WordWatch: “...MADE me feel...” (Part 2)

by Scott Noelle

In Part 1, we looked at how “made me feel” statements give away your power. Now let’s look at an example of how to take your power back by changing your thoughts about what “made” you feel bad.

You’re talking about how your child made you feel angry because he picked all the flowers in your garden. When you notice yourself saying “...made me...” you realize you’re disowning YOUR power and assigning it to your child.

So you take your power back by telling yourself “He didn’t MAKE me angry, I made myself angry by holding on to disempowering thoughts about what happened, and I can make myself feel better by changing my thoughts.”

Now you can shed light on the thoughts — beliefs, assumptions, expectations, interpretations, and judgments — at the root of your feelings. You can make a conscious choice to let go of any thought that feels bad and replace it with one that feels better.

I feel bad when I think...
  • He’s a naughty child.
  • He doesn’t respect me.
  • My garden is ruined.
I feel better when I think...
  • He thought he was doing a good thing.
  • He didn’t realize that we don’t pick all the flowers at once.
  • He will follow my example if I invite him to spend more time tending the garden with me.
  • The flowers will eventually grow back.

Even if your painful thoughts seem totally justified, you have the power to embrace a perspective that feels better.

No one can MAKE you choose to look at the dark clouds instead of the silver linings. It’s your choice!

Originally published on 2013-03-28
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