Have you ever been in a situation when someone was hurting or upset, and you just wanted to make it better? Have you ever just wanted to take away pain, anger, or hurt and put it on yourself to try to do so? Those actions might be symptomatic of a need to be responsible for other people's happiness.
I care so deeply about the people in my life. My friends and family are everything to me, and mean the world to me. You get it. I want to support people and be there for them as much as I can. More than anything, I just want people to be happy. This doesn't mean that I have to be responsible for other people's happiness.
Being responsible for other people's happiness is something that I struggle with regularly.
Even when someone is upset about something that has nothing to do with me, I still have the urge to put it on myself to fix it. I have a hard time seeing someone angry, feeling defeated, or just being negative. When I don't have the tools to help someone fix something, I feel helpless. The thing is that nobody necessarily asked me to fix it for them- I put it on myself. Sometimes we need to need to indulge in those feelings and sometimes anger is justified to a certain degree, but it is too much responsibility to take on for myself.
It's exhausting and heightens my anxiety, quite frankly. I think I feel the way I do because I see myself as a peacemaker, nurturer, or comforter by nature. It's instinctual for me. The hard part is that sometimes when I do this, I ignore my own emotions or feelings, brushing them aside. This can get toxic when it prevents me from being to able to express my emotions and thereby being vulnerable and creating connections with people. I have a hard time leaning on other people for support. I find it easier to be in the supporting role. I think it comes down to feeling like a burden on other people, which comes down to a self-worth issue.
Essentially, for me and other people that feel this way, I think the remedy for this is to focus on valuing ourselves. We have to help each other and remind each other that we are worthy of love and support. We have to find the people that will truly care about who we are as people and support us through the struggles. I have people I can lean on, luckily, but I still never want to feel like a burden to them. There are lots of ups and downs we all experience, and it's hard to do that without someone to lean on.
I'm going to work on being vulnerable and remind myself that not everything or everyone is in my control. Let's focus on loving ourselves where we're at and making progress.