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  • Writer's pictureKristy Barkley

What If You Let Everyone Have Their Feelings?

What am I even talking about? I’m talking about just that. What if you allowed everyone to have their feelings, without trying to change their mind?

If someone tells you that they have a problem with you, instead of getting angry, defensive, and trying to convince them that they shouldn’t have a problem with you; what if you apologized for not being at your best and just let it be?

How often do problems get blown way out of proportion because someone says, “I really didn’t like it when you ……..” and then you get upset and defensive, rather than just listening to what they have to say and allowing them to explore their feelings. Here is the thing, you can’t control anyone and you certainly can't control how they feel! You may think you can, but you can’t.

I can try and create the happiest situations and environment for my kids, but I can’t control everything in their life. And it isn’t my job to make sure they are happy all of the time. It is my job to make sure they are fed, clothed, clean, and because my husband and I have worked hard, we can provide them the opportunity to chase their dreams. But they have to do the chasing, I can’t want it or do it for them. I may want to remove all of the stress around them, but then I would be doing them a huge disservice, because they wouldn’t learn to handle the hard things in life as they get older.

I digressed into the scenario with my kids, but this also applies to spouses, friends, and even people you don’t like. I know so many people that worry too much about what others are going to think, or what others are saying about them. But here is the truth, if you are confident in who you are and what your values are, those are just words, they shouldn’t effect you. Let them talk, you keep doing you. If you spend your time trying to convince people to like you 100% of the time, you aren’t spending enough time focused on being who God put you here to be. Your fingerprint is completely unique on purpose, only you can do what God wants you to do.

We all live a 50/50 life. 50% of the time, we are firing on all cylinders, we are killing it! We are great moms, great spouses, consistent at work, dropping off casseroles at friends houses in between chauffeuring our kids around. But 50% of the time we suck. We may not be a good friend, we may drop the ball on something our kids wanted from us, we may not make out with out husbands as often as we should and the dishes may sit in the sink for a day or two. It happens! (Thank you Emily Gibson and Brooke Hemingway for this reminder)

And chances are, the people closest to you, who hold the opinion that you can do all things, will be let down. I’m here to tell you, that is okay! Be honest, let them know you do suck at X,Y,Z today; but lucky for them, most of the time you are awesome! Give them permission to be disappointed in you today, or this week or this month, whatever time period it is. Don’t try to convince them that they shouldn’t feel that way, because no one deserves to have their feelings stripped from them.

This may not be any easy shift to make, but you can start by making it for yourself. Give yourself grace, compassion and self-love. You know that some days you go to bed feeling like you killed it! And some days you go to bed wondering if the kids even bathed and if your spouse still likes you. Once you can confidently take the good with the bad and recognize that today is a new day and you have one more chance to do your best, you will start to see that in others. Because let's be real, sometimes our kids drive us bananas and our spouses, well….you know. But other days you can not sing their praises loud enough, and when you realize that maybe this is just their 50% bad, maybe you will give them a little grace.

And if you are still worrying about what other people are saying about you outside of your four walls? Just stop it. My guess is they don’t know your whole story. Or it could be that they do know some of your story and still don’t want to hang out with you. That is okay! Haven’t you met people you don’t want to hang out with? So why do you think everyone should want to hang out with you? We can’t be all things to all people, there just isn’t enough time in the day. And those people talking smack? They aren’t your people. Surround yourself with people who lift others up, encourage others, and see the good in others (or see the bad, lets be real, some people you really should avoid, you do not need to be friends with ALL the people!) At the end of the day, own your feelings and figure out how they are affecting the action you need to take today; and let others have their feelings.

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