Dorothy Johnson

Drop Your Manual

Dorothy Johnson
Drop Your Manual

Did you know....


We each hold a manual for the other people in our lives?


This manual can be pretty thick for some and pretty light for others. My mind was blown when I started reading the pages I had subconsciously written for those around me when I was made aware of this concept.

Here are some of the lines in my manual for those close to me:

  • He should let me know when he has plans doing anything outside of our relationship.

  • When he is doing something without me he should let me know he’s ok every hour.

  • She should write me a thank you note.

  • She should listen to me as long as I listened to her for.

  • She/He should support me.

  • You can’t break up with someone and date another person 1 month later.

  • He/She should tell me they love me.

  • She shouldn’t lock the door when she knows I’m on my way home.

  • He should do the dishes when I ask him to do the dishes.

  • He should take the garbage out before he leaves for work.

  • He should buy me something special and meaningful on my birthday.

  • She should text me back.

  • He/She should know I would never do something like that.

  • He should clean the bathroom exactly like I do.

  • He should clean the house as often as I do.

  • He should have less stuff.

  • He should be more organized.

  • He should take care of the things he says he’ll do.


This can go on and on and on. We have them for our friends, family, significant others. Most of the time we don’t even give these manuals to those we love to read through. They don’t even know what our manuals are ….


Yet we still expect them to 1) follow our manual 2) never mess up.


How is this fair? We are all humans, having the human experience. We are living out exactly who we should be, living for our lives, not another person. How could we expect another human being to live out their life while also following all the rules in your manual and anyone else’s manual they love?


It just doesn’t happen.

And when it doesn’t happen we often make it mean something. We make it mean:

  • He/she doesn’t love me.

  • He/she isn’t a good friend.

  • They don’t care about me.

  • They don’t support me.

  • They aren’t a decent human being.


And when we make it mean something that causes us to think thoughts like that we tend to create negative emotion in our life. Why?


We can’t control other people, trust me I’ve tried. But you know what? Isn’t it amazing that we don’t have to control other people?! Think of how exhausting that truly would be.


Why not just drop your manual.

Throw it out the window. Let your loved ones be who they are meant to be. Let them live out their human experience while you live out yours and just be there loving them unconditionally no matter what?


Oh you didn’t take out the garbage, no worries, I got it! No worries, he can do it when he gets home.

Choose to feel love towards them instead of making it mean something so heavy.


Your friend didn’t show up to your birthday, no worries, you had a fab time anyways and just missed her being there.

You love her so much and hope she can make the next one. No biggy.


Just drop it. Drop the manual. Let that heavy thing down from your shoulders and just love.


And honestly, do you really want someone doing something they don’t want to do just to be sure they are following your manual?


Drop all expectations except that they be there for you to love.

Now, go, go live your human experience, just know, I love you no matter what your human experience looks like.

Check out The Manual worksheet on the resources page to figure out what your manual is.


With love and positive vibes,

Dorothy