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Leadership Thought #320 – People Only Make You Feel Small If You Let Them


We can’t control what other people say or do, but we can control how we respond to it.  It’s important to always remember that no one can make you feel anything; you choose to feel that way.  It’s amazing how a few unkind words or obvious negative body language can affect us.  I’ve seen fairly successful and confident people wilt under the glare of another person’s disapproval.  None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes, so only take constructive feedback to the degree that it helps you improve/grow as a person.  If the feedback being given isn’t constructive, then learn to simply block it out or ignore it.

I also believe it’s important to check the other person’s motivations.  There are some people out there who have an agenda that is less than pure and they try to bring others down because of their own jealousy or insecurities.  As a society we often do this to people who we initially crown as celebrities, once they’ve shown their own flaws and/or human frailties.  I’ve also heard it said that paradoxically we end up disliking those we hurt.   It is a constant reminder of how we failed another fellow human being.   Rather than seeking forgiveness, we choose to see only those things about them that justify our own bad/poor behavior in the first place.

It’s impossible to go through life and have every person you interact with like you.  There are just some connections that aren’t meant to be.  Sometimes we will even fall out with people we once held close, which is sad but not the end of the world.  Don’t fret or worry too much about this reality.  All you can do is be the best “you” that you can be.  When you miss-step or do something wrong, own it, apologize and move on.  When you need to seek forgiveness ask for it but also provide it in return.  Always model the behavior you would like to see in others even when it is difficult.

We control our thoughts.  Someone can only ever make you feel small if you let them.  Don’t get mired in the negative energy put out by other people.  It will only ever hold you back personally and/or professionally.  Pursue your life’s journey with passion, honesty, integrity, dignity, empathy, valor and love and then let the chips fall where they may.  When you stumble, pick yourself up and keep moving forward anyway.  If someone else wants to be an obstacle in your path toward happiness and enlightenment, then step around them or avoid them altogether. If someone is not being kind or helpful, then they are either being hurtful or providing no value whatsoever.  Why bother with them?

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5 Responses

  1. […] Leadership Thought #320 – People Only Make You Feel Small If You Let Them « Ed Robinson’s B…. Share this with others!EmailFacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedInRedditDiggStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. Wonderfully put. It is hard to live it all the time though.

  3. Reblogged this on An Oasis At Home and commented:
    Here’s a very well-written blog entry. My favorite quote from his blog is, “When you miss-step or do something wrong, own it, apologize and move on. When you need to seek forgiveness ask for it but also provide it in return. Always model the behavior you would like to see in others even when it is difficult.” I’m not sure I’d agree with his last statement in the blog entry (go read his blog), but I do understand that there are times when you need to move past someone who is unkind, or rather just let it slide off your shoulders and not respond in like manner. If you can do that without allowing your feelings to get in the way (consider the source of the trouble and dont’ take it seriously), you have maintained your power to do good in his/her life despite the lack of kindness. Perhaps your example will impact this person some day. But, I think that, if it is impacting your perspective, it is important to remove yourself from that situaiton until you can get a much better perspective. The thing that I really like about this blog entry is the emphasis on taking responsibility for yourself, your own actions and your own attitude, but choosing not to take on the responsibility for other people’s attitudes and actions as if they’re yours. Thanks for a great blog entry, Ed.

  4. […] People Only Make You Feel Small If You Let Them (https://edrobinson.wordpress.com) […]

  5. I agree. You mentioned one of my favorite mantras. You can’t control the actions of others, but you can control how you respond to them.

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