Others only have the power over you that you give them
You're so smart!
You're so good looking!
You're so talented!
Shouldn't we be embarrassed by these kinds of compliments? After all, innate qualities have nothing to do with us. We are the fortunate recipients of whatever brains, beauty, or abilities that DNA, environment, or the grace of heaven has blessed us. Unearned advantages should make us humble, not arrogant.
Similarly insults. If criticism is deserved, we should accept it graciously. If it's not, who cares what some insensitive lout thinks?
Of course, human ego has little concern for logic. That's why our egos are the source of so much strife.
Authentic self-esteem has nothing to do with what others tell us, but with the true quality that we honestly recognize within ourselves.
So let's concern ourselves less with what others say to us and more with what we say to others.
Compliment colleagues, employees, and children not for their abilities but for their effort and sincerity, for their concern and kindness and compassion, for their honesty and integrity.
Offer criticism in the right time and place, in the right tone and measure, with concern to help improve rather than to belittle or accuse.
In a culture that's increasingly caustic and antagonistic, we can contribute so much to the quality of our own lives by contributing to the lives of others.
Think before you speak. Notice and acknowledge the good. Give rebuke with tact and grace. And greet every person with a smile.
Cast your bread upon the waters, and it will return to you many times over.
Image by silviarita from Pixabay