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Why Are You Doing This to Me?

When anyone asks this question of a person, or the universe, they’re innocently putting themselves in the victim role because no one can do anything to you. When you stop imagining that things are being done to you, that’s freedom.


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Elaine Hilides

2 years ago | 4 min read

I heard the shouting as I came out of the shop.

‘Why are you doing this to me?’ she screamed to someone just out of my eye line.

‘I give you everything,’ she continued as I moved towards her to see if I could help as she was clearly being terrorised by someone twice her size.

As I moved in to get a closer look, I saw a toddler’s terrified tear-streaked face staring back at her.

A harassed mum who’s dealing with a toddler tantrum.

And, of course, although the mum genuinely felt that the toddler's actions were directed at her, the toddler was acting from his thoughts in the moment. He was probably tired, hungry or upset that his perfectly reasonable request to launch himself from the mall's top floor and swing on the fairy lights had been refused.

Why did this mum think that his tantrum was directed at her?

In the same way that you might look up at the heavens and ask the same question when it’s raining, your car won’t start, and you’re already late for work.

You feel like a victim, but you are never a victim.

Because nothing is ever being done to you.

Why are you doing this to me?

When anyone asks this question of a person or the universe, they’re innocently putting themselves in the victim role because no one can do anything to you.

I’m not talking about any violence. If you’re in a violent situation, please get help as soon as possible. Don’t hang around asking this question; get out.

But in any other situation unrelated to violence, I repeat, no one can do anything to you.

Think about the toddler and mum I saw. You might have heard parents saying similar things. They say things like, ‘I took the day off to bring you out’ or, ‘I’ve spent a lot of money to bring you here’.

As if the child cares about either of those things. The child is only reacting to whatever is going on in their head at this minute.

Children are in the moment. Moment by moment. They are feeling their thinking moment by moment and aren’t in the past or the future. That is how you’re designed to be, yet you block this ability with layers of thought until you forget you can be in the moment.

When anyone, a child or a lover, challenges you with their behaviour, you get into your head about them.

You get upset that they are upset with you. Why should they behave like this when you are doing everything for them? You start to react to your thoughts about their behaviour whilst getting fooled into thinking that their behaviour is causing your feeling.

Do you ever ask what might be going on for the child or the lover that causes them to act this way? I’m not asking you to try and imagine what someone else is thinking - good luck with that! No, I’m suggesting that if you’re curious about what might be going on for them, you can see that they are in a thought storm of their own at that moment, and that has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own thoughts.

Even if someone directs their anger at you and tells you that you’re causing their upset, it still isn’t about you. In the same way they can’t do anything to you; you can’t cause them upset; they’re doing that all by themselves. The upset is coming from their thinking and not from you.

It’s the same in every situation. If you receive a bill, you can’t pay or a final demand, you might wonder why this is being done to you. But you can see that your feeling comes from your thoughts about the bill, thoughts about the consequences of not paying the bill and isn’t coming from the words in front of you.

Feeling like a victim to circumstances and other people sends you into a spiral of worry, and as your thoughts spiral upwards, your mood spirals down, and it becomes impossible to see through the fog of feeling you’re in.

The only way to let this feeling shift is to recognise that the only person doing anything to you is you with your thoughts. To realise how often you’re taking things personally.

Taking yourself personally

People consistently take themselves personally. You take your thoughts personally when you get upset, feel slighted, insecure or angry with someone else. It looks compelling that the feeling is coming from the other person; you want to argue that to see it any other way is ridiculous. But pause for a moment. What are you reacting to?

If you’re really honest, it always comes back to you. To the way you think they think about you, you might hold on to this feeling.

How many arguments or reasoned discussions are in your own head about what the other person has said or done? How long does this internal chatter last? Some people can make it last a whole day.

That’s a day spent feeling upset or angry - even if the person who you feel offended you isn’t there. It feels as if you’re upset and angry with the other person, but you are causing your own upset. Your thoughts are causing you to carry the feeling around all day. Notice your reaction when you feel that someone is attempting to hurt you on a personal level.

Ask yourself, ‘where do I think that feeling is coming from?’ You might want to argue that it is the other person, but I’ll bet a part of you knows this isn’t true, and there’ll be a shift.

The more you see this, the easier it is to stop taking what other people do or say or what you say to yourself, personally. You’ll be able to let go and move on.

And stop imagining that things are being done to you. That’s freedom.

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Created by

Elaine Hilides

Life coach from the inside out, a Three Principles Trainer, International Speaker, Author and Online Course creator. elainehilides.com


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