No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent

No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent

In one of my recent posts “You Are The Average Of The Five” I committed a blunder. I took an old proverb book translated into my native language and wrote; he who lives with the cripples learns to limp. The implications go far beyond the intended meaning as I tried to convey that when you learn from others you also absorb their limitations.

The feedback I’ve received from Abigail, my editor, was far from expected. The message not only wasn’t accurate but potentially could be disruptive, demeaning and insulting to disabled people. Like somehow being around them wasn’t cool at all.

Taking Responsibility

First and foremost, I never aim to insult anybody as this never works. I mean, what is there to be gained? Nothing.

If you ever think or do something to make somebody look less of a human then you need to look inside of yourself. There must be some sense of insecurity, inferiority and unworthiness within you even if the insult of any kind only crossed your mind.

Secondly, how you say it is more important than what you say. Because no matter what your intentions are, how your message is being received is the whole purpose of interpersonal communication.

Thirdly, the words are just signals in a form of sound or noise. You are the one making internal representation and creating a meaning to it. Another word, you are responsible for what happens after you received a signal.

That includes how you interpret it, feel about it and respond to it.

communication skills

People can misbehave, abuse you verbally or simply be rude. They can have different opinions often disagreeing with you. They can push themselves into the queue or blow a huge cloud of smoke in your face while ruthlessly vaping outside the pub.

It can get much worse. These events can cause a disturbance to you and you should take action if you like. But most importantly you need to pay attention to your state of being.

I’m not saying that you should be disrespectful as others are responsible for their inner state so why should you care?

I’m saying that whatever happens, set your inner state the way you want it and then act as situations demands. If you won’t take responsibility for it you’ll continue to act compulsively.

When people are trying to abuse me or misuse their language I’ll be forgiving. Not because I’m afraid to take a stand, but because I know that words can hurt me only If I allow them to. It’s entirely up to me and what a liberation that is!

I’m also being forgiving of racism, sexism and any other -isms you can imagine. When someone is like that there are always one of two reasons for it.

First, they suffer and by sharing they want to feel better.

However, being forgiving doesn’t make me tolerant of abusive behaviour or verbal insults.

You Can Put The Bully To Sleep

By not feeling angry or inferior I’m stopping the disease from spreading and sending a clear signal to my conversationalist that this method isn’t working thus, I’m not reinforcing it.

Furthermore, I assume that such person has not been told about more effective methods of communication.

The methods that aren’t self-destructive and aim for mutual understanding and respect. Someone has to explain that to them, and that is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about communication. And that has led me to the fourth point: communication is a two-way process thus, two-way responsibility.


Do not give the privilege of manipulating your inner state to anyone. 

Martin May

Managing Director at Intelligent and Lazy Management Consulting. Coach, trainer, blogger. "How we say it is more important than what we say"

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