It’s the negative comment that stick, aren’t they?
I’ll share an example with you. For years my mother has told me, and anyone else who cared to listen, that she had broad shoulders.
When I was a child I didn’t blink at the comment. I didn’t think twice about shoulders. I did understand that she was making a demeaning comment about herself.
When I started shopping for clothes my mother would comment on how she had to choose tops carefully because she had broad shoulders. Always, this observation was made in an off handed, self derogatory fashion, by rote. I was used to the comment and so it didn’t register. I lived away from home for a few years. Only after returning home did I actually heard my mother’s words.
I thought, “Why would she make that negative comment about herself?” Here’s the reason for my question: My mother is a smaller sized woman and in no way, shape or form has broad shoulders. Nope.
So, I asked her why she believes that fact about herself. She told me that a sales clerk made that observation to her 40 odd years ago….and my mother believed the clerk.
I measured my mother’s shoulders and we found out that she was in the middle of the average range. So, my mother internalized the causal comment of a clerk as a negative mark about her shoulders.
I don’t think this example is extraordinary at all. In fact, I think this is a very common condition.
What people say to others often reflects what is going on in their own lives, not really what they see in us. As Don Miguel Ruiz wrote in The Four Agreements, “…don’t take anything personally”.
Ruiz explains, “…if I see you on the street and I say, “hey, you are so stupid,”…it’s not about you, it’s about me. If you take it personally, then perhaps maybe you believe you are stupid. Maybe you think to yourself, “How does he know? Is he clairvoyant, or can everyone see how stupid I am?”
You take it personally because you agree with whatever is said….Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in.”.
So, using Ruiz’s ideas, that shoulder comment the sales clerk made to my mother had nothing to do with my mother. It had to do with the world the sales clerk lived in. It mattered because my mother let it in, she agreed with it.
Eleanor Roosevelt summed it up beautifully with the quote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”.
This is why Marisa Peer’s ideas are brilliant. Here is your 5 tips to deal with rejection:
1. Say, “Thank you for sharing.” Don’t let it in!
2. If the exchange continues say, Would you say that agin?”
At this point I would be walking away. But, maybe you are trapped in a ferris wheel or car…
3. If the exchange continues say, “Are you trying to make me feel bad about myself?”
4. Tell them, “You can think what you want but I am not going to let that in.”
5. Tell them, “Critical people have the most criticism for themselves. I’m sorry you feel that way about yourself.”
Use it – it works!
Focus on the good! Empower the positive! You are enough!