Hot Potato!

Unpleasant emotions are like the game “hot potato.” In our desire to get rid of them, we often try to hand them off to someone else. Anxiety in particular gets tossed around between people. It generally takes the form of, “I don’t like the way I feel, so you better fix it by changing who you are.” This usually does not end well.

Granted, there are times when a valid complaint is in order. If someone is standing on my foot, it is reasonable to ask them to move. However, there are many feelings we need to deal with on our own. It is a sign of maturity to be able to manage one’s emotions. The immature person constantly expects others to change in order to be soothed.

Of course, people need to be able to sooth and console each other. Nevertheless, becoming dependent on others for soothing is not what grown-ups do. Take responsibility by learning to manage your own emotions. It will make you a better person and partner.