Posted in Social Work

“She Made Me Mad”: Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors

I found myself this past week challenging many of the adolescents that I work with on the idea of “Someone making them XYZ.”  This idea that someone can make you made, frustrated, sad, or happy can sometimes be challenging to understand, however the conversation and dialogues were very interesting. My agency uses SMART RECOVERY  tools as part of the treatment services that we provide so being able to manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is something we encourage our teens to do. As I was discussing this concept of things you can control and things you cannot control I found myself simplifying it into a few points.

  • No one can make you experience an emotion. You have a choice on allowing yourself to experience the emotion. Which goes back to managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.


  • You cannot control other peoples
    • Thoughts
    • Feelings
    • Behaviors


  • You can control your
    • Thoughts
    • Feelings
    • Behaviors


Can someone make you mad?  No

Can someone’s actions result in you allowing yourself to become mad? Yes

This concept is one that not only teens, but adults tend to struggle with. I would love to hear anyone else’s opinions on this topic.


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