Did you know that the way people treat you is a statement about them, not about you? When we stop taking things personally, we boost our happiness, confidence and overall well-being. Let’s help you understand how people’s words, beliefs and actions are a direct mirror of how they truly feel about themselves. Let’s look at why and how to take your power back.
In psychology, we call this behavior ‘projection.’ That is, when a person unconsciously places unwanted feelings, motives or beliefs about the self onto another person. By doing this, the person is using a coping mechanism that deflects dealing with hidden emotions, instead putting the shame of them onto someone else.
An example of this can come from a person who knows (consciously or sub-consciously) that they are often deceitful with others. When threatened in a relationship – even mildly – this person might immediately assume that the other person is lying and then project accusations of deceit. The pot calling the kettle black. This, of course, prevents the projector from seizing the opportunity to recognize what is truly happening in their own psyche and grow from increased reflection and awareness.
This can be very painful for the innocent party on many levels, and I want to explain why.
So, there you are in the middle of a healthy disagreement, when you feel a shift in the energy. You realize you are being accused of being someone you are not. In fact, the accusation is the exact trait that you clearly see in the person pointing a finger at you.
If they are really masters at this tactic, they become mental magicians at trying to convince you that you are the unstable one. YOU are the one that needs help. In your gut, you are feeling sick and want to scream “No!” That is your true self trying to be heard.
You know the truth is being twisted, but it is likely that attempts to defend yourself are unsuccessful and even used against you. The stress hormone, cortisol starts coursing through your veins.
You feel adrenaline rise out of your gut, into your chest and onto your shoulders. This is your body’s chemical reaction to stress. Your sympathetic nervous system sends signals of danger throughout your body, commanding a release of substances to protect itself. These physical sensations create a mental reaction that makes you want to defend yourself, cueing an emotional reaction of internal disharmony.
On a deeper level, these internal signs are lining up with the soul part of you that is called to honor your truth. Your systems are reacting with fervor because your reality is being turned upside-down. You are being dishonored.
Your mind/body/spirit – through all of your body’s sensations - is trying to telling you that what is happening is completely out of alignment with who you truly are. The Human Self wants to defend your truth, the Higher Self wants to dismiss you from the experience, while the Emotional Self wants to find a way to feel better. I say, be purposeful and revere all parts of you.
To honor your whole being, create a space where you speak your truth, remove yourself from the negative experience and restore harmony in your body. You are not there to change the other person – because you cannot. You are not there to take on the negative beliefs of the other person – because they are not yours. You are there to remain a self-preserving, valuable human being, standing in your own truth and self-worth.
Do not return the pain by flipping the projection around, further engaging in the insanity. This only makes you just like them.
Speak your truth with an insult-free ‘I statement,’ avoiding the word ‘you’ as much as possible. For example, “I am an honest person. I know who I am, and what is being said about me here is incorrect.” This type of ‘I response’ diffuses confrontation because it is a statement about your own feelings, not an attack on the other person.
Calmly and respectfully remove yourself from the situation. By refusing to engage in the battle, you are not only diffusing emotion and taking the high road, but you are honoring yourself by not allowing the negativity to inform your self-worth. It is now up to them what they will do with themselves – not you.
Take deep breaths, inhaling in positive reminders of your true worth. Make internal statement that build you up from the heart, such as “I am proud of myself for keeping my boundaries and staying authentic. I refused to get into that negative cycle and I am changing things for me.” Stay grounded in the foundation of your own strength and truth.
Maintain power over your own self-worth. See yourself as resilient and covered in Teflon – with useless words sliding right off you. Refuse to give someone else the power over the way you define yourself. It is the positive light that is within you that is supposed to be in charge of that.
Now go shine brightly and show the world who you really are.