No one can make you feel inferior without your consent- Eleanor Roosevelt
This quote from Eleanore Roosevelt has always traveled with me. With a retrospective look at my life I try to truly understand the times I allowed someone to make me feel incompetent because of my own fears and my own dislike of my shortcomings.
Taking inventory of my life and my personal experiences, I understand I have been my biggest critic. The desire to be perfect allows room for many shortcomings and the obsession with achieving perfection becomes encompassing. If I were the character in a book, this would be my Achilles heel.
I admire those people in my life who are frequently able to detach themselves from others opinions. I have spent many years of my life reading others actions towards me. I wanted to know the deeper meaning behind every eye roll, shoulder shrug and stare. I needed to know and comprehend why someone smiled at me on Monday, but then later shook their head at me on Sunday. The fact is that sometimes there is no reason for disrespectful behavior other than you have encountered a disrespectful person and I do not have time to waste understanding where you first started becoming this person and omitting the fact that just because you have been hurt does not give you the right to hurt someone else. This is called control, and some people lack it.You cannot give others what you do not have and for this reason some people are not able to give mutual respect. Knowing this they search to control someone else, to obtain respect rather than to give it.
Currently sorting through my life, I’ve considered that there’s many people in life who are not happy with where they are, who they are as a person, and their own personal shortcomings. They have a misery loves company attitude, and they pass their negativity on to everyone they meet. I have encountered people that have made me believe their sole purpose or aim was to make me unhappy.
I spent much of my time trying to understand what I did to influence their behaviors and how I could turn the negative around, but I am currently learning that some people are just unhappy and they carry it around like a pet. Allowing their unhappiness to trail around them and snap at others who mean well.
I take this phrase by Eleanor Roosevelt to mean that no one can make me feel unhappy. No one can influence my thoughts and behaviors unless I allow them to. Responding to others with concern and care does not mean that I have to carry their emotions around, and I do not have to agree with them and allow their feelings to pour into my personal feelings and beliefs.
The fact of the matter is that some people don’t want to feeling incompetent, and so they pass those feelings along to others. People often mask this as self-respect, but if you are not able to take an honest inventory of your life and understand your own personal shortcomings you will forever pass them along to someone else. Most importantly you will never grow as a person if you cannot be honest with yourself about who you are and the areas for growth.
While my only goal in this life is to grow to be and do everything I am destined to. I have encountered my fair share of people that claim they care. They take on authoritative roles and consistently try to one-up-you and control you because they lack control within themselves.
After taking a introspective look at this dynamic and my own personal feelings I have found I do not want to make myself small to allow someone else to feel substantial. I used to pride myself in the ability to know how to do this, but this is no longer the person I want or need to be in my life. You can have an opinion on what and who you think I am as a person, but I will not allow myself to be swayed by your thoughts. I know who I am and I know my intentions are only to seek and obtain peace and understanding of my own life.
I am not incompetent, but I also cannot help you. Therefore I will hope and wish for you that in the future you learn to better help yourself.