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Dealing with Stress/How to stop making everything all about me

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Question
Dear Elsabe:
A dear friend just told me that I make everything all about me.  I didn't realize that I did this, although I am very aware that my mother does this.  She is always the victim and is always "hurt" whenever there is an upsetting issue in her life between herself and anyone else.  I totally despise this about her, and never want to behave in this manner.
I don't know how else to "feel", when my feelings come naturally to me, and I suddenly realized that I am doing this same thing.
Recently my friend told me that something I did innocently caused him a lot of stress, and although he didn't blame me, I felt so awful for seeing his frustration with something I did, so began crying and feeling so sorry for myself.
He was then angered by me feeling sorry for myself, and told me I made it all about me.
What can I do to change this behavior?
My mother spends a lot of time feeling miserable and seems to be more comfortable in that position.  I fear being anything like my mother and fear it even more when I find myself falling into a place of constant hurt.
I look forward to your advice.
Thank you.
Kim

Answer
Hi Kim

Firstly I want to offer my apologies for the late response.  This website occasionally malfunctions and I did not get a notification of your question.

You are so lucky to have a caring friend who can hold up a mirror for you, and that you are willing to look into that mirror.

There is a sure-fire way for you to move away from any self-pity and too much of contemplating your navel.

Whenever you emotional radar goes off because you discover distress you caused to someone, or when you feel self-pity, or whenever you experience any strong emotion, walk away from the situation.  Take some time out and ask yourself what emotion you are experiencing.  Ask why you are experiencing that emotion.  

Once you have recognised the emotion and the reason for it, don't fret about it or discuss it.  Just accept it for the moment.

Then, when you are calm again, ask yourself how the experience has changed you into a wiser person.  What did you learn about yourself from the experience?  When you can answer that, you will feel gratitude for the experience and you will know that it was meant to be to make you stronger and wiser.

Every time you do that, you complete what I like to call an emotional spiral, and that experience stays with you in the cells of your body for ever.

Once you have grasped the wisdom, you can move on and find new experiences.  

In this way you will not have the same emotions and experiences repeated over and over, and fall into a rut of not moving forward at all, because you are not understanding the lesson.

If you practice this, you will become emotionally more mature all the time, and you will never end up like your mother.  She, in her own way, is also holding up a mirror for you to say you need to deal with your stuff.

Love and Light
Elsabe

Dealing with Stress

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Elsabe Smit

Expertise

Stress is the result of an inner conflict or a conflict between you and the world around you. I deal with relationships (marriage, divorce, teams in business), parenting, money issues, bereavement, conflict, and major life events (serious illness, redundancy).

Experience

Trained as psychologist, NLP master practitioner, highly intuitive. Uses a unique and holistic approach that focuses on removing physical and emotional pain.

Publications
Published various academic textbooks as author, co-author and editor.

Education/Credentials
Master's Degree in Industrial psychology, Master's Degree in Business Administration

Past/Present Clients
Businesses with change management, conflict management, communication and teamwork. Individuals with divorce, relationship issues, career crises, personal growth, money issues, mid-life crises.

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