Giving back responsibilities for other people’s emotions

By February 21, 2020 July 1st, 2020 No Comments

Have you ever wondered about the phrase ‘you make me feel’?

It’s an expression that pops up wherever people talk about emotions. In one word: everywhere. When I, for example, went to lyrics(dot)com and typed in “you make me feel”, the website spat out 11,801 results. Allowing for multiple interpretations of the same song that’s still a pretty long list!

So does another person really have the power to make you feel anything? Or asked differently: Do you think you have the power to make another person feel something?

‘You make me feel’ is used in two different contexts, with positive and negative impact. Hearing that you ‘make’ someone happy is generally the reason for joy, but finding out that you ‘make’ someone angry almost never is, because it’s nice to be responsible for positive, but not negative feelings. Fact is, whenever somebody accuses you of being responsible for an emotion they feel, you initially create the same feeling in yourself. If it is a negative emotion, you may actually feel some shame or guilt for being the cause of distress.

The question is whether you have actually caused this distress. Yes, thanks to mirror neurons human beings have the ability to empathise with others and feel what someone else is feeling. But can you actually MAKE another person feel something they don’t want to feel?


I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments

Angela Heise

Angela Heise

Angela has spent her whole life dedicated to understanding the ‘why’ behind human behaviour, to then be able to help people improve their life and relationships by better understanding themselves and others.