Elaine works with a someone whose husband is somber on Halloween. She explained he's somber because his birthday is on Halloween. Growing up, people paid more attention to Halloween than his birthday.

I tried to imagine this person. He might think that he lost a birthday because he had to share it with a holiday. He might examine his behavior, his somberness, and say to himself, "I feel this way because my birthday falls on Halloween".

But it isn't quite right, is it?

It's easy to imagine someone whose birthday is on Halloween who loves it. Every year, he and his friends went trick-or-treating together and he got extra candy. As an adult, he throws Halloween parties and goes all out. He might think to himself, "the reason I love my birthday is because it's the two best days in one".

Here we have two people who had the same thing happen to them, but they reacted completely differently. It's not really accurate for either of them to say, "the reason I feel this way is because my birthday is on Halloween". Actually, it's their response to Halloween-birthday. It's them.

It's not 100% accurate to say, "It's your fault you feel this way", because fault and blame have connotations. It's more accurate to say, "the reason you feel that way is because of you. It's you".

Adults who think "it's my parents fault I have this problem" aren't correct. You are more responsible for how you responded to the way you were raised and how you react to situations than you might think.

How much do you let things affect you? Do you let bad incidents wash over you or do you obsess over it?