• Living Life by Committee

    When we live life by committee it means we’re taking on other people’s opinions and doing what they want us to do. We’re trying to make them happy, so it seems really well-intentioned, but it usually ends up with us being miserable. It can become a form of self-sabotage where we never allow ourselves to meet our own needs because we’re always focused on what other people want. For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to assume that other people are generally well-intentioned and are not trying to cause us pain or sabotage us in any way. They are trying to help us and maybe protect us from experiencing more pain, but are likely having the opposite effect. How do we deal with this? What do we do? First and foremost we need to recognize that other people are projecting their own pain through their opinions of our actions. You’re wanting to do something that maybe they regret not doing in their own life, maybe they don’t have the power to do for themselves yet or you’re simply triggering a memory for them that they don’t like. Whatever the reason, our actions are causing them pain that they are trying to get control of by trying to control us. Secondly, understand that this is all an unconscious response to the outside world. That’s not to say that people don’t do this intentionally to hurt others because that does happen, but we’re staying out of that here. We’re focusing on the unconscious projection of pain through trying to control the actions of others, and our response to that. I lived for many years trying to make others happy and not only did I fail miserably in that regard, but I also succeeded in making myself miserable. I couldn’t ultimately make other people happy. Nothing I did was ever quite right or good enough for those people. It comes down to the idea that happiness is an inside job. When we look for happiness outside of ourselves, especially through other people, the happiness will only ever be temporary. It is impossible to make others happy for any length of time because we’re not in their heads or their bodies. It is impossible for us to know what they need or expect every second of every day. We can’t possibly keep up to their expectations. We will fail every time and the other person will continue to be disappointed every time. What that means is we need to let other people be responsible for their own happiness. That’s not easy because it requires us to get okay with disappointing them. They aren’t going to like what we’re going to do. We can choose to be miserable so they can be okay or we can choose to be okay and allow them to be miserable. Those are the options. Those aren’t easy choices. Awareness can help. Recognize that our actions are triggering other people. It doesn’t matter why they are being triggered, they…