Yesterday, 31 Days of Personhood: Day 15: Self-Talk , we talked about improving our self-talk, our running monologue. Purposely switching our inner conversation to the more positive script that we hold in our minds right next to the negative one will pull up so easily. No, everything in your life will not get perfect, but you cannot improve it while wallowing in self-pity and self-deprecation. Can’t be done.
“No one can make you feel inferior
without your consent.”
We are an often discombobulated collection of message and experiences trying to make sense of our world. And, yes, it is our world on which we are focused.
I have shared the difficult relationship my mother and I had. And, like everyone else, my parental relationships has shaped a great deal of what and who I am. For her, good was never good enough. I can remember bringing home school paper after paper, report card after report card, which she would peruse and sign. Then she would say, “You can do better.” Sounds harmless enough, doesn’t it? But to an shy, introverted, bereft of confidence child, it was not harmless. I was stunned and defeated every time we did this dance.
But, I finally saw a light. It took me a couple years to figure out that she was going to say exactly the same thing every single time. It did not matter what the report card had on it. And, if I honestly looked at my reports, what she was saying was not true for the most part. It was a lie. Perhaps she thought of it as motivation. But it was never couched in any praise for what was done well. So it was defeating rather than encouraging.
That early spark of insight, along with someone else speaking a more positive message into my life gave me back all the power I needed to change my life and my world. Those words no longer did me harm. They lost their power and their hold over me. They had nothing to do with who I really was, nor my potential to be something different. They became part of a meaningless rite of passage to getting a signature. Nothing more, nothing less.
What do I want you to do?
There is some person in your life, and you cannot figure out why you hang around them. But you keep showing up. You keep hoping for the best.
Their energy is negative. Their talk is negative. All they ever seem to want to talk about is how bad someone or something is. They probably even be put you down. They are not bringing anything positive into your life, your mind or your fund of knowledge. And, you feel tired, burned out, drug down, sucked dry, or some other kind of weird sensation every time you spend a lot of time with them.
We can never control what others say, do or think. We hold responsibility for ourselves and our actions. See: 31 Days of Personhood: Day 13: Responsibility.
And, once again, it is time for conscious choosing.
We can choose to break off with them. Yes, often easier said than done; especially true for significant others and close friends. But, if this is the course you choose, take your time, make a plan, and exit gracefully. There is rarely need or benefit in burning bridges, or treating others poorly as an act of vengeance.
Or, we can choose to stay with them.But, if this is your choice, you must learn to establish and maintain some boundaries. Set some rules for your interactions – limit the time or venue, redirect the conversation, restrict what you internalize from interactions with them. You do not even have to share the rules with them. They are for you.
Preserve your power and your sanity.
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