Karen M. Winkelman

The LifeCrafting Guide

Intuitive Consultant for Your Personal,
Professional and Creative Life

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"Life is a journey - enjoy the ride."
~ Anonymous

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by Karen M. Winkelman Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Group of people with the words: Who is the Matter with you?Yes you read this right

“WHO” not “What”

is the matter with you.

I bet you get asked the “What’s the matter with you?” a lot.

I know I did.

So much so when I was a teen that I thought it was part of my name or a title of sorts:


What’s the matter with you, Karen?

Can’t you ______________    (fill in the blank)

like _________  (your brother, sister, friend, everybody else in the Universe, etc.).

Are you _________ (crazy, stupid, doing this on purpose, looking for trouble, trying to hurt yourself, whatever…)?”

So today I’d like to turn the tables on the matter

and shift it from   What    to    Who.

"Who" makes a more sense in the scheme of things, identifies your power leaks, and gives you a better chance at resolving the true issue.


What or Who is the Matter with You

Is there a difference between them?  Absolutely!

When you are asked “What’s the matter with you?” You immediately go into “something is wrong with me mode.”

What’s the matter with you implies that something you did, thought or said, or the way you behaved was wrong in some way.

Other people or even one other person is judging you and your actions.

That starts you searching through your internal data banks trying to come up with an answer that will satisfy the person asking the question and justify your actions at the same time.

We hear this so much over the course of our lives that we start asking ourselves the same question: What is the matter with you?”

Sometimes daily. Sometimes incessantly.

It becomes a Mantra of Mistreatment when we think we are doing something wrong.

It can devolve into self-recrimination and self-punishment.

And it does a bang up job of reaffirming that there is something not right about who you are at your core.

And it is a lie.


On the other hand...

“Who is the Matter with You?”  

is a brilliant question to ask… because it shines a light on

where the problem or issue lies.

And most of your issues stem from your relationship with someone

or something.


Yep, the “WHO” could be anyone… friend, family, partner, spouse, pet, neighbor, boss, coworker, client, student, teacher, group of people, thing… or even you.

ceberg with text: The “What”   of situation is tip of iceberg. The who is what pushes your buttons


When you are having a moment or feeling down, angry or upset, the “What” of the situation is only the tip of the iceberg.

The “Who” of the situation is what is really pushing your buttons.


For example:

You may feel put out or angry and resentful because you were given extra work to do… or you agreed to take on more work than is humanly possible to do.

You are not really upset about the work or the heavy load you’re hauling.

You are simmering over the person who dumped it on you or made you feel guilty or irresponsible or unworthy or worse if you didn’t do it.

And, underneath this you are angry with yourself for agreeing to do it and giving your power away.

In this example,

the “what” is feeling overworked, overwhelmed and probably underappreciated and maybe a whole basket of other things too.

the “who” is the person who dumped it on you and the person who bowed under pressure and took it on for whatever reason.

And that, sweetness, is you.


The issue is the relationship between you and the work dumper, and all the feelings and emotions tied to it.

The likely culprits (although there could be others) are: fear, a need to please, a need to prove yourself, a self-esteem/self-value issue, and possibly guilt, shame, or a life-long victim story.

These are tied to beliefs about who you are as a person.

And, for the record, none of them are true.

They may be deduced from true events that happened in your life (or past lives), yet the judgement heaped upon you is the part that is untrue.

Just because you did something that someone else considered a “bad thing” or a “stupid thing” does not automatically make you a bad or stupid person.

Get this please.

It will save you countless years of heartache.


Some tools for you to work through the whole “Who is the Matter with You?” thing


#1: The Quick Fix

  • Pause and take 3 deep belly breaths
  • Put your hand on your heart and say

“All is well, even if evidence suggests otherwise.”

  • Take another deep breath and say

“I call on my guides and angels to help me find my peaceful center again and help me move through this with ease and grace.”

  • Take another deep breath and say

“I know that this is happening for my good even if I don’t really understand it now. I choose to receive the lesson with ease and grace. And I bless the situation and all involved, including me.”

  • Now that you are more present, you can choose a response rather than react, and make a decision on how to handle this going further.


#2: Unraveling the Matter by Digging Deeper

  1. Name your Who: identify the issue that upset you and the relationship (between you and another as well as between you and yourself)

  2. State the What’s

    • What did they do?

    • What is the story you tell yourself about why they did this?

    • What did you think of them as a result?

    • What did you wish you could do about it instead?

  3. Identify your How’s

    • How did this make you feel?

    • How did you react?

    • How did you judge yourself for feeling this way?

    • How did you justify or rationalize your feelings?

    • How did you turn it back on yourself ? (beat yourself up, think or say unkind things to yourself, etc.)

  4. Examine Your Beliefs & Expectations

    • What were or are your expectations in this relationship (what did you want that you didn’t get)?

    • Why do you think you set that expectation?

    • What do you want that person to think about you? Why?

    • Who does this person remind you of? Who else made you feel this way or said and did things like this to you?

    • What did/does that make you believe about yourself?

    • If you believe ____________ is true about you, how does this make you behave around others? What do you feel you have to do to gain their love, attention, affection, approval, or whatever else you think you need from them?

  5. Acknowledge and Forgive

    • Once you identify the operating belief or multiple beliefs that caused you to get triggered and react to the situation the way you did, simply acknowledge them. Write them down.

    • Look at these beliefs and honestly ask yourself “Is this true?”

    • If you get a “no”, then put a line through each and write Not True next to each one.

    • Put your hand on your heart and say: “ _________ (your name), I forgive you for believing this untruths about you. I forgive you for acting as if they were true. I choose now to let go of this belief. I forgive you, I love you and I bless you. And so it is.”(You may need to repeat this as often as necessary! Sometimes we stubbornly hold on to things.)

    • Now forgive the person or persons that are involved in mirroring this belief for you and treating you as if this belief were true. Forgive them and bless them.

  6. Bonus Round

    • Where did that belief, idea or judgment come from? Who did it originate with?

    • What was it trying to teach you?

    • Are you ready and willing to dissolve this belief? If you now know and believe it is not true, then substitute a positive statement to use whenever that old belief surfaces. It will dissolve as you no longer need it.

    • Forgive and bless everyone involved, including you.


Black & White rabbit with text: Follow the rabbit trail down to the core belief Next time you hear “What’s the matter with you?” switch it in your mind to “Who’s the matter with you?” and follow the rabbit trail down to the core belief that started the whole sucky shebang.

You can do this. You can shift this shit. I believe in you.

Now promise that you will be kind to yourself in the process, ok?!

with my love & blessings and gratitude,

Karen signature




PS. I'd love to hear your thoughts... you can share in the comments area below!

PPS. Please share my blog post and help me be of service to others… Thanks a bunch!

I invite you to connect with me on my Facebook page too!

If you would like some help getting beneath the story you tell yourself or letting go of what is no longer serving your highest good, I'd love to work with you if we're a fit... call me or email me or message me through my website.


Posted by Karen M. Winkelman on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 12:00 AM
Categories: Healing, Self-Care, Beliefs, Self-Awareness, Empowerment
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