It’s All About You

It’s All About You

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to introduce the finale to the past two week’s newsletters: It’s all about you.

First a quick update:

“Shocking Celebrity Divorces”
I recently taped a TV show for VH1 analyzing  and offering insights into the causes and lessons from certain celebrity couples and their divorces.

“Make the Holidays Fun”
Listen to my tips on how to handle the Holiday stress and family with the radio interview I gave to Sally Jessy Raphael – Easing Holiday Stress

Now, let’s talk about you: it’s all about you.

Three weeks ago, I issued the newsletter: It’s not your fault, explaining that the way other people respond to you has nothing to do with you. In other words, no matter what you do, people will make their own choices about how they will respond or react to you based on their own programming, personality and subconscious beliefs. Last week, I expanded on that theme by encouraging you not to take things personally, and to not get attached to people’s responses to you. I said that when we become attached to everything that people say about us – good or bad, then we lose our power because we become their puppet and they determine how we will act, behave and feel each day and possibly, each moment.

Now, I would like to introduce the paradox: it’s all about you.

I am currently in NY taping a show for VH1 offering expert insights into celebrity divorces. Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger are one such couple. They divorced in 2002 after nine years of marriage. Five years later, in 2007, Alec Baldwin was criticized for a recording of an angry voicemail message to his 11 year-old daughter, Ireland in which he called her “a rude thoughtless, little pig” and her mother, Kim Basinger “a pain in the a..”

Subsequently, Kim Basinger accused him of severe anger issues but Baldwin told Dianne Sawyer that he has “the same anger issues that everyone else has”, saying that he went through the best form of anger management around – he got divorced. In other words, Baldwin was saying that his marriage to Basinger was responsible for his outbursts of anger and that divorcing her was the solution; that obviously wasn’t the answer as evidenced by the phone message five years after the divorce.

The point here is, that in the same way that other people are responsible for their response and reaction to us, so too, are we responsible for our response and reaction to them.

People can only trigger what is already within us.

I like to use the analogy of the orange. Have you ever noticed that no matter how you handle the orange – cut it, squeeze it, squash it or jump on it, the same things always come out – orange juice & pulp? Why? That is all that is inside the orange – juice & pulp. The juice maybe sweet or maybe it might be sour – but it’s always orange juice. You can’t squeeze an orange and hope to get out of it lemon, pineapple or grapefruit juice.

So why are we surprised when someone squeezes, pushes or tests us and we respond with anger or some other emotion? Why do we then blame them for our response? They are simply triggering the release of what is already inside of us. Kim Basinger might be “a nutcase” as Baldwin’s brother claims or she might be trying to turn Ireland against Baldwin to punish him as he claims, but all she did was trigger the anger that existed within Alec Baldwin. Either way, he cannot make her responsible for his choices and she cannot make him responsible for her mental state of mind or her treatment of their daughter.

It is also true that some people bring out the best in us while others bring out the worst, and therefore it is wise to avoid the people who will trigger your worst, but remember, he or she can only trigger what is already there. And the more you choose to release and eradicate those negative emotions, the less “worst” that there is for someone to trigger in you.

I recall that one girlfriend of mine used to drive me absolutely nuts and sometimes we would argue for hours into the night, but as much as she might have been controlling and manipulative, my response to her had nothing to do with her. She simply triggered my insecurities and fear of rejection. In fact, it took a while before I noticed that the night before every major TV appearance of mine, she and I would have a serious argument. Eventually, I realized that she was arguing because I was taking attention away from her (just as her dad, a performer did when she was a child.) For my part, I was creating anxiety and trying to sabotage my success; I wouldn’t be able to sleep that night and I would be an emotional wreck prior to the show, and if were to screw up, I could say, “see, it was your fault.”

Thus, it became apparent that her response was her stuff (her issues and fears) and my response was my stuff (my insecurities and subconscious belief of not being worthy of success.) In other words, it wasn’t my fault or hers for the way each one of us responded and it was up to each one of us to heal our own stuff and face the truth as we look in the mirror: “it’s all about you.”

I humbly hope that this Holiday season you might remember these principles as you gather with your family and friends and thus have a Happy Holiday.

Add your comments and questions to my Blog and read my past Success Newsletters, if you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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3 replies
  1. Avatar
    Christine Byrne says:

    Hi Patrick,

    ‘cbbb’ here! Wow – I just found you on-line. I lost track of you Gambia time period. I’ve been back in Tassy for about 13 years.

    I’ve wondered for years where you are. Congratulations on your success.

    If you’re not too busy e-mail me sometime.

    Best wishes,

    Christine Byrne.

  2. Avatar
    Patrick says:

    Dear Angela,

    you have raised such important and insightful questions:
    1. How much is enough before it’s time to cut off people who bring out the worst in us?
    2. Don’t we need people to bring out the worst in us so that we can evolve?
    2. If you teach cutting off people who bring out the worst in you, then isn’t it possible that people will also cut me off too quickly, thus not showing me compassion, patience or tolerance?

    I would like to answer these questions quite simply before elaborating.
    Balance is the key.

    Now, let me explain. Be it a family member or even a life partner; should that person bring out the worst in you to the extent that you cannot tolerate it or it is simply much too painful, then you must walk away or take a break. If a person is bringing out more bad than good in you, then you will not have the energy or capacity to heal and move through your stuff. You will be so weighed down by the pain of your own stuff that you might not be able to stand back and even notice that it is your stuff.

    I teach that you must always work on yourself but I also understand that in a relationship, we need support from our partner to get through it. For example, when both partners recognize the way that they affect each other, then it becomes easier to overcome your challenges as they arise. Thus, if you and your partner are fully aware of what each person’s stuff is, then you can work through it without projecting it back at them.

    With regards to the question “what is the appropriate amount of negative stuff you can tolerate and process?”, I would say that if all of your negative stuff is coming up for you at once, then it will be too much to tolerate and process. You cannot work through every issue you have all at the same time. If the other person is bringing out all of the very worst in you, then you will end up becoming self-destructive. If this is happening, you might need to consider whether you should be in a relationship with this person or in a relationship at all. I just completed taping a show with VH1 on 40 shocking celebrity divorces offer expertise and insight as a Human Behavior and Relationship Expert and I gave the example of Amy Winehouse and her husband Blake Fielder-Civil who simply continue to drag each other down further into the deep endless well of torment and self-destruction. They are bringing out the worst in each other but cannot help each other in any way whatsoever.

    Finally, there is also a difference between someone who triggers your stuff and someone who opens the wounds so wide that the pain overwhelms you and all of your energy is being spent trying to stay alive and make it through the day.

    Also, for all of the people who are so intent on growing and evolving, don’t get so caught up and obessed with trying to do it so fast, all at once, that you forget to enjoy life. Remember, my mantra: balance!

    All the best,

  3. Avatar
    Angela says:

    How do you know when you should avoid people who bring out the worst in you – especially when they are family or life partners? Sometimes having a relationship is meant to bring out “the worst in you” so you can recognise it and deal with it.
    When is too much of your bad stuff – too much? How do you monitor for yourself what is the appropriate amount of negative stuff you can tolerate and process?

    I’m all for avoiding people who bring me down. But when I care about someone – I hope they can handle my negative stuff. And I’m also looking for a way of loving where I can accept and reflect back to them their negative stuff without just projecting it back at them.

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