How to Stop Letting Other People Upset You

It happens to the best of us.  We find ourselves completely undone by someone else’s behavior.  It could be anything from someone cutting you off in traffic to your spouse cheating on you.  Mild to severe, other people’s actions can turn our world upside down.

I recently let myself get all caught up in someone else’s drama.  My boyfriend’s daughter was behaving in some ways I found unacceptable.  He was trying to rein her in; she was acting out more and more; we all went to counseling (I can’t tell you how many arguments, sleepless nights, and general fury on my part all this caused).  Suddenly, she decided to move in with her mother. As soon as she moved, poof – there was peace on earth.  No more drama, angst, or fury.  Is she still doing all the stuff we had problems with?  I’m sure.  But now it’s not my issue.  And you know what?  It never was.

Most of the things that you get upset about aren’t your issues.  The driver who cut you off?  Their driving is not your issue. All you need to worry about is getting safely to your destination.  That lazy co-worker who isn’t doing their share of the work?  Not your issue.  All you need to do is focus on your own good work.  Your cheating spouse?  Not your issue.  Your issue is why you would stay with someone who is cheating on you.

Some tips to help with this:

1. Realize you cannot control other people.  They are going to do the crazy, stupid, incorrect things they are going to do.  You can’t force them to do anything else.  You can’t force someone to stop being lazy or lying to you or cheating on you.  The only person you can control is you.  You get to decide how much you’re going to let this person’s behavior impact you.  Your worrying, obsessing, venting, etc. has zero impact on them – and only hurts you.

2. You have two choices – learn to live with the behavior or change your relationship to the person.  My boyfriend is not a planner – it’s just not his way.  This used to drive me completely insane.  I would constantly argue the importance of planning – that if you failed to plan, you planned to fail.  I was quick to point out occasions where his lack of planning cost him (I’m such a charmer!).  He finally told me that if I liked planning so much, I could just plan everything and he would gladly go along.  I finally accepted that I was never going to change him.  I can either make the plans, live with no plan, or find a new boyfriend.  But I’ll never make him a planner.

3. Examine your role in the behavior.  Did the driver ahead of you cut you off because you just started talking on your cell and slowed 20 MPH?  Did your teenager lie to you because the last time he told you the truth he was grounded?  Is your spouse cheating because you are on the road 358 days a year?  I’m not condoning any of the behaviors – I’m just asking you to look at the only person you can control – you.  Maybe you are playing a role and not even realizing it.

4. But realize it may have absolutely nothing to do with you.  I hate to say it, but this is more often the case.  We are all the center of our own universes.  Many times we think people are doing things because of us or to us and they aren’t.  The driver may not have even seen you.  Your teenager may lie just because he doesn’t want to be embarrassed.  Your spouse may be cheating for the thrill of it and still loves you (although they have a crummy way of showing it).

5. Don’t inadvertently enable the behavior.  Some people engage in their crazy behavior because the people around them encourage it.  If your spouse cheats on you, and you take them back and treat them better than before, can you blame them if they cheat again?  If your friend “borrows” money from you, and never repays it and you lend them more, can you blame them if they never repay that loan either?  I love Maya Angelou’s advice, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”  I know you don’t think you’re enabling, you think you’re helping.  You think they will behave differently this time, that perhaps your love or kindness will change them.  I say to you – why are you trying to control them still?  Trying to change someone is trying to control them.

6. Let it go.  Think of whoever drives you crazy right now.  Get worked up – think of how they lie to you or how they don’t do their share or how selfish they are – whatever it is they are doing that drives you crazy.  Assume they will never change.  Ever.  Can you just let it go?  Is it really a minor thing you’ve been focusing on, making it major?  In the big scheme of things, my boyfriend’s nonplanning is just not that big a deal.  It’s offset by his kindness, patience, and wonderful good humor.  Can you focus on the good more than the bad?

7. Let them go.  Some behavior you just can’t let go of.  Sometimes there’s not enough good to offset the bad.  The best thing to do may be to let go of the relationship.  Why are you staying with someone who causes you so much upset and pain?  If you can’t let go of the relationship (say it’s a co-worker), can you let go of thinking so much about them?  I bet they aren’t spending so much time thinking about you.

8. Get help.  Can’t let it go or them?  Talk with a professional counselor – life is too short for all this drama.

9. What about kids?  Obviously when kids are little, you have to control them.  They might think running into traffic is a good idea and you should probably put a stop to that.  But as they get older, you’ll find that you need to alter your behavior to impact theirs.  Maybe they start to dress inappropriately.  You have several options – you can check out current fashion before you freak; you can yell and tell them they’re not going out like that (giving credibility to their attempt at rebellion); you can cut off the clothing allowance (controlling your behavior not theirs); or you can ignore it, knowing that sooner or later they will be embarrassed just like the rest of us and will fall in line.  And if you are sharing clothing with your children, know that the rest of us are trying to let it go.

The bottom line is that you can’t let the behavior of others steal your joy.  But if you do, it’s your choice.  Focus on being the best and happiest that you can be – that’s where your energy should go.  Set the best example you can and spend time and energy on people who lift you higher.  And remember, somewhere there’s someone out there who thinks YOU need to change!  Ha!

Comments

187 Responses to “How to Stop Letting Other People Upset You”
  1. Kay C. says:

    EXACTLY what I needed to hear!!! I’m letting go if it KILLS me!
    Thanks!
    Kay C.

  2. Kathy Ramsay says:

    I feel 20lbs lighter after reading this article today!! I want more!!!! I am paying big money for my therpaist to tell me what you summed up in five minutes reading:)

    Bless you and have a wonderful weekend.
    Kathy from KY:)

  3. Lori Weeks says:

    Boy did I need to receive this email today! I am going through a divorce after a 22 year marriage. I’m 42 yrs old, hubby is 45, and he has had an affair with a 24 yr old he works with, and unfortunately for him, I found out . . . he refused to end his relationship with her, so I’m the ‘mean’ wife and I filed for divorce. He is the poor victim in all this . . . can’t understand why I’d want to throw away 22 years of marriage? He has never accepted any responsibility for fault in anything, especially not now. . . but my hardest thing I’m dealing with is the fact I’m alone (we do have three wonderful boys, 21, 17, and 15) all of which are living with me, so I don’t mean literally alone, I mean relationship wise, I’m alone for the first time in 22 years, and it stinks. All I can think of is him and his cute little young girlfriend who could be his daughter – it sickens me actually . . . I have let him go . . . and learning to move on with my life. It is scary, but exciting at the same time. I’m looking forward to what 2013 holds – and I know that I’m in the middle of a big change, but for the better! Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Karen says:

    Denise, I LOVE your newsletters. The topics seem to come at just the right time for things that are happening in my life. One request…could your web designer set your pages up that when I print them (to take home to share with my husband), they aren’t cut off on the right side?
    I know it’s a small request, but it would make something GOOD even BETTER! Thanks and have a wonderful Christmas! Karen

  5. deniseryan says:

    Kay – good for you! I’m trying hard to keep practicing what I preach! Thanks for the comment!

  6. deniseryan says:

    Hey Kathy! Thanks for the great comment! How cool that I saved you all that time and money! : ) Seriously, I appreciate your comment!

    And blessings back to you!

  7. deniseryan says:

    Lori – good for you! He just set you free – free to have your own awesome adventures and to rediscover who you are without him. And you know the deal – if he would lie and cheat on you, he will lie and cheat on her. You deserve someone who will really be there for you as much as you are there for him. And until then – have fun! Living well really is the best revenge!

  8. deniseryan says:

    Hey Karen! I’m so glad you like the newsletters! I will work on it and see what we can do – thanks so much for the heads up! I bet others people have had the same problem and just got frustrated – I really appreciate you letting me know.

    Thanks so much and thanks for reading!

  9. Holly says:

    Thank you for this site. I really needed to read this. I keep hoping a past relationship will somehow get back on track. I’ve been upsetting myself over and over for too long. I need to let it go and focus on myself and surround myself with people who want to treat me right and lift me up in life. I am exhausting myself hoping to not get disappointed, only to get let down again! This site has reminded me to get off the hamster wheel!! I am so grateful I stumbled across this. Thank you!

  10. deniseryan says:

    Hi Holly! Thanks so much for your comment! And I’m so glad this helped. If that person doesn’t realize how great you are – let them go. They are taking up attention and e= energy that could be spent on someone who realizes how great you are! I’m a big fan of Maya Angelou’s advice – “When someone shows you who they are – believe them – the first time.” Keep holding out your hand – the right person will take it.
    All my best,
    Denise

  11. Marie says:

    I’m trying to decide if the issue I’m dealing with is worth dealing with or letting go. Sometimes you get so caught up in your situation and you need an outsider’s opinion. My bf and I are planning a move, he isn’t helping to pack (after I have asked him so nicely) …and then he got upset and left without me even knowing and I was worried. Then he came back 4 hours later as if nothing happened. He does this often….ignore the issues. I’m just getting fed up with it. And he always acts like I’m overracting…I really don’t know what to do at this point. I’m just ready to give up……

  12. deniseryan says:

    Hi Marie! Thanks for the comment! I’ll give you my thoughts – but always, follow your gut (note I didn’t say follow your heart). I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the packing – maybe he doesn’t want to mess up your things or just hates packing. That I could let go. What bothers me is his leaving and not even saying anything. I think that’s just plain rude and inconsiderate. My way to get clarity in a love relationship is always to ask myself, “Would I do that to a friend?” I doubt you would just leave a friend’s house without saying anything. I don’t like that – not one bit! Men tend to want to avoid confrontation with us, but just walking out without a word is not acceptable. Are you sure you want to make this move? If so, my advice would be – have an exit strategy and keep your money separate. You need to feel much better about this relationship before you give up your freedom. If there’s more pain than joy in the relationship – bail. You should be excited about the move – and he should be too! Trust your gut!

  13. Christa says:

    Hi there, after reading this marvelous post and the comments I feel more uplifted. I don’t want to cry anymore tears… I have an amazing little boy and after his dad and myself had a very difficult split, I eventually found love again and am 30 weeks pregnant. I haven’t been happy for a wile and find myself constantly stressed out by his behavior and it is really beginning to take its toll. (for example, we are moving in 4 days and he hasn’t been around to help with anything really while I was just put on bed rest by my doctor) he is a good person but I am falling out of love and my son sees how upset I am and I do not want that to hurt him. I decided to lay my cards all on the table tonight and tell him how I feel and from here on, I am going to try to keep his behaviors from bothering me and try to see the positive in our relationship and work on strengthening that before I decide to end the relationship and move one. Thanks a whole lot for helping me to put things into perspective and I hope all the other readers and finding some peace as well:)

  14. deniseryan says:

    Hi Christa! Thanks so much for reading and for your comment. I hope things went well – if this man is as good as you say he is, he will hear you and adjust his behavior (sometimes other people really don’t know how important things are to us unless we tell them). Congrats on having a lovely boy and wanting to set a good example for him. And good luck with the pregnancy! I think you are taking a great approach – control what you can, clearly state your needs, focus on the positive and walk in joy. If this man can’t walk beside you, that’s okay. Just hold your children’s hands and keep walking. I wish you happy, happy holidays and much, much joy!

  15. Dovey says:

    I have so much pain and quarrel with my mum these days. It drives me nuts. Her overly cautious, worrying personality, imposed into my life, imposed on my family (because we are staying together). To the extend I thought of dying. But it doesn’t take my suffering away, my girl is just 3. I even ended up hurt myself by hitting objects and let the pain numb away my anger, resentment and hurt. But she doesn’t know it, so pointless, my body ache and my mum still not going to change. I still love her, but her behaviour and over imposing attitude makes me want to leave to die on her own. While I try to find peace by letting go, learning spiritual practice, etc…etc…Before I can change, the next wave of incident take place and will throw me off my balance again. We quarrelled so much over our love for my daughter (her grandaughter). I can only say, I hate my life. I hate my mother. I hope I can last till the day where I survived all these without ending it due to cancer of sickness because of all the resentment inside of me.

  16. Faith says:

    I’ve been struggling with this for quite awhile and not sure where I even got the idea to try to control anyone or that it wasn’t controlling! Thanks for this article. Wished I had read it earlier today because it would have saved me from texting someone who I have had trouble getting them to move on in their lives.

    Thanks again for saying it like it is!

  17. Pasha says:

    I can’t believe what an amazing read this is. I just went through the most unnerving situation yesterday where my so called friends aka: peer and boss totally blindsided me and left me out of one of the most important business deals ever. I was so stunned by their lousy behaviour that I took it up with a superior. When he took a ‘that’s life’ approach in a condescending manner it just made my day even worse. I spent all last night crying to my hubby about it. We decided that instead of pursuing the matter further like I wanted to, that I would learn from this and be way more cautious as to who I trust at face value from here on out. Though initially I wanted to have stood up for myself and yelled at all those who had hurt me, my spouse was right. I would just be showing that their rude and callous actions affected me negatively. And as you say in your article above, we only control ourselves. Sooner or later they will mess up on their own!

  18. deniseryan says:

    Oh Dovey, I am so, so sorry you are in this place. If things are so bad with your mom, you might have to try and figure out how you can get a place of your own, even if it’s with a friend just for a night or two a week to give you some space. If you are thinking of hurting yourself – is there someone you can talk to? I don’t know all the details, but your daughter needs you and you deserve some happiness. Space, if you could get it, would be the best for all of you. Try not to feel guilty – but know that your Mom does this because she is afraid for you (I think it’s a Mom thing). I didn’t come to realize that until my Mom was gone. To her you will always be her little girl and while she may indeed be overcautious it is out of her love for you. Please don’t hurt yourself – you need all the love you can get right now, and self-love is the most important of all. Good luck, try to let go or as hard as it is, to realize how scared your Mom is for herself, for you, for your child.

  19. deniseryan says:

    Thanks, Faith!! I have found letting people go is the best way to handle some relationships. Texting and e-mail sometime make this harder, don’t you think? Stay strong! And thanks for the comment, my friend!

  20. deniseryan says:

    Pasha – sounds like you had one seriously crappy thing happen to you and I am so sorry! But you handled it so well! I have a theory that the things that cause us the greatest pain have the greatest lesson for us. And if we don’t learn it, they repeat and get more painful until we do! Congrats on learning the lesson! You will be stronger for it! And karma will get them – it always does! 🙂

    Thanks so much for taking the time to post a comment!
    Denise

  21. Janine says:

    I am really happy to see that there are others out there with sense in their heads. It is not always easy to follow through on some of these truths. For 11 years I remained in a relationship with someone who was not good for me. I ended up with chronic nerve pain, to which he told me to get over it, he cheated on me because I did not want to go out and party all the time, along with a list of other issues, and I thank him for kicking me out! The first thing I did after I left was to send out an email to everyone saying that I would be unable to talk to them as I needed space and time on my own to sort things/myself out. I needed to really think about who was worth keeping in my life. Initially there was some backlash from a few people, some disappeared easy and others with which I simply never reconnected. One person I did decide to reconnect with I did so somewhat hesitantly. I think Maya Angelou’s advice is right here.
    She does have a tendancy to take things too personally and sometimes she knows it. This past weekend I was up to visit and spend time with my man (this is a good one) in the same city as this friend and my brother. My man was attending a conference at various times over the weekend. The first day there he and I were tired from the drive so we stayed in and retired early. We were up and out early, him to the conference and me to spend the day with my friend. She and I spent the entire day and evening visiting. We had discussed possibly visiting the day after next in the morning again. Well, the evening of the next day of our visit my man and I were out late and had a few too many. So, on the morning my friend and I had spoke of visiting again both my man and I were extremely tired. I text her to say that he was not going to the conference that day, we were going to sleep in for a bit and then just hang out for the remainder of the day until he had to take me to the airport. Her response, in my opinion, was childish and self-centered. I could have returned with a childish response or tried to justify myself but felt those were inappropriate and unnecessary. It is simply not my issue here. If the tables were turned I would be understanding. I did respond by saying that it was not my intention to hurt her feelings and that there would be plenty of opportunities in which we could spend more time together. Despite telling myself this, my man agreeing with me and him feeling guilty for contributing to the situation, I am still annoyed and looking for validation….urgh!!!

  22. Julie G. says:

    This was a straightforward and awesome way to sum up how to better control your emotions. It can be extremely difficult at times but understanding where the root of a problem is and realizing how you can control it through your own actions is very helpful. I have been on and off again with this guy for two years now and most of the time things are great (minus our rocky past) and I loved him so much I came back and believed him when he said he wouldn’t treat me poorly anymore. Of course, he is back at it once again. I am so tired of the emotional abuse ensued on me & I really just need to let it go. I keep thinking I can change him and that he’s going to get better because he wants to change but he continues to badger me and put me down. I like how you said life is so short and we only have so much time on this earth to be happy. Very good read, thank you.

  23. deniseryan says:

    Janine, thanks so much for your comment! First of all – I am so glad you got out of the 11 year relationship and have found a great guy – woohoo! And I know how hard those incidents are with friends! Sounds like you handled it well – there could be something else going on with her. She could be jealous you have this great guy, she could be lonely, who knows? I always use your standard – how would I have reacted? I like that you rose above and responded in a good way. I bet she’ll come around and it will be like nothing happened. The worst thing would have been if you caved in, spent time with her and were angry and resentful. That could have destroyed your friendship for good. My motto – if you can’t go with joy, don’t go! 🙂

  24. deniseryan says:

    Hi Julie! I really appreciate your thoughts – thanks so much! This is one of those hard situations where your brain knows what yo do (kick this guy to the curb) and your emotions are confused (I love him, I miss him, I’ll be lonely). The bad thing is – every minute you spend thinking about this guy and spending time with him is a moment you could spend with someone who loves you or a great friend or even by yourself on a grand adventure! Nothing is lonelier than being with someone who treats you poorly. My guess is the Universe is saying, “Darn it, we’re going to have to make this guy be even more of a jerk to teach Julie that she deserves better!” Pain can be a powerful signal. Great things are waiting for you, but you might have to clear this guy out of the way to get them. I’m cheering for you!

  25. anonymous says:

    Sometimes people say ‘get rid of them’ when really, all that is required is patience. That is what happened to me, I completely misunderstood a friend who needed space and wanted to be left alone to live his life a bit more, and we were both going through a lot, I thought he was being a bad friend when he was not, so I took bad advice from some coworkers and books I read, and unfriended them on facebook when there was no need, and when I tried to fix it, they decided we weren’t good friends for each other (which by the way I think we just needed to approach things differently/back off/ change things instead). I do understand that there are situations in which it is necessary…but there are some in which all that is needed is believing the other person when they say what they need and patience and trust.

  26. Eric says:

    I just had a dash some few minutes ago in the office,someone just pulled the string and I am suppose to ignore and take it as just the Job,I was looking for what material I could read to put my back on track,Until I bump into this article..Thank you

  27. jean says:

    I’m a little late replying to this comment, but I am just now searching for help with a similar situation. My husband was very similar, but I stayed with him. For 34 years I got upset with him. He wasn’t there to help with graduation parties, marriages, and even births. I had a horrendous birth with my first child. 32 hours of non stop labor pains. What did he do? complained that he didn’t get his sleep. I started pains at 2 am. they brought in a bed for him to sleep in next to me. I should have known right there. It is now 34 years later and I am searching for help on not letting him affect me. It is so hard. I am sad all the time. He is known as the good guy and me as the bad one. I wished I would have realized this a long time ago. My self esteem is so low. I let his behavior affect me every day. I need help.

  28. deniseryan says:

    You are welcome! I hope things got better – or you cared less! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  29. deniseryan says:

    Jean, thanks so much for taking the time to write this. I hope it helps Marie and everyone else who might see it. It took a lot of guts to post it.

    Do you have a great counselor to talk with? I have some friends who swear by theirs. I think the key is finding one you click with. There is a great book out there called “Too Good to Leave and Too Bad to Stay” http://www.amazon.com/Good-Leave-Stay-Step-Step/dp/0452275350 that might be of some help to read. I’m thinking you might want to leave – if you are sad all the time, life is WAY too short for that! But maybe there’s a reason you feel you can’t (examine that can’t carefully with a counselor). If you choose to stay, you have to accept that he probably will not change. What can you change that will give your spirit back to you? Spend time with friends? Get involved in something that might help you make new friends? You will never be younger than you are now, how many more years (seconds) does this man get to hurt you? You deserve joy. You have to be willing to change either your circumstances or your thinking to get it. I’m cheering for you!!! If I can be of any help, please feel free to call or e-mail. Thanks again for your brave comment!

  30. deniseryan says:

    Hi Anonymous! Thanks so much for the comment. You make some good points. I can’t tell if you are good friends now or not, but this does sound like a lot of drama. I find that drama usually results when one person wants more than the other person wants to give. I do think that if someone says they want space, you have no choice but to back off and give it to them. If they want to spend time, talk, etc,. they can come back to you. If they don’t, the relationship was not important to them. Problems only result if you keep causing yourself pain over it. My guide to life and love is to spend time with the handful of people who want to spend time with me too! That way you’re having so much fun, the “I need space” person either comes back or you no longer care! Belief, patience and trust are all excellent qualities as long as they bring you joy not pain. Hope it all worked out the way you wanted it to!

  31. Amanda K. says:

    I had recently went through this where I followed this exact advice. It really is so much easier said than done, but once it is done, life is soooo much better.

    I became friends with this girl who had no friends. At first, I just didn’t understand how she could have no friends at all… She SEEMED nice. We hit it off, and became friends… “friends”.

    Little did I know, every chance she got, she would speak very negatively about me to people who did not like her at all… So I don’t even know why she would do something so stupid. But those same people came back to me and told me EVERYTHING she has said. Sure, I could have ruled it off as gossip on these people’s behalves. However, they were able to name specific conversations we had, so I knew it had to be true.

    Eventually, I moved out of her house (her boyfriend left her with all the bills and her house was about to foreclose… only to find out he left her because she was cheating. But of coarse she made it all sound like it was HIS fault because she had this mindset of how she could do no wrong.) I blocked her number out of my phone, and dropped her out of my life for good. My life is so much more peaceful without her.

    So, trust me, people, when I say: Life is MUCH TOO SHORT for that kind of drama. Sense drama in your life? Get rid of it ASAP.

    You will be SO MUCH BETTER OFF in the long run.

  32. deniseryan says:

    Amen, Amanda! Thanks so much for sharing your story and for realizing you just can’t change other people. Rock on!

  33. mae says:

    Thanks for this article! I am a single mom of four and I try my very best to do all that I can for them. The oldest two’s father is not around. And, the younger two’s dad is constantly trying to tell me what to do from a distance. Actually, he is a bully and very controlling which is one of the reasons I left him, the other being the fact that he is a cheater. Anyway, I got online to find some inspiration to help with the frustration that I was feeling and I am happy to say that after reading everyone’s posts and your responses I feel better already! I simply cannot allow other people to determine how I feel about myself. I can’t let other people steal my peace and joy. I don’t need my ex’s validation to know that I am a good mom. (He actually told me that my daughter does not need the ocupational therapy that I am taking her to and that I should be the “one” helping her!) Making sure that my kids get medical care is my duty and I will never back down from that no matter how much he tries to criticize me. I am a great mom. The proof is in my children and how respectful, loving and understanding they are toward others.

  34. Amy says:

    Thanks for this advice. You said it simply. I’m dealing with watching my boyfriend’s exwife trying to control and manipulate him (which he doesn’t enable), but the kids have learned to act this way toward their dad. I get frustrated watching it because he doesn’t realize how bad the extent is, and it is 100% clear to me how the kids are trying to control him. I know I cannot change behavior and am fine with that, but the frustration of watching somebody getting hurt by his own children is hard to watch, because sometimes he does get manipulated by what they say and he will make decisions based on what they think is right for him to do. The kids barely have any consequences and get whatever they want and need most of the time. That’s why it continues, but I have to let go and just watch these kids turn out to be monsters and my boyfriend get hurt and enable the kids. It’s hard.

  35. Amy says:

    I might add that the kids are 12, 14, 17. (They are beyond normal teenage problems and therapy didn’t work).

  36. shan says:

    Dear Lori Weeks,

    M glad u took the decision to end up your 22yrs marriage.I know its a very difficult decision for u to make,but it was needed.Please try to forget your past n live a happy life ahead.God bless !!!

  37. deniseryan says:

    Hi Mae! Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your story! It sounds like you really are a great Mom! And don’t let him make you feel guilty about 1.) taking your daughter to an expert and 2) not doing it yourself! Sounds like a strategy to try and control you. So glad you found this helpful – and so proud of you! Raising good kids is a challenge and you are doing it – bravo!!! Stay strong!

  38. deniseryan says:

    Hi Amy – oh, I get you!! You have no idea how I get you! But you are right – all you can do is focus on your boyfriend. Try to pick your battles and if the manipulation is a small thing, let it go. If it’s a really important thing, you might try and find a loving way to open his eyes. He probably feels guilty about the kids and wants them to love him and they take advantage of that. It won’t seem like it now, but over time he will listen more to you and they will reveal themselves. But think how hard it is to accept that your children are using you and lying to you! Argh! Just pick your battles, let as much go as you can and tell yourself my new favorite line “not my circus, not my monkeys”. 🙂 Love your boyfriend, sounds like he needs it. And if you’d like a great book to read, check out “Stepmonster.” It helped me step back a bit. Thanks so much for sharing your story!!

  39. Ana says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for this amazing article! I’m working abroad and the only people I have are my co-workers..One of the those co-workers is a girl i used to spend all the time with her, we arrived at the same time, didn’t know anyone and so on.. but when things don’t work the way she wants, she stays bad-tempered, sometimes she barely speaks to me i don’t even know what happened!!! It may sound stupid, but whe you are away from your family and friends, everything is more difficult.
    I don’t know if she doesn’t speak to me because anything i did or said and i feel bad with this mostly because i’m lonely. I don’t want to be affected by someone else’s bad mood!!!And I also like to share something: she is just like my father, and i didn´t have a good relation with him. Sometimes I think the universe put this girl in my way so I can learn to deal with that.
    Thank you for letting me share my story

  40. deniseryan says:

    Ana – thanks so much for sharing! I’m so sorry about this! I can tell you – it’s not about you – it’s about her. She sounds like she uses you to take her frustration out on. I’m so sorry! And maybe you are right – maybe the Universe has a lesson for you. If you can figure out what it is – you can set yourself free! Set whatever boundaries you need to with this girl and try to be open to meeting some new people. You deserve to be treated with kindness! Some people can’t be there for themselves and have little to give to others. Keep your chin up and keep smiling – the right people will be attracted to your happiness. Stay strong, my friend!!

  41. Dovey says:

    Thank you Denise,
    Things are alot more better when I focus inwards towards self-love, and buddhism way of life. Your post is great, am glad I stumble upon this website. Keep up the great job!

  42. Anonymous says:

    This article is really inspiring. I’m really struggling at the moment with my family treating me like rubbish – yet telling me off when i don’t spend time with them. Also my sister always does annoying small things yet when I do them o her she literally attacks me. I’m recovering from self harm and depression and I chose not to talk to my Head of year at school anymore because i don’t like people seeing me weak. I haven’t seen my mum in 4 years as she is an alcoholic and everything os just a mess! I really like this article – all though its hard when you live with the people that annoy you the most.

  43. Dario says:

    It was a very helpful article and people’s comments are just as helpful and the article itself.
    Let’s put this to practice.

    Albest

  44. deniseryan says:

    Anonymous – thanks for taking the time to comment. I hope you can stay strong and not hurt yourself – it’s hard to see it when you’re in pain, but there is lots of joy in the world. Hang in there and you’ll find your tribe. Family can be tough – they push all our buttons. Just know you’re not alone! Thanks so much for reaching out – sharing your story helps make others stronger. I’m cheering for you! Denise

  45. deniseryan says:

    Dario – you are right! We all struggle with the same things. And knowing that is comforting. Thanks for your comment!

  46. Shannon says:

    Thank you so much for this content. You helped me laugh and shake my head at a situation, when only a few days ago, I was in tears.

  47. patti says:

    Am so happy to have found your writings. Going through a most gut crunching argument with a sibling. It has been eating at my insides and zapping all my good positive energy. No more. I’m taking back control of my life. Thank you so much!

  48. Man says:

    I want you to know that you have helped me so much and i really needed to hear this and found the perfect place. I couldnt let something go and after reading this and changing the way i thought about it, i was finally able to. This was such great advice and i couldnt find anything even remotely close tto the helpfulness and quality that you have provided. Thank you again.

  49. bootsey says:

    OK,so I get this on an intellectual level. I’ve let it go and know it’s not my problem. But it’s in my chest and my guts and I can’t stop obsessing. Every time my belly lurches or my heart skips a beat I can’t breathe for thinking about what this person is trying to do to me. It’s not that big a deal, and I’m completely in the right. So how do I stop letting it get to me? Help?

  50. deniseryan says:

    Hi Bootsey! Thanks for taking the time to comment! I don’t know the details of your situation, but one of the things that helps me when I find myself obsessing is having some go-to replacement behaviors. Calling a good buddy (and not talking about the obsession!). Taking a walk and listening to music or a good audio book. Watching one of my guilty pleasure TV shows. I also remind myself that I did the best I could with the situation and now I have to let it go. Chances are good the other person isn’t thinking about me and doesn’t deserve the attention I’m giving them! If you make your life as engaging as possible – that helps. Good luck my friend!! Happy 2015!

  51. deniseryan says:

    I’m so glad! Thanks for the comment – you made my day!

  52. deniseryan says:

    Hi Patti! So sorry to hear about the argument, but so glad this has helped! Family stuff can be the hardest. Glad to hear you are headed for a great 2015! No guilt, be happy! 🙂

  53. deniseryan says:

    Hi Shannon! Yay – I’m so glad this helped! Tears are a great thing to avoid unless they are tears of joy! Here’s to more time with those who make you smile and as little time as possible with those who make you cry! Happy, happy 2015!

  54. Drew says:

    This was something I needed to read. I’m currently going therough a breakup with the mother of my daughter. We’re both 25. I sit here thinking about all the time I wasted arguing with her, complaining about her or thinking about her. Just today she tried to provoke me so I can get physical. I’m not falling for it though. Once I’ve moved out from our apartment, I have my life back to go back to the gym, dive deep into self help books and work on my passion for the creative arts. It’s time to let go 🙂

  55. Melissa says:

    Your post was really helpful and it’s just what I needed to hear right now 🙂 I just have to remind myself to read this every day until it becomes habit! I’ve had the worst 6 months with my living situation, my boyfriend and I moving in together for the first time and having his best friend as our roommate. My boyfriend and I were able to get past our annoying living habits pretty quickly and we are doing great! His friend/our roommate, not so much. I feel myself developing anxiety and holding in resentment towards him that seems to only be poisoning myself and putting strain on BF who is in the middle. It’s just hard to let go of some of the things he’s done and how he behaved so carelessly, was insensitive, and intentionally mean. he has apologized to us on many occasions but I just dislike him more and more and can’t seem to just move on so I don’t make the rest of our lease a living nightmare for myself. Hopefully your words of wisdom can help me through this! Thank you!

  56. deniseryan says:

    Drew – thanks for sharing! I’m sorry to hear about the breakup, but it sounds like you’re finding your way back to you. Focusing on what makes you the best person you can be will work much better than trying to change her. The cool thing is, when you do find the right person, there’s no drama. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but you don’t try to manipulate each other. When there’s more pain than joy – it’s time to go. Sounds like you’re on the right track! Good luck!

  57. deniseryan says:

    Melissa – ugh! This sounds like a tough situation – thanks so much for sharing! Any chance the best friend is jealous? It’s always so hard to know what’s going on in another person’s head. Hopefully after 6 more months, (which I know seems like an eternity but really is just a short time) you can get him out of there! I’m so proud of you for realizing your BF is stuck in the middle and you are willing to try and put up with the roommate to keep the peace. Just remember, the less you can think about him, the happier you’ll be! And the happier you are, the happier your boyfriend will be! As long as you two can stay united, you’ll get through anything! Good luck!! (And come back anytime!) 🙂

  58. AROD says:

    I know a few yrs have past since ur post, wanted to see how your decision that you made 3 yrs ago is going for you? I hope ur happy and in a great place and have peace of mind which ultimately the best place to be.

  59. AROD says:

    I am glad I read this article. I have only been married for 3 yrs and I must tell you that I say that marraige is totalling OVERRATED, However, tend to realize that the relatinship which I have entered is not a true relationship. My husband is a dramatic, negative, and argumental individual. I often say that I think he loves to argue, then wants to make up afterwards. However, this pattern is very repetative and must say getting on my last nerve. I often try to stay calm and talk and ration however, he always blames and plays the victim role which quite honestly, he will never win a golden globe. I once remember telling him that since he is miserable he would like me to be just like him. He says that beore him I was singing Pherrell Williams HAPPY song, he noticed I was too happy and wanted to bring me down a notch. To date, I don’t see where someone who supposedly loves me would want to see me unhappy or better yet miserable. We have been to therapy however, to no avail. Both he and I know he has unlying past issues which cause him to act with certain bad behaviors however if nothing is done, the negative behaviors will continue. Yes, I am guilty of trying to get him to change but after reding this article I’m just as guilty as he is when it comes to that. I don’t accept him to act or speak to me in a negative manner but the constant bickering is really getting to me. I’m just staying in faith that the outcome of this situation will be best for us both. He is going to be evaluated by our therapist and a psychotherapist to see if there is any real syptoms which need medical attention and can assist in his as I say taming but I in my gut, not my heart know that this may have not been the best decision I have made. Just to add we don’t have any children of our own, by choice so theres nothing really holding me in this position for to long.

  60. Ash says:

    Thank you so much for this! I needed to read this as well. My boyfriends ex is doing everything possible to make our lives difficult. My boyfriend Son is 4 and needs to see a behavioral therapist (kicked out of 2 daycares) and she is saying she doesn’t want me to go to the appointments. I have been in this child’s life for 3 years and have lived with him for 2. I believe I should be there to explain what we go through at our house as well. She tries to exclude me from everything. Rough situation. She also doesn’t work and doesn’t do anything with herself and is so enabled by her parents and blames all her problems on everyone else, instead of taking action for her own doings. Recently applied for child support when we have the child 70% of the time. UGH! I’m always nice and I always try to help her as much as possible (even helped her try to find jobs) and just no hope. I just need to stay strong and not allow this to get to me. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH thank you..

  61. deniseryan says:

    Hi Ashley! Thanks so much for your comment! It’s so hard when a parent can’t see past her own needs to do what’s in the best interest of her child. But as you know, this has everything to do with her and nothing to do with you. Sounds like you are doing all you can – best thing to do is let her go. She probably doesn’t want you to go to the appointments because the therapist might try to hold her accountable for being a parent if you’re there to tell the truth. Save your effort and your love for you, your boyfriend and his son. The best thing for you three is that you are happy. As long as she plays the victim, she will never be happy. Keep your joy intact and you will win the day! Good luck, my friend!!!!

  62. deniseryan says:

    Hi Alice!

    Thanks so much for commenting – I am so sorry that you are in this place. It does sound like you are doing everything you can – and I’m glad to hear that he’s going to therapy – that’s a good sign. But I have to tell you that anyone who thinks you are too happy and need to be brought down a notch or two is not someone I would want to spend my life with. You deserve someone who loves seeing you happy! Only you can know what’s best for you, but if you don’t have children, please don’t have any until you know this man is the one you want to be with. If he doesn’t change, won’t it break your heart to see him bring your children down a notch or two when they are too happy? Stay strong and keep believing that you deserve joy. As for me – I have to say I’m in a great place. I adore my boyfriend and he accepts me for who I am and even accepts my refusal to deal with drama. I don’t try to do anything anymore to “fix” his daughter. She still does crazy things, but they don’t impact me. (It helps greatly that we moved over an hour away – yay for me!) I also stay away from looking at any social media posts his kids make. I keep repeating – “not my circus, not my monkeys” and I’m good. Thanks for asking!!! And don’t be afraid to go if you decide it’s right – you can be lonelier with the wrong person that by yourself. xoxoxo

  63. Zoey says:

    I know this all makes sense and I am going to keep the bookmark open to read every day till I have it stuck in my head. I work on the trains and passengers often make nasty or rude comments. Or they do things I would never dream of doing which makes me wonder where the justice is. Today I spoke up to one passenger who was rude when i asked for his ticket. I turned back to him and simply said I didn’t deserve to be spoken to the way he had. It made the situation worse. If only I’d just let go. A suit too high and mighty to retain good manners was not worth my time and energy. I used to think I needed a thicker skin and that letting go was too difficult. It takes practices but it really is a choice. At the end of the day he’s losing no sleep over my upset and is probably not a happy man anyway. Thank you for this article!
    Here’s to letting go of negativity.

  64. deniseryan says:

    Hi Zoey!

    First of all – I am so sorry! What a jerk! I think we all sometimes forget the impact our words have. Your job is one of those that so many people rely on and yet take you completely for granted. That stinks! And you are right – he’s not worth your time and energy. He’s clearly miserable. Happy people aren’t rude to others. we’ll give him a pass – maybe something awful is going on in his life. But that doesn’t mean he gets to rain on yours! Being happy is the best revenge!!! Focus on all the people for whom your smile may make their day. I promise you’ll get back what you give out – and so will he! Keep smiling, my friend – the world needs more of you! (and maybe less of him!) 🙂

  65. Betsy says:

    Hi Denise,

    Just had to thank you so much for this amazing article! In any conflict, I always try to imagine myself in other people’s shoes, and in the process maybe blame myself a little too much for failed relationships. I always hope people will change, but realize they won’t. Some people just have a mean spirit and don’t deserve to be in your life. I just wish I can stop feeling so guilty for letting people go. You article helps a lot, so thank you!!

  66. Lisa J Ojo says:

    Awesome ! Thank you it really help me get a grip on something’s That’s been driving me crazy

  67. Dweezil says:

    The golden rule is to love your neighbor as yourself. It is not to love your neighbor more than yourself. If you are constantly putting his needs first and his expectations first and his feelings first , then neither one of you are following the golden rule. 20 years from now, you will not be in a happy place with this manipulative and self centered person. As far as him telling you that he loves you, well, actions speak louder than words. Trust your gut, not your ears. PS – therapy can not cure a narcissist .

  68. silvana says:

    I enjoyed your blog on How to stop Letting Other People Upset You, I found it most interesting,
    it applies to me quite a lot, I get commented, criticised, judged for the things that I do or say, and I do get upset this, I would a free newsletter on this subject, and also criticism and being judged all the time what to do about it. I am subscribed to your newsletters. Thankyou.Silvana.

  69. D says:

    Amazing Article! I’ve been messed up all my Life trying to Live up to my Friends’ Expectations.

    There’s this Close Friend of mine whom I end up hurting all the time and most of the times I have no idea about the Reasons but well when she comes up to me and says she’s been disheartened about something I did (which she wouldn’t want to talk about) it kills my Heart and Brains and that’s the worst feeling. Grr… Somehow it’s always tough for me to deal with these Statements of hers. :s

  70. Jo says:

    This is so to the point, I actually can’t get over how much you have cleared in my head. Thank you for sharing this 🙂 Jo

  71. Dweebie says:

    Don’t get pulled into other peoples drama. Judge the behavior – not the intentions. If you you keep trying to figure out why your husband behaves the way that he does, you will inadvertently enable his behavior to continue. Set firm limits on what behavior you will tolerate. i.e. “I will listen to you when you speak to me in a respectful tone.” Make consequences on what your response will be if the behavior continues. i.e. “If you continue to look at me condescendingly, I will leave the room.” If you use feeling statements, “when you . . . I feel . . . I need you to . . .” , and your husband doesn’t appologize or show remorse or he justifies his behavior or trivializes “I was only joking” then you need to realize that he doesn’t care about your feelings other than now he knows how to push your buttons. Take it from me – get out now. Traditional psychology can not fix a narcissist.

  72. deniseryan says:

    Thanks, Betsy – you sound like a kind and loving person. So I feel safe in saying if you let someone go – bravo for you! Some people really do have a mean spirit for whatever reason. Someone as kind as you deserves kindness back. Thanks for sharing!

  73. deniseryan says:

    Yay! I love to hear that! Thanks so much for letting me know.

  74. deniseryan says:

    Great advice! Thanks so much for sharing! You are so right – always look at a person’s actions, they really speak the truth. And run, run, run, run from those narcissists!!

  75. deniseryan says:

    Silvana, I am so sorry to hear that! Try to remember that no one’s opinion of you matters as much as your own. If you can try not to criticize and judge yourself, their words will lose their power over you. Good luck, my friend! And thanks for signing up for my newsletters!

  76. deniseryan says:

    It sounds like it’s really hard to be friends with her! It’s awfully hard to solve problems if the other person won’t talk about them. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s impossible! We can’t read other people’s minds so unless they can ask us for what they need, we can’t give it to them. Good luck with this one! Just remember there are people out there who can tell you what they need….. Also it sounds like she is making you responsible for her feelings instead of accepting responsibility for at least meeting you halfway. Thanks for taking the time to comment! And good luck!

  77. deniseryan says:

    Yay! So glad you found it helpful! Thanks, Jo!

  78. deniseryan says:

    Amen! Thanks for sharing your great advice!

  79. Kris says:

    I love your post. The hardest thing for me is that I can’t shut off my brain. I create sceneries in my head and play them over and tweak them. The worst part, is that what I’m thinking usually occurs with the people who occupy all that time and energy in my
    brain. That the scenario of this one telling that one something, and I can’t even defend myself is happening. So why is it so important for me that these people be my friends? Well, I’m not married and I have a 7 yr old daughter and I live in a very secluded area. So it’s a lot less lonely having people to chat it up with than no one to talk to. and in a homebody. Here’s the thing … Have you heard the saying that if it’s everyone else than maybe you should look at something YOUR doing, because, clearly, it can’t be “everyone” else. So what boggles my mind are not situations that have occurred or any one thing said…I’ve had about 6 girlfriends that this has happened with. One is something with her husband, the other is probably embarrassed by something she did and blamed me for with her husband, another…? Good God, I just have no idea, it was the way the wind blew that day I guess. Etc…etc…

    So how do I shut my brain off when I don’t know what I’ve done to upset them? Cause I’ll probably do it again, unfortunately, otherwise. I’m a talker, I need to talk about the problem, lay it all out, and move forward leaving it behind. My girlfriends, on the other hand, ARE NOT. They totally fake it. I feel like I just need to do something else, but making friends is hard at my age, especially being single, and why bother if I constantly end up feeling like this?

  80. deniseryan says:

    Hi Kris – first of all – thanks so much for taking the time to post! And for being brave. One thing that always helps me is finding things (books, TV, projects, etc.) that occupy my mind. No use playing things over and over and over.

    You do raise a very good point – “Could it be me?” Another idea might be to try to talk to one of them – maybe the one with whom you’re not even sure what happened. Approach her one-on-one and he honest – tell her what you told me – it’s hard being single and you really value her friendship, but she seems (withdrawn, angry, whatever). Ask if you could help. And then maybe just see what she says. Can’t hurt, right?

    And I know that making friends can be hard, but maybe there is something you could participate in that might help? I don’t know what might go on in your area – maybe something you could do with your daughter and other parents? She might be feeling lonely as well. One of the biggest causes of depression is rumination – playing things over and over – so anything you could do to stop that would be great. It doesn’t solve anything and makes you feel lousy. And it may sound crazy, but loneliness is a choice. You can be alone and never feel lonely. After all – you’re great company! I’d rather be alone than with a bunch of blockheads who won’t even be real with me. Wouldn’t you? 🙂

    Good luck, Kris! I bet if you find your happiness, the right friends will start to show up.

  81. Zoey says:

    I wrote a while ago about feeling really upset by someone on one of my trains. This week I had ‘The shift’ with ‘That train’ and I was very nervous about seeing the jerk again. Well.. I did see him and while I didn’t get the same treatment as last time I noticed he wasas huffy and angry as I remembered even before I asked to see a ticket. So twice I’ve seen him and both times he had an angry cloud about him. I sort of felt sorry for him, maybe every morning he wakes up feeling pissed off about something. Maybe he hates his job. I told him to have a good day. Not sure he remembered me. I met some amazing happy passengers on that train and I had a great shift after all the fear of a reunion had gone. Being happy is absolutely the best revenge!!!
    I still have this article saved if I need refreshing on it.
    Thank you again.

  82. justin says:

    Excellent article. My problem with not letting go has affected my life in a big way. I’m going to read this article every time I feel like I’m having a problem with others and realize there’s a way that I can control that. The last three years has been the hardest of my life. And until I practice everything that you said in the article I’m not going to move forward. Thanks once again for your words of wisdom. They are greatly appreciated by many

  83. monkeygirl says:

    I have such a bitchy controlling friend who always comments on my life, ( not her business ) and redefines my reality ( crazy making ) she always tries to make me feel bad as well as if i am doing something wrong, it is her control issue I know, but she is soo triggering, the only thing I can do is set my boundaries, keep my boundaries and detach, but its hard , shes sooo insane and I feel like a stunned mullet or deer in her presence, I know it is all her stuff and she does it to everyone , but its hideous to be around and she really likes being around me……………………noooooooooooooo I cant stand it, i must detach with love

  84. deniseryan says:

    Argh! I hope it’s going well – she loves being around you, I’m sure! The crazy somehow seem drawn to the nice and the sane. Sounds like you’re ready to set yourself free! Good luck – and thanks so much for sharing!

  85. deniseryan says:

    Justin – thanks so much for your comment – you made my day! I’m so glad the article resonated with you. I write mostly the things I need to work through myself. And the good news – practice makes perfect! And you free up space and energy for great people to come into your life. You’ll get there!

  86. deniseryan says:

    Zoey – I love this! Good for you! you have taken all your power and more back from this man! He still walks in anger and you, dear friend, walk in joy! How awesome!!!!!

  87. .marian . says:

    very good advisei will act onit

  88. .marian . says:

    i let some people bug me if they ignore me especially if i meet them regularly and i take it on full board i t sticks to me like glue ND I FEAR MEETING THEM AGAIN

  89. Marc says:

    Thanks. Great write up. I’m going to calm down in traffic now…..

  90. Nivi says:

    Hi,
    I read your article and it did inspire me to let go and move on, but I am completely helpless. The problem is my best friend, we are friends for 3 years now and our friendship was once a precedent for others, I have seen the worst and the best times of my life with her, I have had her support always, when there was no one I knew that she would be there to listen to me and my pain. We have spent such a time together that I just cant imagine my life without her. But now things have changed, from past few months (or may be a year), she has changed a lot, she has got into a relationship and it has been around 1 and half years to it, and the major contribution of her getting changed comes from there. I don’t know why is she doing this. I mean even now she keeps telling me that I still love you the same way, I care for you the same way, sometimes she also cries, but I just do not feel it. And these things she would say only when something big happens and I say some harsh things to her (like our friendship is just going nowhere), else she behaves normally, even after realizing the fact that I am upset with her, she seems to ignore, and I just cant take the ignorance. I am sick of it, numerous times we have had serious fights over all these things and all the time I explained her the things, she seems to understand and says that she won’t repeat and bla bla, but every, every single time she does the same things that hurt me. And now it has been a long time for me being hopeful that she will realize and she will change, and I have SUFFERED A LOT without having done any mistake (other than loving her so much). I want to let go of the things and I try harder each day, but it’s very difficult, she is before my eyes all day, and however hard I try to not talk to her, I’ll end up talking, and once I talk to her I cant see the change that has come into our relationship and I burst out, I cry, I literally scream, there will be a lot of emotional drama after that, I’ll cry, she’ll cry, and ultimately I’ll end up giving her one more chance (as I cannot see her crying). But the next day I’ll get hurt again. So this keeps on going, leaving me with stress, pain, restlessness and nothing else. What to so in such a situation?
    Please help, I feel helpless, is there any way out?…I cant live like this…please help!!!

  91. Karen says:

    Don’t worry, he will get his. I know that there is no way a young 22 yr.old wants him forever. More like a sugar daddy. Don’t worry, it will not last and he will be alone one day too. I suggest you find your own fun. Hiking groups are abundant in almost every city and there are clubs for almost everything and they don’t cost too much money.

  92. shenny star says:

    Thanks for posting this it help me realize something that I never really thought about that you can’t change people. I find myself keep telling workers what they have to do what’s right and what is not and they know the right thing sometimes they get to me it makes me very angry sometimes I might even snap but whats the use all I can do is correct them and that’s it I did my part I should not let it bother me after dealing with the issue. Thanks a lot very true Denise

  93. Emma Cherry says:

    How do you get over people just leaving your life though? Why do they do that? I was always so nice to everyone and now a bunch of people don’t like me because they’ve sided with one person that doesn’t like me (to sum it up).

  94. Ruth says:

    Today I was feeling bad because someone said/asked are you wearing a bra? I replied yes-then she said well they looked a little droopy. I explained its a low cut bra.. Then the person said I’ve made you self-aware. I then felt awful as thought I’m being judged for no matter what I do it seems. I wanted to cry. Then I said no one can steal my joy unless I let them..

  95. JoJo says:

    This is what I needed to read this morning. After another fight with my bipolar wife last night and me sleeping at the buddies I’m not ready to just give in. Been married for 10 years and have a beautiful daughter and not ready to just give up on that. I realize now more than even that I cant change her and all her unhealthy habits. I have to accept them and as much as it pains me be more loving and supportive. She has her episodes, but I realize me constantly getting on her causes many of them and I need to stop. The hard part is going to be following up on this decision and realize I cant change her and I shouldn’t. THX!

  96. deniseryan says:

    Woohoo – Marc, good luck! And thanks for the comment! 🙂

  97. deniseryan says:

    Marian – glad you like the advice! Don’t let people bug you if they ignore you – it just means they are missing out on your fabulousness!

  98. deniseryan says:

    Oh Nivi! I am so sorry you’re going through this! Often when people get into a relationship, they have less time and energy and emotion for their friends. She probably does care about you just as much as before, she just has someone else filling some of the needs and the time you used to fill. You’re going to have to let go a bit – you can’t force her to do anything. Step back and maybe she will miss you. Also sounds like you need to try and reach out to some new friends. I know it seems impossible, but there are lots of great people out there who would have the time and emotional energy to give to you. You just need to open yourself to meeting them. You can’t control your friend and the more you try, the more you push her away. If you haven’t read the Four Agreements – you might pick up a copy. It’s great and may help a little. Good luck!!!!!

  99. deniseryan says:

    Thanks, Shenny!!!

  100. deniseryan says:

    I know it’s hard because you can’t understand it. But one thing I can say – it they could leave, then they didn’t realize what they had with you. And that frees you up to find someone who will and won’t let you go. Sounds like you have some drama people in your life – they are not worth it. Real friends stay with you. You’ll find some – the Universe has freed you up to let them in. Stay strong, Emma!

  101. deniseryan says:

    Anyone who would say such a thing to someone is not a person worth worrying about. Mean comments say more about the person who speaks them than they ever do about you. I’m so sorry you were subjected to that!

  102. deniseryan says:

    Good luck, Jojo! You might read Stop Walking on Eggshells – a good book to help you deal with people with disorders. And you can have a great impact on your daughter. Good luck!!!!!!! Just remember you deserve joy too!

  103. happyasahetero says:

    Hey so i normally do’t do this but, I’ve been having a war going on in my head. I have been with my husband for about 3 years, and the pretty much the entire time except for the past few months he was talking to other women, giving out his number, and just constant flirting. We fought numerous times after this about all of these situations and the solution stands, he apologizes and claims he did not know why he did such thing. Also, he claims that he doesn’t think any of this is wrong. Only penetration can be considered cheating. Obviously I disagree and ever since then i haven’t been able to trust this man, mind you i was only with women before this. Granted this also happened with women, but it was a lot easier to leave then due to not being married. I felt the right thing to do was to finally be with a man a have kids, but I am starting to have some thoughts about the past, such as, what if i am still with him 20 years from now and he does it all over again. I have told him plenty of times to get the divorce papers but he doesn’t, so i feel like he really wants to stay but I just don’t want to be missing something like a gigantic red flag waiving in front of my face, and next thing you know, it might be too late. We already met each others family, is it too early to throw the towel in? Not really sure why i wrote this but i just know that I am tired of putting his happiness before my own. I want us to be equally happy. Is that even possible? Why do i find it so hard to get up and leave myself?

  104. happyasahetero says:

    Everybody makes mistakes, don’t they? Shouldn’t everyone be forgiven. Isn’t that true love, when u stay with the person “Til Death Do You Part”..?

  105. Aditi says:

    i had a mistake..i started loving my bestfriend when i had a bf..my roommates warned me what i was doing is wrong.i understood well.they told me to leave my best friend..
    i understood things but now they don’t allow me to even talk to my bestfriend.i have explained them that before evthg we r good friends who shared evthg and i cant live without him

    but as we gradually started talking my friends got angry.they left me.they all talk together and leave me alone.i feel so dejected in a room.i am unable to think what to do

  106. Tracy says:

    Great article. Needed this today! Thanks.

  107. ann says:

    I let what others do bother me…Reading this helped me
    I have trouble of not dwelling on things…My grandson
    Plays varsity basketball one of the Moms just acts like
    Her son is the only member of the team.she cheers only or him and she has a fanclub and they only brag on him
    Just aggravates me and that doesn’t help me

  108. ann says:

    I dwell on things

  109. Rosa rose says:

    Its harder said than done. Certain things are just not easy to let go. Especially if you are young and in the house with someone who’s not your even parents , whos really TRIpolar , constantly just talking so much crap to you and always having attitudes even when you haven’t done anything I swear I hate her with a passion and the only thing that can change is if I get my own place which is when I turn 18 next year

  110. deniseryan says:

    Thanks, Tracy! Good luck! 🙂

  111. deniseryan says:

    Freedom definitely makes it easier! Other people upset us a lot less when we can choose to leave. Remember that when you do move out and you’ll be way ahead of the game. Until then, rise above. Don’t let her get in your head and have this much power over you. When people can’t upset us, sometimes they back off. Good luck!

  112. deniseryan says:

    Ann – thanks for your comment! I’m so glad this helped! I know it’s hard, but dwelling on things is one of the major causes of depression and you don’t deserve that! Cheer for your grandson and try to forget this crazy lady. All this tells me she wants the attention on her, not so much on her son. See that for what it is and try to let it go. Go team! 🙂

  113. deniseryan says:

    I guess I have a question for you to consider – do you think your roommates have your best interests in mind? If so, they may have a good point and you might listen to their advice (as much as you don’t want to hear it). If, on the other hand, they are meddling in your life because they are unhappy in their own lives, you might need to spend some time by yourself and decide what you want. Ask yourself if you really love your boyfriend or if you are in love with your best friend. Then decide what you think you need to do. It does sound like you can’t be with both of them – not fair to the boyfriend or to you. You might also have an honest talk with your best friend and see how he feels. Good luck with this – my heart goes out to you!

  114. deniseryan says:

    Ah – so many things to consider! Yes, we all make mistakes. The question is what “mistakes” can you live with? If you believe in “until death do us part”, then yes, you should go with that. I, however, believe that doesn’t give someone a pass to treat you poorly. And giving other women his phone number, constantly flirting and refusing to stop when you express that it hurts you, is treating you very poorly indeed. In my book, making a mistake might be doing it once. Then, after you express the pain it causes you, if he stops, that merits forgiveness. If he doesn’t stop, I sure wouldn’t wait until I was dead to leave him! Sounds like you’re dying a slow death by staying.

    But onto the bigger issues – are you with this man because you love him or because you thought marrying a man was the right thing to do? If you have to put his happiness before yours all the time, this is a recipe for disaster. Regardless of whether you are in a relationship with a man or a women, you want to be with someone who you can trust and who wants to be with you. You deserve that. Of course, easy advice for me to give, hard to put into practice. I guess you have to decide if your happiness is worth fighting for. Good luck, my friend!!!!

  115. Liz says:

    Thanks for the great perspective and for everyone sharing! I am having a similar experience as Emma (someone refusing to contact me) so I am working to devote my energy into something more positive than wondering what I did wrong. It’s tough but also forcing me to make a decision that will ultimately bring me more peace. Hopefully!

    I can’t change other people, but I can change myself.

  116. deniseryan says:

    Hi Liz! Thanks for taking the time to share too! Never worry about what you did “wrong” although I know it’s hard. Some people we just weren’t meant to travel with for whatever reason. You’ll find your tribe! 🙂

  117. Jill says:

    I’m dating someone I work with, we’re both managers. My issue is that my boyfriend speaks to women that despise me and that have fabricated lies about me. These same women have spoken poorly about him yet he still speaks to them. I believe in being professional at work but in engaging in personal conversations is where I draw the line. I honestly feel betrayed as if there is no loyalty on his end.

  118. Shubh says:

    Needed this so bad! Thanks so much.

  119. BrownSuga says:

    I am a 40 year old christian woman, that I feel life is going down hill fast. My issue is I am trying to change my boyfriend of 5 years into someone that i know he will never be. I have taken as much as I can but i still do not know how to walk away and not look back. I love him but I am not in love with him like I once was. Some of the issues that we are having I did bring upon myself, but i was just trying to get his attention. But i caused more tension and stress on myself because nothing move him. This past month so much has happen, I went from being this sweet girlfriend of his to this person that he is not happy with. I have done somethings in the past that have caused some of this tension, but I changed out of my ways and was working towards our future. Now I have his ex telling him that I approached her and I lied and he is believing everything she saying I believe. I have never talked to ex or approached her about anything. He is believing so much stuff that people are telling him about me and he’s not coming to me and asking he is just accusing. He has called me crazy, stated that i was trouble and that he should have listen to others when they told him to stay away. he is so angry and won’t communicate about anything. I have tried to plea my case and assure him that i have done none of this but it’s like talking to a wall. We work together so we see one another everyday ( he works in one department and I in another). No one really knows that we date and we want to keep it that way to keep others out of our business. but for the ones that know, he is so angry that they do and blame me for telling them. I know this is a mixed up mess and i should just walk away but I don’t know how. It’s so much to this relationship that I could write a book. But deep down inside I am hurting like crazy and he could careless. I know that I should stop trying and just let things be but honestly i don’t know where to start. So if anyone could please give me any advice I would really appreciate any words.

  120. deniseryan says:

    Glad it helped! Thanks for reading!!

  121. deniseryan says:

    Oh, Ms. BrownSuga, my heart breaks for you! In reading this I know you know what to do, but I also know it’s hard. Here’s some food for thought – what if he never changed? You will never be any younger than you are today, would you be okay if you wasted your best years on him? I don’t know what happened in the past, but if he doesn’t believe what you tell him when you speak the truth, how can you have a relationship? I know you won’t leave until the pain gets great enough, but I think a good step in the right direction would be finding things outside of work that capture your attention and get it off him. You need to work on caring less. Create some space and if he wants to come toward you, then great! Maybe spending time with good girlfriends or taking up a hobby that’s always interested you. If you follow your interest and start focusing on your life, amazing things may happen. Remember you only have one life – it doesn’t sound like this man deserves yours.

  122. Dee says:

    Thank you for publishing your wise words. I have a daughter who uses drugs and is unstalbe. I am her baby’s legal guardian. It’s been a huge challenge to the heart and soul to accept that she must make the decisionj to get help and that I cannot live her life and make her want to change. She has stolen from me and lied to me many times. The most difficult part at this point is to not be dismantled every time she texts or calls me. I rarely answer now because she inevitable becomes oppositional and disrespectful or just lies about what she is/isn’t doing. I will always love her but I must stay ‘intact’ and able to give 100% to this precious 7 month old who has been in my care since a few days old. I do not trust her to be near him or me until she has done a program, is no longer addicted and not volatile. She tries to guilt me about her problem, my being legal guardian, etc. Anything you can advise is greatly appreciated.

  123. deniseryan says:

    Hi Dee! Thanks so much for sharing. I am so sorry that your daughter is struggling, but I’m so glad her daughter has you. I’m definitely not a professional counselor, but after watching maybe 500 episodes of Intervention, I can tell you the pros would say you are doing the right thing. Until she gets help, you would just be enabling your daughter if you let her steal from, disrespect, or hurt you in anyway. You shouldn’t feel guilty – you are taking care of a precious baby that she can’t take care of. You have to take care of you so you can care for your granddaughter. Your daughter gets to be a part of your lives when she chooses to get help. Until then, she’s a danger to her daughter, to herself, and possibly to you. Keep your healthy boundaries, talk to a professional if you can – so you’ll have a support person (you are under a huge amount of stress), and remember that any time your daughter is trying to make you feel guilty it’s because she’s trying to manipulate you. Also remind yourself that you get to decide how much pain you will let her cause you. Focus on your granddaughter and all the good in the world and you’ll find the power your daughter has over you will lessen. Good luck my friend! You sound like a warm and caring person who will have much to give your daughter when she’s healthy enough to receive it.

  124. Steve says:

    I work with people that like to put you down,make fun of you,belittle you and laugh at what you may think is important to you personally. How do you deal with a person like that when you have to since you work with them. These people i do not like. All they do is brag about themselves and belittle people behind there back to me. How do I try to work with them and stay sane !

  125. Fendi says:

    Thank you so much for this, I stay with my brother and his girlfriend and everytime I feel bad because when I do the house chores I do it with luv but if I make just a little mistake my brother shouts or comments about it … But doesn’t really yell at his girlfriend , I always feel bad but I am trying to let go of all the hurt and just believe that he loves his girlfriend more than me and he can’t treat me exactly the way he treats her… So thanks for the words … It helped a lot!

  126. Frances says:

    I’ve done a lot of work in my life. I had a bad upbringing and it took me 9 years of therapy to forgive my family for various issues involving abuse and neglect. I know that forgiveness is about me, not them and I practiced this for years. Because of depression, I was alone for 18 years. When I turned 45, I decided I wanted to date again, find a man to share my life with. I felt ready emotionally, strong mentally and I had all of my ducks in a row. I’ve been with my bf for 3 years. Maybe it’s his age (he’s 20 years younger), but he fights so dirty at times and it truly hurts my feelings. I’m not a desperate woman, but I do love him and I know he loves me because 90% of the time he’s a dream to be with. But the words he uses and the behaviour he practices when he’s angry at the world (taking it out on me) hurts me so much that I can’t even remember what I learned all those years in therapy. I feel as though I “chose” my father as a bf, as sick as that sounds!! I know that it’s ultimately my choice to be with him, I guess being alone for so long has made me worried about being alone again? I can’t figure it out. He’s admitted being abusive (emotionally, verbally) and makes attempts to get better, but hasn’t quite transformed yet. I know I can’t make him, and I’m very loving and forgiving, I see the potential. Maybe I’m just fooling myself! Anyway, I feel as though I’m letting off steam here! Thanks for your article. I guess I need to try harder!

  127. deniseryan says:

    Hi Steve! I’m so sorry to hear that. Well, first of all, you have to let go of thinking they might change. Assume they won’t. Now you have to focus on what you can control – you. If you can’t escape (finding another job), you have to try and figure out how you can stop letting them bother you. Can you wear headphones and focus on your work? Can you minimize the time you spend around them? Can you find some aspect of your job you really enjoy and focus more on that? Remember the words of Eleanor Roosevelt – No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Let them go. And how about this thought – A tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep. Pay them no mind – you have bigger things to focus on. (Like maybe getting out of there!) 🙂 Good luck, my friend!

  128. deniseryan says:

    Hi Fendi! Thanks for the comment! And great insights! You are so right – your brother is a bit blinded by love. He may even get just as mad at her, but feels like he can’t say anything, so he yells at you hoping she will hear him and get the message. Crazy, I know, but let’s face it – people are a bit nutty! Hang in there and thanks again!

  129. deniseryan says:

    Oh Frances, reading this breaks my heart! You don’t need to try harder! You need to find a better guy! Anyone who fights dirty and hurts your feelings doesn’t get a place in your life. I suspect he’s doing it to control you. You are in the toughest situation – we all tend to repeat the drama in our families of origin. While being alone can be hard, being with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself is harder. Taking his anger out on you is not right – you are not his emotional punching bag. And I think deep down you know, this is as good as it will ever get. Unless he’s willing to go to counseling with you, he’s not going to suddenly turn into a better man. And if you are loving and forgiving, you deserve someone who is loving also. Focus on you – find some rockin’ girlfriends (if he’ll let you – if he won’t…..), talk to a counselor and build up your strength. You need to get strong enough to walk away from this man. There are over 3 billion other men on the planet – there are many, many out there who would treat you like a queen and adore you. I think you can cross this guy off the list. Good luck, dear Frances!!

  130. Betty says:

    You know what I would do , I would ship all the kids to his house. Make new friends and have a party all the time. I would go shopping and buy fun clothes and fix up your house the way you want it. Im not saying not ever see your kids but only when it’s convent for you. Let him and his 22 year old girlfriend get a taste of what you had to put up with all these years.

  131. Anonymous says:

    I did the same thing, got one of my roommates out of my life, not until I politely asked her to do something and what did she do, well gave me an earful, said a bunch of nasty mean stuff, cussed at me like no one’s business when everything that happened well, I know knew tidbits and it wasn’t my problem. Kind of feel like a guy who’s girlfriend got extremely angry at for something.

    I feeling the same relief!!

  132. SashaG says:

    I came upon your article…and I am so glad I saw it and read it. It has out me in a place of peace. I had some issues with my step child. no matter what I did…she did not acknowledge me or appreciate me. Every time I corrected her or try to guide her…I was shun. Always with her father/ my husband being unsupportive. I just let it go and accepted that they won’t change. I’m much happier. Thanks

  133. Sally lewis says:

    Thanks for this it really helped. my husband is an alcoholic and I am going through some really life-changing events. I’ve never been with an alcholic and never been married it’s even harder been stressed all day over him and he says he doesn’t want to quit drinking. I just don’t know what to do all I do is stress out all day over this and wish that he would consider my feelings and what I have to do all day without a functioNBLE husband..Again thanks for the article.

  134. deniseryan says:

    Hi Sasha – thanks so much for your comment – I’m so glad it helped. I’ve also found that the best testament to the advice any of us have to give – is living a great life. If no one wants to take the advice, that’s fine – they can keep getting the results they’re getting. We’ll just keep celebrating the great results we’re getting! (And sometimes being happy is the best revenge ever!) 🙂

  135. deniseryan says:

    My heart goes out to you – I’m glad you enjoyed the article and I hope you realize that you deserve much better. And try to remember – this is not about you – alcoholics have nothing to give. If he won’t get help, make sure you help yourself. You deserve a great life.

  136. Anon says:

    This article is very useful. I’m having trouble not reliving my upset. I have one situation where I just can’t get past. I really want to. What do you do when a close relationship (inlaw) has become toxic? My husband has decided to cut ties with them. I feel bad about it. I also support him, and in some ways, I think I feel relieved. I also think about the fact that they are his parents, and I also think about our kids.

  137. Alice says:

    Thank you for this always let people get to me now I can take your advice ☺️

  138. Tiffany says:

    It’s hard letting go of things, I just can’t let things go

  139. Suzanne Francella-Traitz says:

    Wow! Some real fabulous advice here, and just what I needed to read/hear.

    I tend to allow the opinions of people who do not really matter to me in my life, matter.

    In reading that they’re likely not thinking of me, makes me realize that I’m doing it to myself.

    I’m allowing their actions and opinions to rent space in my brain. I’m wasting precious time and energy focusing on them, when I can honestly say, they do not matter to me, and quite frankly k do not like them, so why care.

    I need to allow people to not like me, cuz at the end of the day even if I did everything right, haha, someone out there is going to find something wrong with me anyway.

    Life is all about perception, and the only perception about life I can change is my own.

    Thank you for this! This was great 🙂

  140. deniseryan says:

    Ah – Suzanne – thank you so much for taking the time to comment! So thoughtful! And let me shout out a strong “Amen!” 🙂

  141. deniseryan says:

    Woohoo! Bravo, Alice! Those people aren’t worth a second thought! 🙂

  142. deniseryan says:

    Tiffany – I know! Maybe by recognizing this, it can help you make a different choice. Try to realize that as long as you hold on to whatever it is, you’re giving all your power to that person. And they don’t deserve it!! Take your power back, GF! Let it (and maybe them if needed) go! Set yourself free!!! 🙂

  143. deniseryan says:

    Ah! I know this is hard, but if they are really toxic and your husband has decided to cut ties, I say – “Sweet! You are off the hook!” Either they will get the message and possibly change their behavior – no harm in keeping the door open a crack to that possibility. He’ll be fine – he has you and I’m sure many other supportive, nontoxic relationships. As far as your children – ask if there’s any benefit to them to being around this and experiencing all the upset and drama. When they are old enough to understand everyone’s choices, then they can make their own. If they should want to spend some time with their grandparents, give it a shot and let them judge for themselves. Life is long and decisions can always be changed. But spending time and energy on toxic people is a mistake in my opinion. Set yourself free and don’t worry about this! (Thanks so much for commenting – I’m sure your feelings will help many others in the same boat.)

  144. Jules says:

    This was helpful, thanks. I have been told that I care too much so I proberbly need to let go. I have a co worker who is aggressive and has a reputation for this, she has now been given a supervisory role and people protect her. I just don’t get it. But reading your article has helped I need to let go and be the best I can be. They create enough drama for the world anyway.

  145. naomi says:

    I gave a close friend a shoulder to lean but later realized some few issues that pissed me of..I sacrificed all what I can but the person didn’t care any more. I feel so hopeless about it.please assist me to let it go and move on with my li

  146. Tara says:

    I know that this was written quite a while back but I’m so happy that I found this!
    I tend to hold on to people’s negative comments and let them affect me long after they should.
    I am trying to remind myself that people can only tear me down if I let them and I don’t need to waste my time and energy dwelling on mean and hurtful comments.

  147. deniseryan says:

    Hi Tara! Great comment – and you are not alone! We all do that. Realizing that has made me try to do two things – 1) let them go, because I know that person is not spending all that time thinking about ME and 2) try not to do that to someone else. I think if we all realized how much impact our negative comments can have, we’d be a whole lot nicer. Great comment!

  148. deniseryan says:

    Hi Naomi! I’m so sorry!! That’s the worst – when you give so much and feel like it was for nothing. Try to shift your focus on finding some new amazing people to bring into your life. You have a lot to give and that person didn’t appreciate it – so don’t give them any more. I know it’s easier said than done. But the trick is finding something else that is so interesting – new person, new hobby, great book, cool trip – that you think more about that and less about them. Decide that this person gets no more of you. Good luck! And thanks so much reaching out!

  149. deniseryan says:

    Hi Jules! Oh no!!!! I’m so sorry – ugh! I’m so proud of you for realizing you can’t do a darn thing about her, you can just limit how much you’ll be bothered by her. I bet many of your co-workers are so glad they have you. You seem very kind – one of the most underrated traits there is. Thanks so much for sharing – and good luck!!

  150. Christine says:

    Hi there
    I thoroughly agree with all you have said and need to let some stuff go and also walk away from a relationship. My problem is, they are my OH family. And he is upset that I want to cut all ties. Me only not my kids, which is hard because its their lack of communication with kids that has escalated it from a tense situation to an unbearable one (for me).

  151. Camie says:

    I need to show this to my husband, simply great advice thanks a million!

  152. Hazel says:

    This weekend my landlord’s girlfriend confronted me about a bill her boyfriend had and said it was my responsibility to pay it (its a large house with rented out rooms). I obviously said no only to have her and another room mate who I considered a friend gang up on me, they’re now hellbent on making my life a living hell. It seems as though my landlord has gotten himself into some trouble financially so I’m guessing they devised a plan to make me pay for this. It’s not so much the lying I think it was the deception that bothered me. I was raised that you don’t steal and you don’t lie on someone like that, but I guess not all of us can say we are raised correctly. I am seeking another place to live as soon as possible and intend on moving. I know its a hateful thing to say but if he is having financial problems now I can only imagine what me moving and him losing my money will do to him, but I honestly don’t care. I am a quiet woman, I keep to myself and do not cause problems or drama (at my age I don’t have time for it). Don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near perfect and I make it a point to swallow any pride and admit my mistakes, I learned a long time ago that you gain more ground from admitting your mistakes and correcting them than laying blame elsewhere. Anyway I wanted to say thanks for this, I needed to read, understand and finally let go of people who I cannot control

  153. Jen says:

    This was some much needed advice. I am in a difficult situation and I need to start letting things go for my own sake. Really good article I am going to save it and re-read it as a reminder. Thank you!

  154. Calla Tyrrell says:

    Thank you for the information. I am a freshman in college and my drama is coming from some girls who live on my hall. I actually share a bathroom with one of them and she is also my best friend’s ex-roommate. My best friend moved out two months ago because she couldn’t stand the drama anymore. Since she has moved out, they have transferred the drama to half of our friend group. I try to see the best in everyone but right now it is doing harm to my emotional self to do that. I have lived like this for about a month now but it just keeps getting worse. I can’t trust them anymore and just thinking about them makes me upset. They have treated my other friends and I terribly and can’t take it anymore. DO you have any suggestions to have I can cut them out of my life when they live beside me and are such a big part in my life right now.

  155. Sarah says:

    This is amazing and im so glad ive found it. My only problem is that im a severe sufferer of anxiety and i know that I have to let go. I find it so difficult to put this into practice because despite the 1 million horrible things my partner has done to me he will constantly tell me that no one else will want me because I nag too much. But my nagging is not an action its a reaction. He says im not his mother so I cant tell him what to do yet im working, doing his assignments for uni, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, looking after my own kids aswell as his kids 3 days a week when they visit. So if you expect me to do all that then you better bet im going to tell u not to cheat and show some love and affection every now and again. Ive tried changing some things like keeping quiet and saying nothing but he’ll still come into the house, get showered, and go partying with his friends til 5am without even saying goodbye or even hello at that matter when he enters our home. So I have definitely tried to compromise but I just get ignored when I keep quiet. The only time we conversate is when I argue because of the hostile treatment. I know 100% this isn’t healthy and I need to let it go because there are a few other serious issues I cannot say on here. Please I need some advice on how to overcome my anxiety and let this go

  156. deniseryan says:

    Thanks, Jen! I’m so glad it helped. I hope your situation gets better – we’re pulling for YOU!

  157. deniseryan says:

    Oh Sarah! I am so, so sorry you are going through this! Please if you can, talk to a pro about your anxiety – he or she may really be able to help. All I can do is give you clarity. And clarity is – this man will not change. And everyday you listen to what he says is a day you lose more of yourself. Anyone who says no one else would want you (for ANY reason) is a complete jerk and a manipulator. In my experience, the only people who make me act like a crazy person, have been crazy. I’m pretty open, honest and down-to-earth. When I start behaving any other way, it’s because I’ve let a crazy person get in my head (and maybe in my heart). Where no crazy person deserves to be! You don’t need to compromise, you need to leave before you’ve lost so much of yourself you can’t. Remember – you teach him how to treat you – and everyday you stay and do all those things, you’re teaching him it’s okay to treat you the way he does. Sounds like he doesn’t bring much to the table. You and your kids deserve better. If you won’t leave for you, leave because of what this is teaching your children. Good luck!!! You are stronger than you realize.

  158. deniseryan says:

    Ah – I’m so sorry, Calla! College drama is the worst! And I DO have some advice:
    Physically get away from them as much as you can. Study in the library, etc. You won’t have to do this forever, you’ll just need to create some space for the rest of my advice.
    Find some new cool friends to hang with. Join a group you’re interested in – there are tons on campus. Start your own tribe. You’ll find your people, I know it.
    Get a life away from them. Even if it’s just your own routine, eating in different places, whatever – if you don’t need them, their opinion and actions won’t mean a thing to you. Mean girls lose interest if their prey doesn’t respond.
    Don’t tell any of them anything you don’t want all of them to know or post on FB. Mystery makes you powerful. Independence makes you strong.
    And remember – at the end of the day – they only have the power over you that you give them. Ignore them as much as possible and they will fade away. Get a life away from them that’s exciting – and you won’t give a damn what they do.
    And trust me, ten years from now, you won’t even remember their names. Rock your life, Calla!!! They are small and and petty and you’ll lose sight of them as you take off.

  159. deniseryan says:

    Good for you! I hope you find a place soon – nothing makes people crazy like financial problems! I’m proud of you for realizing you can’t control them and that the best course of action in this case is getting away from them. Good luck!!!

  160. deniseryan says:

    Oh boy, that is a tough one. What I have learned here is you have to pick your battles if you want to keep the relationship. If you love your OH and he loves his family, I sure wouldn’t make him choose. But I would set boundaries. He is free to go to visit them, you are free to pass. Maybe show up for a funeral every now and then. 🙂 But the kiddos are a different matter. If they are old enough, you can let them choose what they want to do. But if they are little, you might have to trust your OH and let him decide how to handle that one. Just accept that his family won’t change and ask yourself where you can bend. Most of our frustration comes from trying to control others and from expecting them to behave as we would. Or from expecting them to someday realize how awesome we are and stop being such blockheads! (At least that’s what frustrates me….) Good luck!!!! And thanks so much for the comment!

  161. Jane Smith says:

    And when you are being harassed and bullied and it doesn’t stop? None of this helps. Sorry! Human bitches (men or women)need to know when to stop gnawing on the bone.

  162. deniseryan says:

    I sure am sorry that’s happening to you! And it may not help, but the only person you can control is you. So you can try to get out of the situation; you can ask someone for help; you can decide how much power and control you’ll give these people (words only have the power over you that you give them), etc. None of this is easy, but if you are waiting for them to stop so you can be happy, you’re putting them in charge. Hope you find some relief! Good luck!

  163. Alex says:

    Dear Denise,

    Your article is brilliant and I read every other thing on this whole page and I love it all. Thank you for posting and sharing and helping your fellow humans to progress and expand and just downright feel better.
    I appreciate this very much!
    However, I haven’t seen a situation quite like mine, as you said, family get us the most, they know how to push all our buttons because we love them so much. My dad fell on his head in to a concrete cellar three years ago (alcohol) just when he retired and he was changed from it, angry aggressive, has forgotten how to be grateful for his blessings in life (me and my mum) and is very negative and complaining all day long. Mum deals with it better than me, I am very upset by him and don’t know how to keep my own vibration happy and solid. He has no patience, is angry as a neutral and really has reverted in to a child, if you can imagine, his demeanour and reactions are just like those of a child, and there’s no talking to him, no reasoning with him, those days are gone. He is not the person he was. The overarching thing here is alcoholism, so since the accident, he has had three near-fatal seizures, because now the brain is injured, he cannot drink alcohol anymore because it widens the window for seizures BUT! he still thinks he can cheat death and drink in secret, which makes him more angry and more aggressive.

    I think myself in circles what to do or not do about this and all that ends up happening is I cry and cry and go crazy myself. I can mostly let things go, but when I don’t understand something he is telling me straight away or as quickly as he’d like, he gets very angry if I have to ask questions to try to understand, and I won’t be treated this way. I just got rid of a shitty boyfriend who tried all the anger and control stuff on me, but now I have to put up with it from my own father!

    I admit I find this a no-solution situation. Dad can’t be talked to, reasoned with, or spoken to on the level of an adult-adult. It breaks my heart. I want to scream at him because he hurts me so much, he doesn’t care about my feelings, my mum’s or anything but maintaining his own negative stance. The strain on the family is immeasurable. But we only have each other: they only have me and I only have them, family-wise.

    I understand everything you have said in your article here. But how do you care less when you care so much, because it is your poor father? I can’t care less and I can’t change it.
    Since the usual rules of life have never applied to my parents I have before approached their unacceptable behaviour with compassion, but here compassion breaks my heart, it takes all my emotion and energy.

    This is a lesson in focus!

    Any thoughts are greatly appreciated x

    Best wishes to you all for 2017 and beyond.

    Alex

  164. deniseryan says:

    Hi Alex! First of all – thanks so so much for your kind words! I’m so glad you find this helpful. Of all the articles, I’ve written, this one gets by far the most response because so many people struggle with this. I also think it is so easy to give advice when you’re not emotionally involved. It is much harder when you are in the middle of a hard situation.

    I am so, so sorry that you are in this! And I can tell from your writing that you are a truly good person with a very kind heart. Also understand I am not a therapist, and I always recommend that path – especially when addiction issues are involved. That said, girlfriend, I about to tell you what I think! You may not realize it, but your alcoholic father has already impacted the choices you make in relationships. You may very likely pick men just like him, for many reasons. (Trying to save them, the treatment they dish out is familiar and therefore comfortable, etc.) Here’s what I want you to realize – it is very tragic that your father is in this situation, but it is a direct result of his drinking. A choice he made. The fact that he continues to drink tells me he chooses alcohol above all else – himself, your Mother, you. BUT you two are enabling him. I really think talking to a counselor would help you see the light and learn what to do. What I can tell you is to stop expecting your father to be any different. The longer you are in this, the lower your self-esteem will get, and the greatest danger is that you will lose yourself. No one can withstand the erratic, crazy behavior of an addict for long and not lose a bit of themselves. You think if you love enough, if you give enough, he’ll see what an amazing person you are. All he sees is the bottle.

    You’re giving your parents all this compassion, but it seems they don’t have any for you. And it is their job to love and care for you – a job which you now need to take over. Alex – someone needs to give you the compassion and love you deserve – and I can tell you – it seems unlikely that it will comes from your parents. You are looking for what you need and deserve in the one place you are not going to find it. I say – if he keeps choosing alcohol – you need to choose to walk away. As long as you keep engaging with him, it sends the message – it’s okay to treat me this way, I’m not going anywhere. I know it’s hard, but your distancing yourself from him might be the best thing for your father. He needs to stop drinking. And you deserve better. You can’t change him, but you can choose better for yourself. I wish you nothing but the best, Alex!!! You have a lot to give, you need to free yourself to find people who have a lot to give to you.

  165. deniseryan says:

    Jill, I don’t know how I missed this – so sorry for not responding sooner! Ah – dating someone at work is like dating someone at your gym – a great idea until things go south! His talking to co-workers is something I would try to let go of. But if you want to tell him it bothers you and he continues to do it, then you can choose to stop dating him. I might also suggest to everyone reading this – work and romance often don’t mix!

  166. Melissa says:

    Show it to your husband?? You might have missed the main point here.. the idea is to NOT try to change people. What do you intend by showing your husband? Haha. Just an observation

  167. tryingtofindzen says:

    This situation is SO close to what I am going through. Did things get better for you?? My boyfriends kids are older than what you described- but the hate that they show for me is overwhelming sometimes, and the pure selfishness they show towards their overly nice father, is just too much to take. (Fault of the kids for asking, fault of the father for having zero boundaries). The constant excuses that are made for them is gut wrenching (no-seriously, sometimes I get sick to my stomach at all the bad behavior). And I can absolutely honestly say that I have NEVER done anything wrong to them to deserve hateful behavior. So…. that leads me back to the beginning. Need to “let it go”. I think I will save this article and read over and over.

  168. Ranga says:

    Hey Denise,

    I felt very good after reading the article and finally the damn truth which you meant “somewhere there’s someone out there who thinks YOU need to change! Ha!” Thats well said. Whenever i feel let down i will definitely read your article. My situation is am surrounded by a huge crowd of friends yet feeling so lonely, whom i think are my closest friends does not even mind me. i mean my co-workers.

    Thanks alot once again,

    Ranga

  169. Alex says:

    Denise…many, many thanks for your kind and considered reply, I appreciate this so much. It has taken me a little while to process everything you said and let it land on me. A lot of it is very hard to accept, because you are absolutely right, I can see now that my relationship with my father, and mother for that matter, is what I have been repeating with EVERYBODY else for all of my life. I can’t believe it.

    Therapists have always asked about my relationship with my dad and I have been dismissive and annoyed with that question, and couldn’t possibly understand what bearing it had on anything. But it’s true!
    I’ve always been dismissed by my parents, belittled, overlooked, you could even say neglected, and I mean in terms of feelings and self, bullied when I have tried to assert my own feelings, brow-beaten, and anything else you can think of really. Dad was always quick to anger and dismissive of anything I felt and because he was my dad I let him get away with it FOR ALWAYS. Nothing has changed!
    And all my relationships are the same!
    For god’s sake!

    It is clear now why I feel like nothing, struggle with self-worth and cannot have a feeling of my own without great guilt attached.

    All of this I understand. Now what to do about it. Tricky. Very Tricky.

    Because I think I care more for their welfare than I do my own. I choose to reduce their suffering over my own. If I even think of my mother cold, or my father unhappy, it tears the heart from me, it causes me physical pain in my heart and it tears me apart to make a selfish decision for my own self.
    They are good people who have had hard lives themselves and by now are so pathetic, they know no better.
    If I walk away in any shape or form, it would be abandoning them to their pathos, themselves, and each other. Or maybe I overestimate my part in their lives, maybe they have been together for 50 years and though highly dysfunctional and often unhappy, have a method to their madness and a routine that holds them together. Maybe there are things even I don’t understand.

    As an aside, I moved back in with my dear parents a few months ago, because I am buying my first house and now we are all waiting for the Vendors (the people whose house I am buying) to find a house to buy so that they can move out and I can complete the mortgage – but they are taking their sweet time about finding a house to buy, and I am stuck living here with my parents like a 14 year old girl, in the same bedroom, doing the same things, having the same bloody arguments, and wondering why on earth the universe is doing this to me, making me wait in limbo with them and putting my world on hold. How to feel happy no matter what? How to feel what you want to feel no matter the circumstances, why is the universe not appearing to respond to my prayers every night! The universe is dragging out my time here and I do feel rather hard done by.
    Can you say what my task is here?
    Let’s say that all of life is training, well what would be mine here in this familiar place of arguments and control and unacceptable behaviour?

    Something like, learning to take myself seriously. In the past I had to do that by agitating for my own importance, it was drama, rebellion and conflict. But I’m a grown woman now, I shouldn’t have to challenge anyone to that degree about my own right to feel and choose.
    I think I’m getting somewhere – because if you believe in your own right, you wouldn’t argue with anyone about it, it wouldn’t make you that mad.

    Denise! How do you change a belief! How do I feel worthy when I don’t feel worthy.
    If you could give me your thoughts on that one, it all comes down to that, it really does.
    Do you feel worthy? I’m sure that you do, because going back to your original post, you have been able to find your boundaries and listen to your feelings.

  170. jayvien says:

    i understand 100%.. teachers and substitutes be pissing me off you know everybody has feelings!!!
    im just try not to get and take over me im try just to stay positive..

  171. CR says:

    Didn’t read the comments, but the post is great. Exactly what I felt like reading, thanks!

  172. Sruthi says:

    Awesome.. Now a days I am letting everyone’s behavior steal my joy. Life is too short for all this drama I like it.. Thank you for sharing the post.

  173. David says:

    i have been married 18 years, my moral compass has been violated by my wife who i have known since the age of eleven. i have lost everything and and yet i still cant let go, which i should have done many years ago..im heartbroken, im lost, alone and isolated from all that i am accustomed to and know. i know that i need to let go, but i feel so fiercely violated that im not sure this feeling will ever subside or leave me. I know what i should be doing by way of my emotions and where i now stand in regards to my circumstances and situation that has led to them, yet still i am compelled by negativity to put right these injustices…despite the good advice of friends and this blog and all the comprehensive sense extended to me..i cant let go? i am compelled to do seek justice, even if that means going to jail..i am lost to the concept of being the better person. i want to see someone i claim to love suffer, i want them to feel the aguish and loss that i have had to endure… i want to be as bad as she has been. yes i want better for myself but the struggle to achieve it is overpowered by revenge. What is your advice?

  174. Memh says:

    Sooner or later I won’t have to keep dealing with my roommate cause we will go out separate ways but I’m really trying to not let her pettiness bullshit effect me anymore. Sometimes I wish I was dumb so I didn’t know that she does shit on purpose. Its so bad that I literally roll my eyes anytime she walks in the room I’m in. We uncomfortably ignore each other (i did try at first) and I can’t wait until we can ignore each other comfortably but I really just gotta stop giving this witch power. Thanks for the advice

  175. deniseryan says:

    Hi Ranga! I’m so glad the article helps!! One thing I’ve come to learn about loneliness is that it can be a state of mind rather than an actual condition (meaning we get in our own heads and do it to ourselves). I bet if you reached out, a lot of your friends would be there for you. Sometimes other people just don’t know what we need – or if we need anything at all! Thanks for taking the time to comment! Best to you!

  176. deniseryan says:

    Oh Alex!! I am so sorry you are in this mess!! And I’m so glad you’ve talked with a therapist and I hope you’ll do so again. I think it would be great to have someone there to help you with this. And please know that no one has the answers for you, but you. You may indeed feel that staying there until the very end is the right thing to do and that walking away would be the worst choice you could make. Only you can decide. But what I hear is a woman with a big heart who seems to be giving a lot for very little in return. The problem with staying is that you will feel worse and worse over time – and they won’t feel any better! Have you seen any gratitude from them at all?

    You say you would be abandoning them to their suffering, but you would be leaving them to a situation they have created. They have had many. many years to make different choices including being kind and loving to you. Just be very clear about that.

    Ah – the Universe does indeed create circumstances, but it does nothing to us. We do everything to ourselves. Realizing that is the first step in developing good self-esteem. We can’t control much of what happens to us, but we can control what we do with it. Let’s take your current situation (which I hope has changed for the better since you wrote!). You could pressure the people whose house you are buying – it’s no fair what they are doing to you. You could see if you could temporarily move in with someone, anyone! 🙂 You could limit how much time you actually spend at home as much as possible. When you start thinking the Universe is doing things to you, you feel like a victim. You, my dear, are too smart to be anyone’s victim. Maybe standing up for your rights with the Vendors is training?

    You ask great questions, Alex! It is hard to change beliefs! I think in your case, it will come with the making of choices that put you first. Of learning, like I finally did – to walk away from people who cause you pain and towards people who bring you joy. Pain is a big sign from the Universe saying GET OUT, RUN AWAY! But until we learn to listen and keep trying to get love from those who will never give it (often don’t have it to give), we’ll never feel worthy. I’ve always had a great sense of worth in work – relationships took a little longer. But my work always reminded me of who I was. Finding something you can excel at or your deeply enjoy – it could be your work, a hobby or creative endeavor you love – gives you a strong base. Ultimately self worth comes from within. Setting goals for yourself and achieving them helps you realize you can control your destiny.

    You’re in a tough spot, Alex – the more time you spend with your parents, the harder it becomes to walk away because the more of yourself you lose. I hope you won’t sacrifice yourself – the world needs people like you. And you deserve the world. Hugs to you, my friend!!!

  177. deniseryan says:

    Ha, ha! Amen! And good luck!!!!

  178. deniseryan says:

    Thanks so much – so glad you liked it!

  179. deniseryan says:

    Yes it is!!!!!! Let those people go! Thanks for the comment!

  180. deniseryan says:

    Ah – David, David – your post is heartbreaking! And I do hope you talk with a professional – a therapist could see you and look into your eyes, I just have a keyboard. Clearly you have to get as far away from this situation as possible even if it’s just for a short time. You are so angry and hurt, you need distance.

    But since you asked for my advice, here’s what I have to offer. Right now your wife owns you. This person who has violated everything you believe in and broken your heart – she owns you. By focusing on getting justice/revenge, you are controlled by her. Is that what you want? To give her more power over you? I’m not talking about being the better person – it sounds like you already are the better person. I’m talking about just not giving a damn about her. Does she really deserve one more second of your time, attention, etc.? And if you were to go to jail – is she worth your freedom, your entire future? She’s worth none of this – stop giving it to her. My friend, letting go of her, getting her out of your head is the only answer here. She does not get to own you – stop letting her.

    Don’t you want to focus on your future instead? I’m telling you – the best revenge would be for you to free yourself from her. It sounds like your lives are intertwined (possibly in a very unhealthy way). Perhaps if you stop feeding the parasite it will wither. Go out there and live a fabulous great life – the hell with her!

    I’ll close with one more thought. If you make her suffer – do you not then become everything about her that you despise? Is she worth spending the rest of your days hating yourself? You deserve better than that. Walk away and never look back.

  181. deniseryan says:

    Ah – roommates – they can be the worst! I spent one semester in college in the library all day except to sleep because of one of my roommates. Thank goodness it’s for a short time – and I can tell you from the other side – you’ll barely remember it in no time. I don’t even remember my old roommate’s name! Hang in there!!! 🙂 This shall definitely pass.

  182. Sara says:

    My daughter (whom) I am very close to refuses to communicate to me. I am afraid of being to close each time when I think its safe to come out she hurts my feeling so bad my behavior is eratic.

  183. deniseryan says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that! Just know that it’s about her, not about you. Maybe just try to be there for her and give her space to come to you. Good luck!!!!

  184. Billy J says:

    In high school I have a small group if friends that I am only friends with so that during some lessons I am not alone because I dislike every one else in the class. Recently they have been really rude and have bben shunning me and my best friend. What should we do? I am afraid to tell a teacher or counsellor because I don’t want to be alone during class, this just suddenly happened and they are being really cruel. I want to resolve it myself without adult interference. I am worrying so much and don’t want to get teased. Please help!!

  185. Melissa says:

    This was just what I needed to hear. From now on I am going to work on myself for myself. I now realise that they dont deserve to see me upset or cause me so much pain.

  186. deniseryan says:

    Oh no – I’m so sorry this is happening to you – ugh!!! Thanks for your brave comment! I’m so glad you have your best friend!! I say – just blow them off. If they don’t upset you or get a rise out of you, I think they’ll stop. If you and your best friend are having a great time and ignoring them – they will lose all their power – and some of them may actually decide they’d rather be having fun with you all. (This is the same thing, I’d tell an adult btw.) You might also reconsider some of the other kids in your class. Maybe some of them aren’t so bad after all? I know this is easier said than done, but kids tease (and adults do the same) because they don’t feel that great about themselves – it really has very little to do with you. Try to find some cool new activity you and your bestie can get involved in – maybe you’ll met a whole new group. If these “friends” are shunning you – they really aren’t such great friends. Try to find your true tribe – they’re out there. Stay strong!!!!!

  187. deniseryan says:

    Amen, Melissa!!!! I’m so proud of you!!!! Thanks for sharing!

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