who’s controlling your emotions?

You have most likely heard advice that it’s not a good idea to let people control our emotions.

“But I can’t help how I feel. He/she just makes me so mad/upset/frustrated.”

But here’s the thing. We CAN control how we feel by not allowing someone to be the main reason we are happy or sad. Sure, situations happen that can make us feel a certain way, but if we allow what other people say about us or how they treat us influence us too much, it just isn’t very healthy for us and those relationships will suffer. Whether friends or dating, we have to be careful not to rely too much on other people to make us feel valuable.

Here’s how I look at it…

If you let it ruin your day because someone didn’t snap you or text you back right away or maybe they waved at you differently or seemed distracted talking to you, you gotta check yourself. I’ll be the first to tell you that I struggle with this and have gotten so upset if I did not get the response I expected from someone I was close to…or thought I was close to. But is it really such a big deal or was I holding people to unrealistic standards or expecting them to make me feel good about myself when that’s not anyone’s job to do that? Or maybe I misunderstood and we just weren’t as close as I thought we were? Whatever the reason I have to be careful not to allow it to influence me so much that it completely changes my mood and tempts me to do or say stuff I’ll regret.

I have put myself through this more times than I should have. I have allowed things like getting no text back or someone ditching plans completely ruin my mood for the day. And I’m not excusing that it’s okay for you to let people consistently be rude, lie or ignore you, but I realized that I’m not going to let rejection paralyze me anymore. I’ve felt so upset or angry over what someone said or didn’t say to me to the point of it having a negative effect on my schoolwork, sports and other relationships. It’s a slippery slope that many people fall into without realizing it. Once you let the hurt someone causes to overwhelm you, it will affect other things that will keep affecting other things and so on. It’s easy to blame the actual situations for making you feel so bad but really, it comes down to this: why do you give so much power over your happiness to another person?

So I am here to offer some help, but I can’t say I have mastered this myself. I’m still trying not to overthink everything and put unrealistic expectations on situations or myself but I have done a few things that help….

1. Take a break.  Give yourself some space. Put your phone down for a few days (like seriously put it down, don’t pick it up. When I have done this in the past sometimes I have given to my mom and she doesn’t give it to me until the day we agreed on lol!). If you don’t get rid of your phone totally, at least take a break from SnapChat or Twitter or whatever triggers you when you see something that puts you in your bag or makes you want to punch a wall.

Will it feel so weird? Yes.

Will it be so hard? Heck ya, but I can promise you after a few days it’s so refreshing and you realize that you feel a lot more peaceful not relying on Snaps and seeing who liked your tweets to feel good about yourself.

2. Get to know and enjoy being by yourself. I know this may sound weird, but do things alone that you never have time to do. Usually when you do things by yourself, there’s not the usual noise that distracts you from processing your thoughts. I like to paint. You can just splatter all your emotions on a canvas, even though it might not turn out how you want it, it’s unique and beautiful, which is a reminder of who God created us to be. Or take a bath. There is nothing taking a bubble bath can’t solve! Play music. Write in a journal. Go for a run. Start a blog…haha.

3. Talk to someone you trust who is older and wiser. We tend to forget our parents usually have been through a lot of what we are going through. Tell your mom or dad what you are struggling with and be open to their advice on how to get over it. They will want to help and be there for you. Chances are they have already noticed by your behavior if you have allowed someone else to control your happiness so it won’t come as a surprise to them!

4. You need to know your weaknesses and what triggers you to get so upset. If you feel misunderstood, write it down. If someone hurt you, write it down. If you feel ditched, write it down. If you feel like you always give and the other person just takes, write it down. I’ve written down the specific things that hurt me, cried a little or a lot (which actually feels good when you are done) and prayed about it. Then I crumple up the paper and throw it away. Most people don’t realize but doing a physical act like that is actually very powerful and can lift a lot of weight off of you.

5. If you feel like someone is controlling your emotions even if they don’t realize it, tell that person how you feel about him or her. Be honest. Sometimes hiding the way you feel makes the feelings stronger instead of just dealing with them. I have started to try to be more vulnerable and instead of saying “nothing is wrong” or ignoring something that bothers me, I try to communicate with the other person. You can’t force them to communicate back but at least you know you tried so you can move on. And if someone truly wants you as a friend or wants to be with you in a relationship, they will want you to grow and not want to play games with your emotions. Maybe you’ve just come across as clingy or needy to someone and once you realize that you can fix it in the future by communicating honestly.

6. This one is tough. It’s important to realize that if the relationship isn’t helping you grow or it’s very one-sided, you may have to adjust your boundaries. It is just like weeds in a garden, you wouldn’t just let the weeds continue to grow and grow until they take over your whole garden and eventually ruin the pretty flowers. No, you would weed your garden in order to let the seeds grow into the beautiful flowers they were planted to be. The same goes with relationships. Sometimes we have to remove people for a season so we or they can grow. Maybe it’s temporary and sometimes it’s permanent. It depends on how much you or they are willing to grow, change and work towards making things better. If you have an unhealthy relationship with someone that overwhelms your thought life, it can carry over into everything else in your life. Just as I mentioned in the beginning, when I relied on other people to make me happy all the time my self-esteem, schoolwork and even how I played field hockey suffered A LOT because I was so distracted with how bad I was feeling and I just didn’t know how to make it stop. Nobody can make you happy 24/7 so then you blame them because they can’t meet your expectations. I hate that I have done that and I pray I never do it again.

You can’t completely stop caring about how other people treat you, that’s not what I am saying. It’s totally okay to feel angry and hurt and also happy and content with people in your life because that’s reality. What I am saying is to check all of your relationships and  if you notice any type of pattern with that person having a big impact on your overall day-to-day feelings (good or bad) then maybe it’s time to take a step back. If we do this we can deal with arguments, break ups and rejections in a reasonable way without causing more damage or saying and doing things we regret. And hey, we can do this together because I am really still learning this myself!

That’s all I got. Love y’all! xoxo

 

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girl power

Hey guys! It’s been awhile because life has been super busy in the best way possible. This past summer was one I will remember for the rest of my life. I had the opportunity to go to Saint Lucia as mentioned in earlier blogs and OH MY !!!! It is so beautiful and none of my pictures even do it justice! The people there are amazing and so open to the love of the Lord. It was totally incredible and life-changing.

Okay so let’s get to the point of this post that has been something I’ve wanted to write about for awhile. Recently, I heard a story that literally made me stop in my tracks and say out loud, “Why is this okay?”

We girls have got to stop attacking one another.

This situation was a girl had been dating a guy who cheated on her with another girl (quick rabbit trail, don’t be in relationships just because you don’t want to be alone).  Now instead of breaking up with this guy who she knew cheated, and honestly I don’t know the whole circumstance so I am not judging whatsoever, she accused the other girl of lying and then actually started rumors about the girl! Should she have cheated with another girl’s boyfriend? Of course not. But what did the boyfriend get out of this? Rumors spread about him? No. His girlfriend breaking up with him. No.

The saddest part about this whole situation is this is not the first time I have heard of similar situations.  I get that every case is different, but tearing down another girl to make yourself feel better NEEDS TO STOP. I’m sure you will all agree that we are under a lot of pressure but girls, we need to understand, we are all in this together and none of us are perfect.

The last time I checked, God made us ALL in his image. I understand mistakes are made, friendships fade and hearts are broken, but playing dirty and attacking someone else’s self-confidence out of jealousy and insecurity is something that has been going on for way too long and needs to stop.

We girls have to stop feeding the double standard (and guys if you are reading this, you do, too!)

Now another thing that really grinds my gear is double standards. You know what I’m talking about.  It’s like the guy who hooks up with a bunch of girls is “the GOAT”, but a girl who does one thing, one time with one guy is called a slut and will forever be defined by that label no matter how much she changes.

Yep makes perfect sense, right?

NO IT DOESN’T.

The sad part of all this is that you would assume just the guys feed this double standard, when actually girls love to gossip about other girls this way, maybe even more than the guys talk about it. I totally get that sexual impurity is bad and we have got to have a higher standard for ourselves, but to not put equal blame on both genders NEEDS TO END. Shame is an ugly thing to carry and sadly too many girls are stuck in it feeling worthless when they should feel valued and forgiven for their mistakes. We don’t need to agree with those mistakes but we need to be encouragement for one another, don’t you think?

If you cannot relate to the last example, consider this. I know of a situation where a guy cheated in the relationship and he blamed his girlfriend because she didn’t “put out” enough, but then as soon as the girl cheated the guy broke it off and said he has no tolerance for cheating. And people seemed to be okay with this logic!

I wish I made this story up, but I really didn’t.

Now I get that the entire relationship was not healthy for that stuff to be happening, but do you see the obvious double standard? I hear some crazy one-sided stories involving  what’s expected of the girl vs. the guy in relationships and I hope every girl knows she deserves better than a guy who cheats (and vice versa). No excuses.

These types of things happen in today’s society, and not just once or twice, but it happens a lot. It makes my heart sad and I pray one day we all become more aware of how we treat others and really put ourselves in their shoes. In the meantime, I challenge you not to judge before you get a chance to get to know a person. How about if we stop labeling people, too? That’s just not our place to do that. We have no idea what other’s people’s motives are. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes will change your perspective and hopefully makes you do complete 360 on the way you see things if you have been believing that girls tearing down other girls and double standards are okay.

That’s all I got today, guys. Thanks for reading! xoxo