How do I stop taking responsibility for other people’s struggles?
This blog is a transcribed excerpt from a live Q&A in our Facebook group The Radiant Woman Movement, hence written in spoken language.
Question: I tend to take responsibility for others struggles or difficulties. It can be really draining, but I can't seem to stop. How can I begin to set boundaries and not feel responsible for everyone else's problems?
This is a fantastic question that I think that a lot of you also can relate to, I can so relate to this question. So you tend to take responsibility for other people's struggles and difficulties. Now, if we can just do a little perspective shift on struggles and difficulties. Take those words and change them into opportunities to learn. Now, if you take responsibility for others’ opportunities to learn, they will not learn what they need to learn to empower themselves. Does that make sense? I hope that makes sense. Otherwise, people's struggles and difficulties are actually learning opportunities for them. So, if you try and do their learning experience for them, then what's going to happen? You are the one who's disempowering them.
That's number one. Now, let's move on to how not to do it. So now you understand why you shouldn't do it. You were saying it can be really draining, but I can't seem to stop. How can I begin to set boundaries and not feel responsible for everyone else's problem? I would say and correct me if I'm wrong, but this is an observation from 20 years in personal development industry, you probably have enough problems in your own life.
So you don't have to take problems for other people. I mean, most people who are trying to help others and kind of go in there and rescue them tend to be people whose own affairs are not in order. So my question to you is, are you helping others because you're trying to somehow control how you're feeling about your own struggles? How you can begin to set boundaries, is by just understanding that what anybody else has going on in their lives is their learning journey, that if you go and meddle with it, you will basically stop them from learning.
Sometimes, people come to us and say, “Oh, you know, this is happening and this is happening”. They just want to emotionally dump all over you. And you might go like, “I'm sorry that it's happening for you”. But the challenge can be then that now you feel responsible, especially if they ask you “What do you think I should do?” The answer to that question is to say, “only you know what you should do”. And when you say that, you basically bring the power back to that person in a kind of a roundabout way. So when you say to them, “you are the only person who can know what the right decision here is to make. So I don't want to negate your inner wisdom”. And then they might say, “Well, I don't know what to do”. And then what's the most helpful thing actually, in that situation to say is that, “you should really work with somebody who can help you integrate those parts of you, that you will know that you will get access to that inner guidance, because otherwise, you will always be at the mercy and at the receiving end of other people and how they're feeling and what they're doing”.
So that's, one way, and obviously, if you found our work very helpful, feel free to forward them on to even just theradiantwoman.org or merjasumiloff.com to get some more information. Invite them to join this group, if they're a woman, or if they're not a woman, invite them into the integrated life by Merja Sumiloff group, which is for men and women of all kinds and promotes all kinds of walks of life, life and types.
So people are not alone is just that if you are not a qualified mentor, you are not responsible in helping other people try to figure out their lives because you're not a coach. You can give friendly advice, you can say, Hey, I care about you. So therefore, I think you should actually go and work with somebody who can really help you. Or, you know, if they can't do that, then I care about you. And these are the things that work for me. But I don't want to I want to be really clear that I don't want to, you know, tell you what you should be doing, because that answer has to come from within you.
If you are interested in learning more about working with a qualified Integration Mentor you can simply message firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stack of jigsaw puzzle pieces: Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash
Silhouette of person: Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash