Take your feelings back
Here's a thought: It's not true that people can hurt your feelings.
Let me explain.
We grow up to believe that feelings are something that other people can influence.
"Don't do that, it will hurt their feelings."
We give other people the power to make us feel good or bad:
- My boss was rude = I feel offended.
- My friend was a jerk = I feel angry.
- My partner was lazy = I feel annoyed.
But the truth is, our feelings come from how we think. And we are in charge of our own thoughts.
Yes, we have thoughts about what other people say and do. And those thoughts may cause us to feel hurt. But the important distinction is that they are OUR thoughts. They were not put there by another person. Just like we can't put thoughts or feelings into someone else, no matter how hard we might try.
This is good news.
Because once you realize that you are in charge of your thoughts, you can decide to think whatever you want. You can choose if you want to let someone else's words and actions influence how you feel.
Of course, this doesn't mean we don't have preferences. It doesn't mean we're a doormat. It doesn't mean we don't have hard conversations. It doesn't mean we don't teach our children to be kind, because being kind makes us feel good. But it means that we get to choose to show up in a different way. It means that we don't have to let other peoples' actions affect how we feel, if we don't want them to.
It's actually enormously freeing:
- We don't have to feel offended if we don't want to.
- We don't have to feel intimidated if we don't want to to.
- We don't have to feel annoyed if we don't want to to.
So take your power back. Pay attention to where you're reacting to peoples' words and actions and then choose if that's how you want to feel.