Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

dartsSome folks can be mean, especially if they think you’re an easy target. People may say things to make you feel bad when they’re angry, or don’t like you, or are jealous, or, aren’t happy with their own lives. Their words can be deflected and not allowed to hit their mark by putting them into perspective. Why listen to someone who throws what I call word darts? The stupidity factor can make folks speak without considering the impact or even think it’s in your best interest.

Word darts can come from people close to you, which can make them harder to field, especially if it’s from a parent. My client Olivia complained about how her parents made comments about her appearance for her whole life and how it hurt her. She knew they loved her and didn’t mean to be hurtful but they punched holes in her self-esteem with painful words—regularly suggesting she should diet, and more, under the guise of doing it for her good. I helped her to understand they spoke from ignorance, afraid if she didn’t improve, she wouldn’t find a guy to take care of her.

As Olivia accepted that what matters is her own self-image I encouraged her to ask her mom if she grasped how much her words hurt. Her mom was shocked and felt awful. She explained she was trying to help Olivia out of love and promised to stop. She still makes comments but now Olivia ignores them. When she heard her dad whisper to her sister that it was a shame she’d gained weight on vacation Olivia still winced, but it passed quickly. She’s in control now, not letting words get to her as much. When you do that it nurtures self-love.

Only you give someone else’s words validity. If you’re called stupid or fat, that doesn’t make you stupid or fat. Anyone can say anything. You make their words true, or not. Don’t accept someone else’s judgment! Words can NEVER harm you—unless you let them! Words don’t have to hurt unless you accept them as true. Your response to them is what matters. If someone’s words sting, consciously remind yourself that his or her view is unimportant and that you’re wonderful as you are. When you lament that someone made you feel bad about yourself—STOP. Think about it. Words only hurt you if you give them power by accepting them.

It’s your choice to shrug them off or let them under your skin. Make compliments much more important than negative comments. If something mean is said, compliment yourself. That’s self-love!

Join the Self-Love Movement™! Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Commitment“I commit to do my best to do something loving for myself, however big or small, for the first 31 days of 2014.” and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at Read my 2013 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE. Join the Self-Love Movement™! on Facebook.

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