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Who controls you?

Sometimes, we’re so focused on reacting to the disrespect that we receive from others that we don’t realise how we give up our self-respect in the process.

If we continue in reaction mode for long enough, we’ll find ourselves not only returning the favour by treating them the way that they treat us, but we’ll also find ourselves blaming them for our response.

That’s when we go beyond losing our self-respect and we begin losing ourselves completely.

Strangely though, we’re unlikely to do this with everyone.

We’ll often encounter total strangers or mere acquaintances who will treat us badly, but we’ll ignore them and continue focusing on what is important to us.

Therefore, the answer lies in how much significance we place in those relationships to which we lose ourselves.

The more significant that we want to be in their lives, the more we’ll convince ourselves about their significance in ours. That’s how we become emotionally invested in being treated with respect by them.

The less respect we receive, the more intense our emotional experience, resulting in us fighting fire with fire. In other words, giving them a taste of their own medicine.

That’s when respect becomes optional. When we convince ourselves that treating others the way that they treat us is in fact justice, when the truth is that it is returning their bitterness with our bitterness towards them.

That’s how we give up the good of who we are.

The greatest tragedy in all of this is that when we lose ourselves, we also lose sight of the struggles, or the low self-esteem that they’re experiencing which causes them to treat us badly.

Instead of breaking that cycle, we feed it, and in the process, harm ourselves as much as we believed they were harming us.

When respect becomes optional based on how we’re treated by others, we give them the power to define how we feel about ourselves.

To whom are you giving your power today?

#selfworth #selfawareness #ownyourlife #selfmastery #mindfulness #personalpower #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthrecovery #theegosystem #lifecoaching #zaidismail #loveyourself #lifegoals #motivation #optimism

Zaid Ismail

Author, life coach, and mental health activist. We need to change the narrative from disorders, illnesses, and survival to accountability, understanding, and thriving.

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