is ever angry at us or because of us. They are angry because of how they are processing the world and then projecting that onto us. To try to make this our fault takes away our power and also takes away the power of the other person to change.

In a healthy relationship we do not take things personally, but rather share what we are feeling and going through. Sometimes we don’t even need to offer to fix anything, but rather just be present and accept whatever is going on in the moment.

When we take responsibility for our emotions, we let the other person off the hook and when the people we are in relationship with do the same, we are off the hook. Then we are free to share about our experience in an open and non-judgmental format. We no longer need to take things personally and genuinely love the other person for their light and their darkness.

When we realize we are not responsible for the other person’s emotions, we are free to stand in our own authentic power and expression. If this bothers the other person, we now know he or she may not be a match for us.

Let us not dim ourselves to please others. Let us shine – together.

Are you dimming yourself? How can YOU shine?



# # #

Mastin Kipp is the CEO and Founder of The Daily Love. Follow him on Twitter here.

Take what resonates with you in this blog and leave the rest.

If you are ready to kick fear in the butt (lovingly, of course)  – join me September 24 – 28 for my latest virtual course Love Uni-versity: Discover the Wisdom of your FearClick here to check it out!

It’s a RAD 5 Day immersion class to turn your fear into power! AND – if you are in LA and want to join me for super private Group Mentoring LIVE in Hollywood! Click here  to join me LIVE in LA!

  • Della

    I love how your blog posts always speak right to what I am going through! Thank you.

  • diane

    this speaks to me regarding my teenage daughter.  walking on eggshells is something I do every day.  I think I will print this out and reread it daily, to help me learn to just be in the moment with her and not take her moodiness personally.  thanks.  this is what I needed today

  • Ah, yes, we are on the same psychic wavelength yet again, Mastin.  I am eternally working on this one.  I find myself not only trying to protect other people from experiencing difficult feelings but I also tend to confuse other people’s stuff for my own stuff.  I was just discussing this with my therapist a few days ago and she reminded me to give people their baggage back to them because I have plenty to carry on my own!  I created a little reminder card for this, as I often do.  I attached it to this comment.  Thanks for this lesson on codependency, Mastin! xoxo

  • dap

    Responsibility is the ability to choose YOUR response–not someone else’s..

  • xnavygal

    Another excellent topic Mastin…For me, my experience has shown that other people are just as powerless as I am. Therefore, they or even I have to ALLOW another to make me feel anything, be it pain or joy. What I percieve, I will believe. Thanks to my higher self that the choice always lies within me.  Big love and respect to ya,  (xnavygal) jen

    • YES JEN! The CHOICE ALWAYS is within you! :o)

  • C Lo

    This is the most disappointing and inconsistent thing I’ve read here in the year I’ve been reading. I’m so incredibly sad that you wrote this.

    All we can do is control ourselves. This much is true. So to take that a step further and presume that everyone else is at the same point on their life path as you are and that they should handle their emotions in an enlightened way is incredibly short sighted and, quite frankly, uncaring.  

    Basic human emotion generally dictates that as a knee jerk response we tend to blame others for our feelings. It’s a gut reaction. We were built with it. The Universe built us with that reaction. I trust the Universe made me perfect…………and if The Universe has  placed it in my instinct that other people can cause me to hurt or be angry then I trust that too.  As someone who is trying to be more “enlightened”, so to speak, *I* will try to take as much responsibility for that as I can. But to take that next step and expect that everyone will? And to then use that as an excuse to not take responsibility for how you make others feel? Ugh.

    We all control our own actions. That is true. But we are all very much responsible for the hurt we cause others. If I was somehow privy to your heart and I said the one thing that I knew would hurt you the most, simply to say it, and you got hurt…that’s MY responsibility. What you did with those feelings is yours.

    Part of being a good community member means being considerate of others. Being considerate of others means owning when we hurt them and accepting them where they are on their path. Don’t presume everyone else is where you are and don’t make them feel bad for not being where YOU think they should be.

    Take responsibility for when you hurt someone. Use words wisely. Be respectful of where others are on the path.

    • MJ

      “If I was somehow privy to your heart and I said the one thing that I
      knew would hurt you the most, simply to say it, and you got
      hurt…that’s MY responsibility. What you did with those feelings is

      That is exactly what he said…what someone does with their feelings is their responsibility. I don’t think he meant that we can go around hurting people on purpose and then tell them to “deal with it” and not care. That is absolutely not what is being said at all. Often times people react to things we do or say that were never intended to hurt anyone, and we can not control this. People are allowed to feel the way they want to feel and it is everyone’s own personal responsibility to deal with their own emotions. It is also everyone’s own responsibility to make sure they are kind to others, and approach everything with love.

      • C Lo

        It SOUNDS like what he’s saying is we are NOT EVER responsible for the emotions of others EVER. And that’s irresponsible and wrong.

        I used an extreme example but even if it wasn’t extreme…..if I simply mistakenly said something that hurt or offended someone………my words are my responsibility and how I made someone feel, even if it was unintended, is MY responsibility.

        To presume in your actions to say that OTHERS should behave or respond in ANY specific way is contradictory to EVERYTHING ELSE we learn on TDL. This article is about how OTHER people SHOULD handle things and thus relieve us of responsibility. We can’t tell other people how to handle anything. 

        We are totally capable of making people feel things. Good or bad. Saying we are not is irresponsible. And seems really contradictory to everything else Mastin says. This entry honestly reads totally differently than a LOT of stuff he’s written in recent months and seems to be coming from a place of defensivness or hostility. It’s so impersonal compared to his other writings. Big fat dislike.

        • Hey C Lo, did u see the space where I said we gotta ” genuinely care for the other person’s well-being.”? Curious. 

          • C Lo

            I saw it. It’s such a small part. The overall message seems to be what you introduced it with….what you titled it with….”You are NOT responsible for other peoples emotions”. Throwing in a “oh but you still need to care about them” seems like an afterthought. We are responsible for how we make others feel. We SHOULD be considerate of it and we should NOT assume they are at a place where they are as “enlightened” as we think they should be. 

          • Well, I’m not even going to pretend like I can get it 100% right 365 days a year. I’m not assuming other people should be enlightened, what makes u think that? I don’t think  I am enlightened, that’s for sure! :o)

          • My teacher, Cinnamon Lofton in Avila Beach is a living example of ENLIGHTENMENT without a doubt!  Enlightenment is a moment to moment CHOICE to choose love, choose love, and choose love.  Because I know this to be possible, I TAKE 100% responsibility for EVERYTHING when I am willing to discipline myself.  The human mind does not want to grasp this truth because it is PROGRAMMED to believe that we are “Only Human.”  In order for someone to choose LOVE 100% of the time…they need to draw on their God Given  COURAGE (Hey, I know I sound radical and my EGO would stop me in my tracks RIGHT about now if I was willing to surrender to FEAR). Choosing Enlightenment is A LOT of work and the majority of people in this world are not willing to choose it.  The EGO says, “It doesn’t exist” so we continue in our so called, “only human” body. Cinnamon, like Iyanla Vanzant is Clairaudient, and I know OPRAH would want to meet her.  I am an avid watcher of Super Soul Sunday.  Marianne Williamson spoke about a VERY SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE will be the very ones that are doing this kind of work. I broke out in tears because I know I am a part of that elite group. I encourage you Mastin or anyone who is reading this to draw upon your courage and call, meet, or go to one of Cinnamon’s FREE classes just 3 hrs away from you. My life will never be the same and I know if one is willing-either will theirs. I have been given the best gift and it is my honor to pay it forward. My whisper from God is to incessantly work on this because I know Cinnamon is the change the world wants to see.  The funny thing is, she goes on about her day in total surrender  and serving AND she knows my whisper is also hers.  She NEVER asked me to promote her. This is my service to my heart’s calling. We are getting a package together for Oprah. You may be the one to facilitate this. I know it is in God’s timing.  I  am now letting go. My email is [email protected].  My blog gives a very personal example of how hard I am working to create the discipline for choosing love. 

          • How are we responsible for how others feel when they are the meaning maker of their life? This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t be aware of how our actions effect others, of course and I did my best to point that out, but at the end of the day I’m going to have to agree to disagree with you that we are ultimately responsible for how other’s feel. :o)

          • C Lo

            Those are two different things. If my boyfriend hurts my feelings, even if its unintentional, it hurts. What I DO and MAKE with that is MINE. How I use that experience is MINE. But the feelings generated? Someone else was the catalyst for that. We don’t exist in vacuums.

            The message seems to be “other folks SHOULD be handlign their emotions in a certain way and if they don’t well oh well for them”. What if they don’t? What if you say something the unintentionally hurts Jenna? Do you say “Well, I am not responsible for what my words do to you” or do you say “I’m sorry I hurt you”. I would HOPE the later. 😉 

            I think that’s the problem I have with this message today……it doesn’t foster compassion or community. I did the first Love U with you and I remember you talking about spirituality and vibrations in the context of our relationship with others………at the end of the day, is it serving anyone to tell the message “Hey, you aren’t responsible if you say things that hurt people!!!”

            I don’t think so. 

            And…again….todays message seems so different and impersonal and cold compared to the rest of the stuff we’ve read this week and month.

          • I know what you mean C Lo, when we take responsibility for our life, it can seem a little cold at first. I’m certainly not promoting a lack of empathy or that people are not responsible for how they show up. In fact, quite the opposite!  Thanks for diving in and really asking the great questions. I would disagree with your presumption that your boyfriend “hurts your feelings”. I understand it’s your experience and I am by no means trying to tell you WHAT you feel – because you feel what you feel and it’s true for you. But consider that instead of your boyfriend “hurts your feelings” that what happened was “your feelings were hurt”. It’s a slight change, but a powerful one. Our feelings are triggered by stimulus from the outside world that is filtered through our own thoughts, beliefs and life experiences. We have neural pathways in the brain that are basically “trained” to react in certain ways based on this stimulus.  Consider that the reaction that you feel within you b/c of your boyfriends behaviours is because of your wiring. And his actions are based on his wiring. What’s cool is that between stimulus and reaction is a SPACE where we can CHOOSE to respond instead of react. When we notice that the way we are acting has triggered a negative response in others, we can choose a new behaviour. And at the same time, how someone reacts or responds to us is their domain, just like it is our domain to manage our reactions and responses. If you wanna check out an AMAZING book on this, check out “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie. Much love, Mastin

          • C Lo

            That’s all true and well for those of us on the path to fix those things inside of us. My point is simply that presuming to push this on OTHERS who may not even WANT to change is devisive and not compassionate. We can sit here all the live long day and tell others how they SHOULD be handling things but all we can control is ourselves. So to tell people “Hey do what you want because everyone else is ultimately responsible for their own path” is not very ….nice. The science may back up what you say but at the end of the day, if I made someone feel badly? I’d rather apologize than justify.

          • As far as I can tell there’s nothing in the blog that suggests we should push anything on to anyone. I would never endorse this kind of behavior because it is not what I believe in. This blog as I see it helps to promote a sense of understanding and compassion that we can only control how we show up. This would also mean that we DO control how WE show up, so part of that would be apologizing when we caused unintended harm to someone else. Nothing I wrote would be counter to this. This blog doesn’t endorse a laissez faire attitude towards our actions, but is actually a call to see that we are responsible for how we see the world. And having respect for other’s to see that they are responsible for how they are showing up. And in between is the dance of all relationships. If we believe we are responsible for other’s emotions, that is co-dependency and something that  can be VERY toxic. What I’m talking about here is interdependency.  :o)

          • MM

            Very interesting and I agree. I had a experience recently with a friend. I told this friend things that have been pent up inside me. There were things that he was saying to me over the course of some time and I was harboring resentment. I tried to be careful of how I said them but he was hurt by them. BUT, keeping those things pent up isn’t good either. It was turning very toxic. I apologized that what I said hurt him and that was not the intention. My intention was to get my feelings out in the open. Now, from that point on I think this article is extremely helpful. Yes, we ALL have knee -jerk reactions to things said to us. If we step back, be open and yes we can apologize for anything that may hurt but as long as we’re open, genuine and sincere about YOUR feelings that’s all you can ask for. What the person does with that from there is NOT your responsibility. My friend still talks to me but primarily for work related things once a week. Nothing really personal. Before it was every day, for at least an hour or two. It’s an adjustment but also refreshing. Maybe we can grow from here.

          • I am also feeling like this MAJOR part of the blog is being ignored :o) 

            This is not to say that we should not take the other person’s emotions, feelings and well-being into consideration or that we should not care about how the other person is feeling – that would be pure narcissism. We must genuinely care for the other person, and part of that caring is giving them the space, the time and the respect to let them choose how they want to interpret the events of their life.When creating a healthy and loving relationship, it is important for two people to be able to give each other this space, and at the same time genuinely care for the other person’s well-being.

          • Lydia Edgy

            I completely agree! The most responsible thing a person can do is apologize to someone else. And that brings a sense of empowerment much more than the “oh well I guess they can get over it” attitude. What a sad attitude to have in life and who wants to be around someone like that?

          • Lydia Edgy

            I am a Chrisitian and so I don’t agree with the enlightenment that this blog talks about. My enlightenment comes from the Bible. But I have a “special” mother in law who does not like me at all and lets me and everyone else know it. She has used that phrase “I am only responsible for my own actions.” at times when I have expressed my hurt caused by her behavior. I googled it to try to see where this phrase might have come from. It is heartbreaking that rather than try to have a relationship with me my mother in law decides to have this “take it or leave it” attitude.

          • Carmen Swift-Cooper

            Are you married? Or have ever been?

        • Joesdough

          You can not make someone feel a certain way. If a person feels a certain way after hearing something then it is all about them, not you. It is how they have learned to respond to certain information through their lifetime.

        • grevyturty

           You’re 100% wrong. We cannot “make” people care about what we do to them or for them. If they are invested in us, they are responsible for that, not use. Please read up on some current theory. Jeez.

        • Mary

          You’re showing some very immature black and white thinking, and projecting your own defensiveness and hostility onto an article where there is none. I get the feeling you’re someone who makes everything about you, and finds a way to take everything personally.

    • Lindysnider

      YOUR REPLY IS TOTALLY CONSISTENT with this blog post. Can’t you see you’re saying the same thing?

    • Estella B.

      Where in the article did he say anything about purposefully hurting people? This article was great, because it helps us to realize to not get caught up when other people are blaming YOU for their emotions that are their own personal problems. We can’t take on every one else’s baggage. Ya, you can be sensitive to their feelings and obviously not TRY to hurt people. DUH. that’s a given. I don’t really understand your rant, it’s irrelevant. It’s all about perspectives and you can choose get angry  or remember everyone is fighting a battle and try not to take it personally.

    • grevyturty

       You have a very shallow understanding of the concepts being discussed here. You are trying to be argumentative.

    • grevyturty

      Can you point to ANY peer reviewed research to support that nonsense??

    • paddydear

      C Lo: Did you deliberately misunderstand the basic premise? Or are you just unintelligent? Something did not click in your brain as you read the words above. Hurting someone and NOT feeling bad and responsible is bad. Feeling bad when someone or something else DID is normal. Feeling awful and responsible for it over a long period of time is very bad. Especially considering that likely these feelings will surface again and again, adding up to a sense of hopelessness and guilt which might just destroy you. P.S. I do not feel responsible for possibly making you feel bad; if you feel bad it is your own doing for being carelessly critical.

  • Man oh man, did I used to take EVERYTHING personally and still sometimes do. If someone looked at me sideways, I made up a crazy story in my head about it. It has taken me years to reprogram my mind and see that I am 100% responsible for EVERYTHING I EXPERIENCE. My mentor, Cinnamon Lofton, writes in her book, ‘Here, Now,’ “How do you depersonalize people’s treatment of you? Realize that people can only give you what they’ve got. If a person has filled himself up with disrespect for years, how’s he going to give you respect? It’s not about you. So step aside. Learn the art of spiritual aikido instead.”  The other quote I love is, “Whenever someone accuses you of a perceived wrong-doing, whether you’ve done the deed or not, your freedom lies in simply asking them to forgive you.”  My EGO did not like this quote at first, but asking for forgiveness is for the other person to release their venom… it is not saying that you are sorry. If you are 100% at peace, you will not have an issue with this.  If you are unwilling-look deeper. After all, praying for the people that persecute you is the ticket to FREEDOM.  Thanks again Mastin.  I hope to meet you one day as I know we would have A LOT to say.  Kathleen 

  • DL

    I absolutely agree with C Lo who wrote exactly what I was going to write. Disappointing post today; actually irresponsible. On a good note, yesterday’s was awesome. 😉

    • Hey DL, did u see the space where I said we gotta ” genuinely care for the other person’s well-being.”? Curious.

      • DL

        Hi Mastin, I did. But it was so small of a thought within the entirety of the article that it got overwhelmed by rest. I just didn’t think it was well balanced. But that’s a hard topic to write about. Society is so extreme on this topic that  it deserves a book instead of an article. People are either completely egocentric – me me me, or codependent to a fault. It’s hard to find balance; I guess that’s what I missed. But it’s just one article, really. On the whole I love your posts and think it’s amazing how you can do so much. 

        • I know what you mean, I put a whole paragraph on it, not just a sentence!

          This is not to say that we should not take the other person’s emotions, feelings and well-being into consideration or that we should not care about how the other person is feeling – that would be pure narcissism. We must genuinely care for the other person, and part of that caring is giving them the space, the time and the respect to let them choose how they want to interpret the events of their life.When creating a healthy and loving relationship, it is important for two people to be able to give each other this space, and at the same time genuinely care for the other person’s well-being.

  • dap

    here’s a thought..
    say I have this belief about myself that I’m worthless or something’s wrong with me-(cause)
    I go out into my day and meet up with people and other experiences that reinforce this feeling I have about myself(effect)..when I am able to identify this relationship with my environment I am able to make the changes necessary in my beliefs about myself(cause) that will bring about a  
    change in the responses I get from my environment (effect)..

  • Mika

    wow I don’t think anyone is GETTING it. You can’t be the person in charge of how others feel, is how I read it. Mastin said of course, don’t hurt anyone willfully or be uncaring, he meant how they see the world is their view, and it’s their take on how it affects them and their feelings. Yes, people hurt us but if we know we are the only person in charge of how we feel, then they can’t make us feel bad, only we can.

    • exactly! :o) thanks Mika

    • What is my name?

      This is not completely true, there exist things like traumas

      • grevyturty

         Wrong. 10 people could experience the same thing but only some would be traumatized. The key lies in what we tell ourselves about events in our lives. This is basic stuff.

  • This is a great post. It’s very hard to hear because it is easier to blame someone else for how you feel. I had to learn this in the context of a relationship where we were both very unhappy. We were both walking on eggshells around each other because we were both telling ourselves that the other person was the problem. We both brought up feelings of insecurity in each other. Now, I understand that it wasn’t the feelings that were the problem but it was how we dealt with them.  What I just realized from reading this post was that is long as we were in a space of blaming each other for our feelings we were both powerless to work through our problems. However, if we were both committed to loving each through our feelings and discussing them in a non-blaming way than each person can heal. And, by not making the other person responsible, it might inspire the other person to be apart of your healing because demonizing them for your feelings in ineffective. The person that I was with was not prepared for this type of relationship, but I will take this into the next relationship with someone that is more receptive and caring. 

  • EM

    I belong to a hula school (Hawaiian, not hoop) and recently, we were getting ready for a big performance.  We perform frequently, but this performance was EXTRA important to me and I was EXTRA nervous as a result.  Part of me wanted to drop out but I chose to participate, albeit vulnerably.  At our first rehearsal, I felt happy that I had decided to continue and really connected to our dances.  We were asked to give each other feedback, and after my favorite song/dance, one woman pulled me aside and whispered conspiratorially, “OMG, That was outstanding!…(big pause)…you’re kinda outshining others though, you might want to tone it down a bit.”  My stomach went into knots at her comment and my internal monologue was screaming, “No fucking way!” but all I managed to blurt out was, “I’m not sure I can.”  But then proceeded to do just what she had asked.

    The reason I was shining is that I was connected to the dance and proud of myself for doing the performance.  However, I let her comment really get to me and I became self-conscious for the rest of the rehearsal process and the performance.  I let her comment take the joy out of my expression and dance.  Try as I might, I couldn’t get the same energy and connection back and the performance was difficult for me.  What I heard in her comment was, “Don’t be you.”  The woman knew I was upset because I publicly asked for people to only give me specific feedback about movements in the future, not to make general statements.  We tried to have a conversation about her feedback which exacerbated the situation.

    Hula is about moving as one unit, like a school of fish – but asking for me to dim my light instead of helping others shine more was awful, and for me to let her comment penetrate so much that I couldn’t dance with connection, meaning or joy was even more painful.  I knew I was giving her my power but for the life of me, couldn’t let go of her comment.  All I can hope is that this experienced strengthened my resolve to be me and let go of what others want me to be, especially when they want me to be less.  Thanks for your column!

  • edit_diva

    I’m not sure I entirely agree with this post, yet I usually do agree with you. And I agree with C Lo. If you were to deliberately try to hurt someone’s feelings, you absolutely have responsibility for that. How they choose to deal with it is their own issue. 

    • That was never the point of my blog seem comments with C Lo for clarification :o) and thanks for letting me know! ;o)

  • jen

    Wow as usual, this post came right at a time when it is super relevant to my life. Someone who hurt me very badly has just come back into my life, and instead of giving him the cold shoulder like I’ve done for some time, I’m trying to openly accept his attempts at making peace with me. I want him to understand how hurt I was but being rude to him and all the while expecting him to read my mind about why I’m mad at him is just hurtful and counterproductive.

  • Be in touch with your emotions and share them with the world that is all you can do!

  • Anj

    Love this post ~ affirmation of what I recently became aware of ~ so freeing & empowering!  Thank you!

  • StaciH

    I just wish I could cope better with missing my nephews so much. My unhappy brother (we suspect bi-polar) is projecting his own unhappiness onto me and others around him, therefore denying me or my parents from seeing my nephews. It’s a difficult journey, but focusing on my own goals (finding a job, getting thru bankruptcy & moving on from couch surfing) are the priority. I’ve never been happier being out of a negative inducing job and away from LA, so finding the happiness in everything else is pure joy.

  • Tali

    I have to say I really LOVE ‘daps’ comment below. Splendid. I would lovingly suggest that anyone who didn’t fully understand the message in this post, or rather misinterpreted it, pause, reflect, have a think about it and reread in a few days. This is what I personally have done when I feel reactive to a post now – I realize within me that if I’m honest and gentle with myself I may just admit that this may be something I need to work on for me 🙂 be kind to yourself, but definitely consider that if you are TRIGGERED by this post in a defensive manner it may just be the big thing that is gonna help you reach a break through in your own life….promise!

    • Haha, thanks Tali :o) cool comment!

    • C Lo

      Or maybe……..Mastin just got it wrong this time.  

  • Sarah

    So true.  For anyone who thinks this is cold or not very caring towards others, check out a great book called ‘Boundaries’ which explains how you can healthily take care of what’s truly your responsibility and what is others. I’ve just come out of a long battle with a co-dependent parent who placed their emotional wellbeing on my shoulders, it is not cool. It’s a really serious and damaging dynamic.
    As an example (which I hope will help explain Mastin’s point too) I recently left my family home to live independently. That is a simple fact. My mother could have perceived this in a myriad of ways – that I’m moving forward as an independent young woman, and she’s proud of me. That it’s a necessary step in my life, and she’s sad to see me go. That i’m abandoning her, and she’s angry at me. She’s opted for this last option.
    I can’t control her choice of perceiption or how she feels. But I can’t not live my life just to make sure she is emotionally okay.
    All of us at some points in our lives will feel hurt, angry, sad, ‘negative emotions’ – but we can’t hold others to ransom on that and expect them to base their life decisions to make sure we are emotionally okay.
    All of us have to learn how to be emotionally robust and make decisions based on the reality of a situation. If your boyfriend is a jerk and hurts you,  decide whether you want to work through the issue, if he is willing to as well,  or decide to leave. But you can’t change them or expect them to behave differently just because you want them to or expect them to.

  • What is my name?

    I understand the concept of this text and I find the message in it beautiful, but what about people who have hurt us in very bad, terrible and mean ways? Yes, we should not try to control their emotions, that’s true, but..

    I am talking about whenever I feel bad about the things certain type of people have done on purpose to me. Shouldn’t they be feeling guilty? Shouldn’t I, as the person who I am, full of ambition of lightening the world, keep trying to inspire them with the wisdoms of the Universe, that what they have done was pure cruelity and not feeling guitly is even more cruel?
    Not the be forgotten, I am  watching the woman in the mirror everyday. I am asking forgiveness for the mistakes I have made in my past also almost everyday (not only for being so naive in these situations etc. also for ‘real’ mistakes I have made with others)I do know that my forgiveness will not be complete until I learn to forgive myself and I also do know that not forgiving them for the things they have done to me will keep me in this jail. I am surely working on it, but still..

    Do you get my point?

  • Mary Liselle

    Ahhhh, I SO needed to read this today.  I wish I had read this 45 minutes ago after fighting with  my husband.  🙂  We are both struggling with infertility issues, and it is hard to talk about it to each other – we just have different ways of processing this issue.  Your post helped remind me that all we need to do is give each other empathy, validation, and space.  But it is hard when I am in a “good” space and my husband is in a negative space – it really f*cks with my mind since the issue hits so close to home.  Anyway Mastin … the Universe is again using you to help  me.  🙂   If there is anyway I could take your course in Weho I would, since I am an LA local.  For now, I will continue to get my daily love email bites, which is good enough and just what I need!

  • Nonviolent communication

    Thanks Mastin. Your post made me feel free (I have people pleasing qualities).  A book that changed my life for the better is “Non-Violent Communication”  I have applied it with my Mom (who is sensitive and easily hurt) with miraculous results.  Its about making the other person feel heard by connecting with their emotion. So saying “I understand that you feel scared and you want the best for me.  I get it. ”  Then you say how you feel “I feel overwhelmed by the three emails you sent me and multiple calls” and then tell them what you want them to do “I need you to back off and give me some space.  I would love to feel supported in my decisions.”  It really works.

  • Steph

    This is so great to read cuz that’s exactly what happened in my relationship with my partner just a few days ago. I felt like I was taking things too personally and instead I couldn’t open up to my partner. When I opened up to her she would sometimes snap at me so my guard and me becoming more uncomfortable came into play and caused me to hold it all in. I was losing site of who I was. I wish I was stronger in so many areas in my life but it’s hard. I’m taking blame for my mistakes and I’m willing to make them better but I won’t point the fingers at her or me it’s the both of us. We both failed, we both made mistakes but I do love her and want her back. I just don’t know how to be with someone who wants to be with me but doesn’t want to be with themselves. I can only handle so much complications before space is needed. Thank you for posting these lovely blogs because they’re inspiring. 

  • Shellyt

    I appreciated this post as I do all from TDL. What was most in-my-face today with this – more than Mastin’s content – was the quote:  “What angers us in another person is more often than not an unhealed aspect
    of ourselves. If we had already resolved that particular issue,we would not be
    irritated by its reflection back to us.”
    I have found this a great message over the years and take note whenever I’m “triggered” so I can self-reflect. Recently, I found myself angry with someone I need to work with and haven’t yet found the perspective that will help me heal whatever is coming up. I’m wondering if there are some questions we can ask ourselves to figure out where the trigger is? I was angered by the woman being irrational, combative and unintelligent (despite of my offering logic, patience and ways we could move on). In and of itself, her behavior could just be sad, funny or uninteresting – but I felt triggered.

    I’m assuming I’m triggered because she’s in a place of power over one of my children – and therefore it feels like she has power over me – and I’m upset by her approach. Hmm, perhaps I am irrational, combative and unintelligent  😉 but I’m also wondering if it’s how I feel when treated like that which will point me to the perspective I need?

    I’m trying that route (asking myself how this makes me feel & when else I’ve felt this way) and would appreciate other thoughts. : )

  • Skies

    As a rape victim I’m having a hard time understanding the concept that my rapist holds 0% responsibility in hurting me. And that all the emotions I felt were “my choice”. I understand that dealing with the aftermath is my choice- but the original hurt and pain too?

    In a world where everyone is held 100% responsible for their own emotions, the psychopath is king.

    • grevyturty

       Why don’t you read up on the theory being discussed? It’s about harmful irrational beliefs. It’s not irrational to be harmed by a rape or a death of a loved one, etc. However, as you said, dealing with the long term/aftermath is your choice.

  • perplexed

    so if somebody insults me and I get angry the person who insulted me doesn’t need to apologise?  I find this kind of viewpoint as stated above very simplistic and unrealistic.  

    • grevyturty

       It’s not rational to think that someone “must” apologize to you. It would be nice if they did, but it’s not a requirement. People have the right to be a-holes. Your beliefs are the reason you’re getting mad in the first place.

  • grevyturty

    Plagiarizing Albert Ellis, but completely accurate.

  • Gigi

    I really like and will remember this, “Let us not dim ourselves to please others. Let us shine – together.”

  • I never carry anyone’s baggage…ever. That is their responsibility. It’s all very well saying ‘well if you love someone, you help them UNPACK their baggage’ but seriously….that sounds very selfish and one-sided to expect someone to put up with the hell that this causes to the poor person trying to ‘fix’ the one who’s ‘damaged’. No one can fix you but yourself and forcing a partner to do it for is is downright cruel as your shit just messes them up too. If you truly loved someone you wouldn’t want to weigh them down with your baggage. I always unpack my issues before getting into a new relationship…even if that means being single for a long while, as I don’t feel it’s fair to expect anyone (and especially not someone I apparently ‘love’) to become messed up by my emotional baggage.

  • If one isn’t at a stage in their life to be able to fix themselves then they are not fit for a healthy relationship. They can try but it will always end up in a self-gasping mess where their desperation to force their partner to fill the bottom-less hole within them will eventually destroy the one they supposedly ‘love’….or become so unbearable that their partner is left running to save their own sanity. There’s nothing like a paranoid, insecure possessive nutjob to ruin a relationship 😀 And while it’s sad for the person…’s even sadder for the victim they choose to put up with it all.

  • Angel

    Mark – This is an interesting post. I have noticed that in real life some people are very unpopular and have had trouble maintaining any relationship because they are born with natural abilities to hurt others, though unintentionally most of the time. In short, other people do not enjoy their company. Recently I heard one of these people cited the sentence “I am not responsible for others’ emotions.” That was the first time I heard of it, out of curiosity I googled it and now I know where it is from. My question for you is: what is your suggestion for the people mentioned above, i.e. those unintentionally hurt others all the time? If when others try to help out by nicely pointing out the real reason nobody likes them, the only response received is “I am not responsible for others’ emotions,” this is not going very far, is it?

  • Norio Avila


  • Guest

    I see how this post can be controversial since “take the other person’s emotions, feelings and well-being into consideration ” is a very subjective concept. In certain cultures (especially homogeneous ones)where people share the same standard of “care”, probably this post could’ve been addressed better , but without any shared standardized value systems, it could be just interpreted as selfish justification for whatever you do or say because each individual’s capacity to “care” varies a lot in modern societies. Also, a lot of people hurt other people to protect themselves, not as an unintended consequences of their best intentions and people can’t draw the line between the two. For example, this post applies to the below two contrasting examples:

    1. Your boyfriend/girlfriend cheats on you. You get hurt but s/he tells her “Whether you get hurt or not , it’s not my responsibility”

    2.Your boyfriend/girlfriend is unhappy due to their insecurities (e.g.unemployment, PTSD etc), and they take it out on you and say you are not helping them at all or not making them happy enough.

    I’m sure the author is referring more to the latter scenario but theoretically and technically what he says can apply to the former scenario as well and that’s why some people don’t agree with the post.

    Basically what he is saying is simple: we don’t have control over other people’s emotions and actions and all we can do is to find the like-minded people we can at least understand better so that we don’t have to unintentionally hurt or get hurt. No brainers but the author could’ve taken more thorough and sensitive approach to specifically identify the issue and deliver his message.

  • Sandra Taylor

    wow. lots of comments, lots of views. deep post? I wonder about the way words are used, like responsibility as our ability to respond. which would be different from ‘you are making me feel this way’. Do we not respond in certain ways until we are able to respond differently? Is there true choice available? Is control available? Is taking responsibility for feelings akin to offering no resistance to anything? This post is interesting to me at the moment.

  • Snook

    Sometimes you are responsible for how other people feel. The difference that make us a special species of animal is that we can control how we experience our emotions. Some of us experience emotions as a negative or positive, some of us as neither, they are just part of being alive and are what they are. Our consciousness should dictate your happiness or sadness not emotions. Emotions are chemical reactions in your body caused through your conscious interpretation of life around you. Everyone should take responsibility for their own interpretation of life’s events. In saying that living with others is a dynamic situation and many variables arise. Example is a mother responsible for how her children experience emotions or is the child? As far as adults go we all have matured physically but not all of us emotionally. Many adults have remained stunted in various stages of emotional growth, usually because of a fear of negative emotions and an insatiable pursuit for positive ones. Tactics of denial coupled with rigid certainty, usually a large dose of ignorance and massive dedication to constructing their sense of self though the external world around them make them easy to observe and unfortunately are as sensitive and confused as many children are by their emotions and act according to habits formed as a defence or aquiresition tactic when they processed the intellect of a child. My point? I don’t know, maybe let’s focus on the cause and not the cure.

  • Knot2Day

    Although some of what is stated here does have merit, I would have to adamantly disagree with the piece as a whole. It is true that “Sometimes we don’t even need to offer to fix anything, but rather just be present and accept whatever is going on in the moment.” I’m sure I’m not the only woman who has occasionally wanted to just simply share a difficult situation she was dealing with and wasn’t looking for her boyfriend to solve anything, A simple “I’m sorry your dealing with that” and a hug is all that is needed sometimes. However, individuals ARE most certainly responsible for their actions and, consequently, how those actions (or words) impact another person’s emotions. As far as relationships are considered, do you honestly think that you are not responsible for a partner or spouse’s emotions when/if you engage in behavior that is hurtful or demeaning? Are you kidding me? That could not possibly be more wrong!! For example, If I were to ignore my husband/boyfriend at a party and flirt, dance, find excuses to constantly put my hands all over the shoulders and arms of other men and generally act as though I were single, are you saying my actions would not be responsible for my partner’s feelings of anger, jealousy and hurt? That has to be the stupidest claim I have ever heard. What about all the bullying that has been in the news recently and how that is affecting those who are the targets. Do you honestly believe that those bullies are not responsibile for the emotions of humiliation and shame leading to feelings of worthlessness, unlovability and often, suicide. You could not possibly be more wrong. I think you need to re-examine your failure to be accountable for your conduct and how you treat others. I can’t help but feel that anyone who dodges their responsibility for their own words or actions and how they impact others is woefully immature. Responsibility is the nature of maturity, and vice a versa.

  • grevyturty

    I feel bad for any fools following this non-professional’s uneducated advice. Disgusting.

  • Carmen Swift-Cooper

    Have you ever been married or are you married?

  • Yash Jha

    I just wanna know if what I have understood from this article is correct or not. I wanna just confirm that I don’t leave with a wrong message in my head.
    So what I see on a basic note is that I do or commit an action(i.e. basically do something) and the other person reacts to it in a certain way that is based on how they interpret the situation. I am responsible for what I DO but not responsible for how the other person interprets or makes sense of it. This means if I look at my own action and it is a wrong thing to do, I accept responsibility that my action was wrong and that I must correct my OWN behaviour but if the other person is angry or hurt, their anger or hurt is their reaction to what I did and thus, by implication, their responsibility and not mine i.e. I must take responsibility for my actions and the other person must take responsibility for their REACTIONS to my actions. They are not to blame me and put the responsibility on my shoulders for THEIR emotions and what they do with them.
    It took some time for the article to sink in. I initially had some counterviews on it but then I began to look into my own mental position and realized this.