Written by Doctor G

Who do you need to be ok?

Hi! need

How are you?

Do me a favor and think about your answer to that question.

Specifically, think about the process you go through to authentically answer that question. When deciding how you are, do you think about your schedule? Do you think about how you slept or if you’ve had a chance to do things that bring you joy? Do you take a moment to feel how you actually are at that moment, mind and body and soul?

Or do you think about other people?

I’m on a trip, learning with a couple hundred incredible women (and a couple dozen great guys) and I hear so many conversations that start with “How are you?” The answers range, but the second sentence, the explanation or elaboration sentence, almost never talks about the person who was asked the question. That person instead, explains how they are by talking about their kid, or their partner at home, or their boss or the state of the world. All of those loves and roles and hopes are incredibly important, for sure. However…

What if how you are was actually just about you?

It’s incredible that you’re connected to others, that you feel love towards and meaning with and even responsibility for the wellbeing of others. But having your state of existence depend on someone (anyone) else’s feelings is a pretty big risk for you and fairly large burden on them.

There is a saying that I’ve always hated: “You can only be as happy as you least happy child.” We have tons of empathy for our kids and it’s so easy to feel their feelings as much (or even more) than they do. But that puts them in a tough spot and you as well.

Let me ask this another way. Do you have a person in your life who, when something is really hard for you, you hesitate to tell them because you know that it may be even more upsetting or frustrating to them? That’s what I’m talking about.

When my kids were little I used to say to them “Your feelings are YOURS. Your behaviors are mine.” And that was a good lesson: they could express any feelings to me that they had without me trying to correct or fix it – but they had to learn how to control their behaviors no matter what they were feeling. This has stood all of us in good stead, but it turns out this was a big lesson for me also. It took years and years of parenting for me to learn this lesson. Their feelings are THEIRS. Not mine.

It is possible to be ok even when your people aren’t. need

It takes effort and focus. And you will be healthier for it.

So, how are you?

All the best, need

Dr. G

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A widely recognized media personality, Dr. G is your go-to expert on resilience. Countless broadcast outlets rely on her contagious humor and illuminating stories to tackle tough topics. She is regularly seen on TV, as well as interviewed for print and digital outlets. Here, she’s answering your questions. Search for the answers you need, or ask her your question now!
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