Episode 17. Q&A – When you’re triggered by someone’s comments
In this episode, I’ll be answering a question from a listener. I’ll talk about how others’ opinions can impact us and how our own vulnerabilities affect our interpretations of others’ opinions.
Question: Other people don’t think I need to be where I am or have what I should. They say I’m spoiled by my husband, I don’t work hard enough, I have too much going on with the kids… blah blah blah. How do I get those people out of my head and quit believing that?
If you’re in this situation and people in your life have you questioning your worth, ask yourself these questions:
How do you know this? Has this person expressed these ideas verbally?
If people are saying things like this to you, hopefully you don’t have to keep them in your life. (I know sometimes these people might be part of your family and they are part of your life)
However, often people haven’t directly said these things, but you have made these interpretations based on the meaning you added to what they did say.
Is this a feeling you have when they say certain things or did they make these comments word for word?
If they really said this to you, you need to establish some boundaries and stand up for yourself.
However, sometimes we interpret someone’s comments based on our own insecurities. When people say things in a certain way, sometimes they come across as judgmental. We are often very sensitive because of our own insecurities. We hear something from someone who we respect and we interpret their message with our own meaning.
For example: Someone might say to you, “Wow, you sure have the kids in a lot of activities. I don’t know how you do it”. You might interpret this as “She thinks I have the kids in a lot of things. She thinks I’m crazy. She sees me falling short and not getting things done.” If you interpret the message this way, the truth might be that you do feel overwhelmed. You may have interpreted the message that way because you’ve been wondering if you do have the kids involved in too many things and you’re questioning if you have the boundaries to say no to your kids. The exact same message might be interpreted differently. You might interpret the message and think “Yeah, we do have our kids in a lot of activities. It’s really fun to watch the kids be involved in things they are so passionate about”. Same comment. Two very different thought patterns.
When we have vulnerabilities, we can be impacted by others’ comments based on the meaning we put on their words. We have complete control over the meaning we chose to receive from someone else’s words. We have control over how others’ comments “make” us feel. People can only make us feel a certain way if we allow them to.
Certain people will be able to push our buttons more than another would. Often it’s the people we value that affect us the most because we want their approval. We have a choice of how to perceive or interpret what has been said. We can add whatever meaning we want to what has been said. Often our values, beliefs and our insecurities are the filter for our perception.
How we feel on the inside affects how we interpret messages.
For example: If you don’t feel worthy of being treated well, you are more likely to attract people who don’t treat you well. If you don’t feel worthy of being treated well, you are likely to be more sensitive to people who make you feel less worthy. If the message that “your husband spoils you” is getting to you, it might stem from a feeling that you are unworthy. If you truly felt worthy, you’d be more likely to brush this comment off or laugh at it.
It has been my experience that the more we “own” what we have and where we are, the less the opinions of others reach us. They’re not on our radar because we’re not vibrating at that frequency. Once we take ownership of the energy we carry and become aware of what’s actually happening, the less problems we’ll have with things other people say.
Pay attention to your triggers. Instead of getting defensive, look within and ask: What does this say about me, that I’ve been affected by this? Is this an insecurity of my own? What can I do about that?
A lot of what people do and say is not about you. It’s about them.
When these situations arise, consider:
- What can I learn about they way I’m being triggered in this situation?
- Is this about me? About them?
- Am I adding meaning when I don’t need to?
Next, call it out. Acknowledge what is happening. Reaffirm I am worthy.
If you feel that someone thinks “you don’t work enough” ask yourself:
- Is this true?
- Do you actually feel like you’ve been slacking lately?
- If it’s not true, why does it bother you that they might think that?
Did they really think that or did your ego just make that up so you can do something with that intel?
- Is there growth you can receive from this information?
- Maybe you don’t work as much as them, but do you work enough for the lifestyle that you want to create and sustain for yourself? (You’re the one that matters here!)
These questions might help you recognize what is going on. Why do you care what they think?
Remind yourself that you have the choice of how you receive someone’s comments and tone. It’s all about how you hear things. Your history and relationship with someone might affect how you “hear them”. Healing your own insecurities is like putting shellac on something porous. You teach others how to treat you with the boundaries you put up. How you allow yourself to be treated affects what you allow in energetically. Work on self-love, knowing who you are and being able to stand up for what you believe in. Have a strong sense of your values and boundaries.
When you do get triggered: instead of putting the blame on them, look to see what it says about you. It might mean you have some work to do on yourself. You might need to work on taking your power back, establishing better boundaries or recognizing that you need to disconnect from someone. Remember, there are often opportunities for growth in these situations.