When some kind of bull comes your way, take an elegant breath, and step aside…
Ever notice that people don’t much like to handle their own frustration? They like to dump it on other people, whether they intend to or not. If you’re a particularly sensitive sort, you know exactly what kind of day your husband has had before he ever tells you, just by how he walks through the door. You know your boss is seething by the set of her jaw. Your heart breaks before your son can even tell you in words about his latest run-in with that jerk on the playground. You can feel it, and you just might be taking it all on as ‘yours,’ too.
If you’re going beyond empathy, and into actually living a life of feeling ‘bullied’ by other people’s feelings, it’s time for some bullfighting.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, get back to center by first asking, “Whose feeling is this?” If it’s yours, then own it. If it belongs to someone else, then give it back with an inner nod of your head and a matador’s swish of the cape. Because it’s a gift, truly, to let people deal with their own feelings. That’s how we get what we need from this life. Feeling our way through, trusting our true natures, learning from natural consequences; read more about this here. And then help your loved ones, and fulfill your obligations, and do what you need to do, by all means. You’ll be even more effective when you are clearer and not so burdened by carrying other people’s feelings for them.
So, be at the ready. It’s never too late to take a breath, with an elegant nod, a swish of your imaginary cape, and step aside. Give it back. You have all the feelings that you need.