Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 2.06.58 AMThere is a famous quote by Maya Angelou that says, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

While that is true, I’ve found that it goes one step further.

The negative interactions you had that gnaw at you still, that make your blood boil even years later, eat at you because you didn’t stop the other person when they were making you feel bad.

While you may be mad at the other person for saying or doing the thing they did, deep down the person you’re really mad at is yourself for not defending yourself from their attack.

And that’s why you replay in your head and can’t let go of certain negative interactions, because it feels like you have unfinished business.

The only issue is that often when you find yourself being attacked, your only response is often a gasp and silent shock because you were caught off guard.

The answer is not to live life with your heart closed, constantly in fear and defensive.

But rather, rehearse in your head what you’ll say the next time your head is spinning from a surprise assault.

Try to at least muster something like:

“Why would you say that?”

“Stop!”

“That’s really mean.”

“No, you’re wrong.”

“I don’t care what you say.”

And practice it with some forcefulness, so when you find yourself actually having to defend yourself, you won’t regret not standing up for yourself strongly enough.


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