“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

We often feel hurt by others. Or slighted. We may feel attacked, or put down.

I hate to tell you this, but we sometimes have a part in it.

Years ago someone said something very harsh to me, or at least it felt harsh at the time. In reality, it was a wakeup call I needed.

I was upset, I think even crying, about some situation and something someone had done to me. About how someone else was making me feel.

“There are no victims,” this person shared with me, “Only volunteers.” It sunk in. Basically, I think he was pointing out that if I wasn’t a child anymore (and I clearly wasn’t), then I had the choice of whether to stay in this painful situation, and I had a choice over whether I would let myself get dragged down by it.

“No one can make you feel anything,” I’ve told my kids. “You are in charge of your feelings.” I’ve found this to be true, especially when it comes to someone making me feel less than, or not good enough.

No one can put me down unless I choose to agree with it. Or perhaps they can choose to put me down, but I can choose whether or not it will affect me, whether or not I’ll believe what they said, and whether or not I’ll stick around for more.

It may sometimes feel like we don’t have the choice of whether or not to stick around. We may need the job with the boss who teases us, or the colleague who treats us as less than they are.

We may not have a choice about whether or not to leave the job, but we always have a choice about how much we let someone get to us. Years ago my coach offered me a great tool. It may be a bit hooey for some, but it really works. It’s a “bubble.”

Basically, we all have (or can have) a “bubble” around ourselves, and no one can come in our bubble – and affect us – unless we let them. My bubble can be as big and wide as I need it to be, in order to have the space and protection I crave. And when someone comes at my bubble, and slimes it, I can take out my (organic) cloth and cleaner and wipe my bubble down, so that I have a clear view of the world.

No one can make me feel anything, especially inferior, unless I let them. And I’m deciding not to let them anymore.

How do you keep your bubble clean?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.


For help in not letting others get to you, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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Photo Credit:Angela_Waye/Bigstock.com

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