I have always considered myself to be someone who is highly sensitive and caring.  I guess, I felt everything so deeply and easily got affected by things happening around me. I realised that left me sad on most occasions. Long phases of such low moods led me towards depression as well.

There was a time when I would take my near and dear ones’ moods quite personally. To put it simply, if someone was not happy (quiet/ angry/ sulking/detached), I would wonder if I had done or said something wrong or mean. This happened mostly with my husband who was almost always irritable and stressed due to losses in business or any other professional matters. Trying to make an attempt to cheer up his mood, I would end up worsening it furthermore.

Mostly, I would think of ways to make up for any perceived hurt caused from my side. Almost always I put my happiness at stake, to make my people happy or normalise a situation. I would simply take full onus of their mood and consider it my onerous duty to somehow alleviate that mood. I thought it’s the responsibility of every good human being. Especially in family situations I went too far in my efforts.

In the process, I often worsened the situation in hand. I hurt myself even more in the process. I felt no-one understood me the way I was. I thought people took me for granted, used me and left me when their emotional needs were met. I felt drained emotionally and mentally. All this was leading me more and more towards self-pity and low confidence in dealing with personal matters.

I had no help from family or friends to come out of the frame of mind I had gotten myself into.

Until I started working on myself one day. I derived strength from my kids. I had to become emotionally stronger for them.

Now, I am a lot more practical and wiser. In a situation not involving me directly,  I go back in my mind to determine if I have said or done anything that may have caused the mood in the other person and if the answer is ‘no’; I simply withdraw and relax. I don’t bother much to correct anything about the situation in hand. I leave it to the other person to figure it out and may be, settle down with the situation or circumstances. I step in when I’m asked for advice or help.

Different people have different ways of dealing with their situations. If I would expect people to walk up to me and talk to me whenever I’m low, I stopped assuming that the same would work with another person in a similar situation. Getting rid of this assumption was basically the first step taken.

I know now that others’ mood is not my responsibility. And they are entitled to all their moods just as I am entitled to mine. And I know that the utmost prerogative in my life is my inner peace and happiness. I can make others happy only once I’m happy with myself.

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