No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – Eleanor Roosevelt

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt

It is really easy to blame our feelings on the people around us. How often have you put your foul mood down to what your colleagues said over lunch, or attributed a sleepless night to an argument you had with your partner? As surprising as it might sound, none of it is completely their fault. Don’t get us wrong – we are not trying to downplay the psychological impact of the things others often say and do to make us feel small and inferior. What we are rather trying to stress here is the choice you have to stop them from doing so.

We often worry so much about being accepted that we are willing to pay a high price for that approval. Sometimes we are aware of this, but mostly we aren’t. In such cases, it generally takes an event – often a damaging one – for us to realize what we have been doing wrong all along.

It all actually comes down to what you let people do. No, this is not about silencing all your critics or having heated debates with anyone who is mean to you. This is more about our perception – words hurt us because we let them; people ruin our day with their comments because we let them. Only you have the power to allow someone to make you feel inferior, and only you can strip them of that right. Given the time we spend mulling over what others think and say about us, you can not only save yourself the trouble of going through a lot of anxiety, but also probably invest that time in something more productive.

The former First Lady of the United States, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, was quite well-known for her views on respecting oneself as much as, if not more than, one respects others. She once said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”