For many of the clients who I've been privileged to coach responsibility meant over-responsibility, in actuality. What I mean by this is that their openness to question and address what their part is in any relationship dynamic is in the ballpark of self-responsibility...and inner confidence. When responsibility was taken for the other person's part as well as their own, an imbalance resulted.
For instance, you may have the point of view that it is your job to make others happy, in other words, you are truly responsible for another person's happiness. This may be a habit of yours that you learned as a child with those closest to you. How does that feel, including at a body level?
Think of someone that you care deeply about who isn't feeling happy right now or has bouts of unhappiness. From their perspective, the root of their unhappiness may even be about you, at times. You address your behaviours that may be unloving or disrespectful, according to what feels in integrity to you. Their unhappiness continues. Is it true that you can 'make' someone happy?
Resting in the flow of love and sharing our happiness with others is very different from taking responsibility for the happiness of another. Happiness is an internal job. The full spectrum of feelings is ours to experience, and it's natural to feel happy as simply one of the many feelings that pass through us in a given day.
What would be different for you if you stopped taking responsibility for someone else's unhappiness?
When you notice yourself wanting to take care of another person's level of happiness, stop. Get connected to yourself. Give that person the space to feel their own unhappiness. In the permission that we give another to feel fully, happiness has an opportunity to arise all on its own.
© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.