Monday, February 24, 2014

When They Make You Feel Small

I had an experience last week where I had a conversation with someone who always comes across as very condescending.  I hate that just about more than anything. To be talked down to is not a nice place to be. And as the evening wore on, I found myself more and more furious at the situation, at the person.

As I thought about that, I sort of began to realize that I wasn't angry over the words that were said. I was angry over the way they were said. I was angry because the person made me feel small. They made me feel like they thought I was stupid. They made me feel like less than I am. Like I don't know what I want, or what's good for me.

I couldn't do anything about the other person. But, I could do something about me.

Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with the saying, 
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
If you don't let someone else's words matter to you, they lose their power over you. They lose their ability to control how you feel, how you see yourself.

So, I took a breath (after I vented at everyone I knew). I thought about all the things that I knew to be true. And I remembered who I was.

Suddenly, I didn't feel small anymore. I didn't feel less-than. I felt like me... in all the beautiful ways I get to be me.

And it was good.

2 comments:

  1. I take it that confrontation is not your style? Coming from the old lady here, when I feel someone is being like that I call their attention to the fact of how their words and the way they are speaking them make me feel. I used to react like you described here- but in a church seminar one year some time back I remember being told that it's up to me to speak up for myself- in a kind way- but speak up and let the other person know how their words are making me uncomfortable by saying " when you say (blank)... I feel (blank) ... Is that really what you mean or am I misunderstanding you?"
    It took me quite a while to get to the point where I could do it but it made a huge difference for me.

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    Replies
    1. I do see what you're saying... And I'm not necessarily against that in a relationship that matters to me. But, you're probably right, I'm not really much of a confronter. If I'm going to do it, it has to be with someone whose opinion of me matters to me, that the relationship itself is important to me... does that make sense?

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