Their problems are not your problem. I’ve struggled with grasping this. I constantly have to remind myself that the way people are behaving is not my responsibility. If they have issues that are affecting me, that doesn’t mean they’re my issues to solve, nor are they problems that I’ve necessarily caused. I have enough of my own troubles to face. If someone’s angry at me and I’ve done something to cause it, I should do my best to reconcile that and fix the situation. But if someone is unjustly angry with me, that’s their problem, not mine.
When I take on someone else’s issues as my own, it stresses me out and causes a lot of anxiety. When I spend time worrying about how I could be responsible for the way they treated me, I start to take on their issues as my own. It is not my fault. It is not my problem. The way they decide to abuse me is not a reflection of who I am as a person. The way they choose to treat me is not my responsibility. The way they act is not my fault.
Do you or have you felt similarly before? Do you take responsibility for other people’s actions? Do you assume that you deserve the abuse you’ve been given, because you think they wouldn’t act that way if you were just better? If you solved their problems? If you were perfect? It is not your problem. Do not just accept responsibility for something that is not your fault, therefore causing you unnecessary pain. Their problems are not your problem.
You also need to recognize that you are not responsible for solving people’s issues. If someone is physically sick, you can bring them soup and medicine to help, but you cannot cure whatever illness they have. If someone is unrepentant then of course you can pray for them. If someone is struggling with mental health issues that are affecting you, then you can recommend them to get help from a professional. You can do your best to make decisions that may benefit them, but you cannot heal them. You cannot just fix whatever mental illnesses they may have. It is not your responsibility. It is not your fault.
The way you treat others is your responsibility. The way you respond to situations is your responsibility. That’s enough to handle on its own, without adding unnecessary responsibility on top of that. The way people choose to treat you is not your fault. Again, there may be situations where you contribute to someone’s anger or sadness, so recognize that. But, for example, if someone is actively deciding to be angry at you without telling you and making you figure it out for yourself, that is not your problem. That is a communication issue that they have. If you mildly upset someone, then that’s your responsibility. But if they choose to react in a way that is out of proportion to what you did, then that is their responsibility. You may have done something to spark anger in them, but you did not cause the fire of their anger management issues that come out when you upset them. If you genuinely apologize and seek reconciliation but they still refuse to forgive you, then that is their responsibility. Recognize when you’ve done your part and where they’ve refused to do theirs. Do not take responsibility for something that they are supposed to do.
I don’t know if this is something you actually struggle with. This may seem like a simple concept to grasp for some of you, but it is common for those who have been abused to think it is their fault or that they need to fix themselves and the other person. If this is you, try to notice when you’re taking responsibility for others. Once you recognize it, then you can work on stopping it. Remind yourself that they are their own person. Remember that you are your own person with your own problems to face. Tell yourself you have your responsibilities and they have theirs. Set boundaries for where you, as a person, end and they begin. That boundary is also the boundary of where your responsibility ends and theirs begins. Their problems are not your problem.