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I Can’t Make You Be Mad

51. I Can’t Make You Be Mad

Have you ever said to someone, “You make me SO mad!” Years ago I learned that that’s just not true. Because my reaction to someone else is my decision. I decide to react in a certain way and I can change that reaction whenever I want to.

The reverse is also true: I can’t make someone else mad. They make the decision to be angry.

Now I struggle with this but I do believe that it is true. And I believe that I can spare myself times of anger and frustration by assuming the responsibility for my reactions. Someone else doesn’t do it. I do.

And of course, I wrote a song that says it:

I can’t make you be mad,

You can’t make me be sad,

You don’t have the power,

I get to decide how I feel.

One day sittin’ at home I got so blue I said

It’s your fault I’m feeling this way,

You make me feel so low—Not true!

Atmosphere dark, the house full of stark depression

Will I join it, what else can I do

No power to act on my own—Not true!

You are responsible; I couldn’t help it

I was pulled; you made me feel that way

You’re responsible. I couldn’t do anything else—Not true!

I can’t make you be mad,

You can’t make me be sad,

You don’t have the power,

I get to decide how I feel.

© Copyright 1976 Ann Freeman Price

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