An Emotional Bill of Rights

Emotional Bill of Rights- Here are some personal rights that I am trying to remind myself of on a daily basis.  These are rights that we all have.  I am writing them in the first person so I can remind myself.  You’re welcome to read them outloud and see if they resonate with you.  These are more like personal invitations and exercises.  They are goals that I am striving for now, and not behaviors that I always exhibit.  I can give myself compassion that it may take a little while before I act this way some or most of the time.  There may be some repetitiveness, but I find it therapeutic!  Let me know what you think!  

I am not responsible for other people’s emotions and for making others feel better. 

Others’ emotions are just their emotions.   Emotions don’t equal blame.  

Just because I am very aware of others emotions doesn’t mean I’m responsible for “fixing them”.

Real freedom is letting others feel their own emotions.  Adults can handle their own emotions.

Other people’s emotions are not my fault. 

I am an adult now.  I can handle others being upset with me.  

I don’t need to get love and approval from others. I don’t need to get love and approval from my parents anymore.  Interpersonal connections are great, but I need to learn to be my own best friend first.  I have the capacity to meet my own unmet needs.

I can let others feel what they need to feel.  This frees me.  I can handle it.

Anger does not equal blame or criticism.  

I can’t make others happy.  They are responsible for their own happiness and emotions. 

I am responsible for my own emotions.  I can handle the emotions of others triggering something in me.  I’m only responsible for my own emotions.

I don’t have to change others to be ok.  I am safe now.  I am ok now. I can handle things myself now .  I can soothe the little kid in me.  I don’t need others’ approval.  I am not a victim to circumstance.

I am responsible for my own life.  

Others’ emotions do not equal blame.  

My emotions are ok to express. Others’ reactions are their responsibility.

To be free I must let others experience their own true emotions.  I must let them feel and say what they need to say.  Their opinion is not the truth.  It’s just their opinion.  Since all opinions matter, I will listen and be open to the opinions of others.  

No one can take away my truth or their truth.. Both our truths are true for us.  

I can handle others disapproval.  I am an adult now.  

I am my own judge of my values.  Others get to choose their own values. 

My needs matter.  I can take care of my needs first.  I am responsible to myself first.  

It’s my right to express anger and sadness and fear. 
I can express my emotions.

Nothing is wrong with the depth of my emotions. 

I can express my emotions even if others have a hard time with them.  Others are responsible for their own emotions.  

I must let my parents, siblings, relatives, friends, acquaintances, and fellow humans be themselves.  I can’t change them.  Maybe I wouldn’t want to change them.

I value authenticity vs feeling good all the time.

Others can’t make me feel guilt or shame.  I am an adult now.  I get to choose my values.  If guilt or shame come up in me, I can look at these emotions compassionately and discern the appropriate response.  

Others dont need me to feel a certain way to be happy.  They are responsible for their own emotions.  I don’t need others to be happy with me..

No one can suppress my feelings or emotions.  If people don’t empathize and validate what I say that might not feel good, but at least I expressed myself.

I don’t need everyone and every interaction to meet my needs to be seen and understood.  I can start to pay attention to the connections that meet those needs and the ones that don’t.  

I can cultivate a connection to myself that goes a long way towards meeting those needs. 

I am entitled to my own feelings, opinions and emotions.  My feelings, emotions, and opinions don’t negate the value of what another person has to say.  Others feelings, emotions and opinions don’t negate my feelings and opinions.

Two people can have differing opinions and feelings about the same topic and that’s ok.  I can tolerate that.

I can tolerate another person misunderstanding what I am saying or feeling and I can tolerate another person blaming me for something that I did not do or say.  I can tolerate another person not taking responsibility for their own emotions and blaming them on me. 

I can’t tell someone how they are feeling and they can’t tell me how I am feeling.  

I can trust that if I stay grounded and on my own side of the fence, that I can respond appropriately to whatever comes up in any given interaction.  

I trust that we are all doing the best we can and that human connection is messy and none of us are skillful at it all the time, and that’s perfectly ok!

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