We were spending the weekend in the mountains with some friends and their infant son. We were waiting to be seated at a restaurant when this older man turned to my friend, looked at her baby in the car seat, and said, “You need to cover up your baby better, it’s a cold night.” My friend paused, looked at the man, and said “my baby is good, thanks.” He smirked and continued to say “Oh well, young people don’t know how to raise kids these days.”
We all just looked at him – speechless.
WTF! Did he really just say that to her? Who did he think he was?
We all brushed it off as we were seated at our table. Well, most of us brushed it off. My girlfriend could not let it go. I could see it in her expression. I could hear it in her shaky voice. The comment stung. She expressed how she was hard enough on herself – how she questions every little thing she does when it comes to taking care of her baby – she didn’t need a complete stranger commenting on her parenting.
We tried to help her shake it off. We reminded her she is a good mom, and that she should just let it go and not give his comments any of her energy.
Although, for my friend, it was much more difficult. His comments poked at the insecurities she was already feeling about being a new mom. To her, it felt like a personal attack.
It reminded me of how quickly we can give our power, and our energy away, even when that person is a complete stranger.
It is going to happen. There are going to be times when someone, not just a stranger is going to say something to you that stings. You are human. It’s okay. You may find yourself getting angry, annoyed, and uncomfortable. You may want to lash out at the person and it may feel good for a moment . . .
However, we cannot change what other people say or do. Our power lies in how we react to it. No one can make you feel a certain way.
In these situations, typically what is going on is, you are not loving yourself, you are not taking care of yourself – which causes you to look outside of yourself for validation and to start doubting yourself.
Next time you find yourself getting upset by someone’s comments or remarks, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Why am I allowing this person to make me feel this way?”
It’s a good time to check in on how you have or have not been taking care of yourself and loving yourself. Many times when you can catch yourself in the act of allowing someone else to change the way you feel – it can quickly shift your energy and snap you out of it.
For those times when you may need a little more help letting go of the comments talk it out with someone you trust, someone that really knows you. This will help shift and move the energy surrounding the situation. When you are feeling upset, hurt, or angry it causes your energy to become stagnant and heavy. Talking about how you are feeling, helps get your energy moving again.
Fortunately, after we all talked about it a little more, my girlfriend was able to let it go and we had a great evening.
“Other people’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” Les Brown