We are conditioned to look outside of ourselves to evaluate ourselves and determine if what we did was acceptable. This of course does not work, because we are evaluating ourselves in terms of other people’s notions of us. These notions are ultimately based in terms of how they think we should be. This typically results in us feeling really poorly about ourselves. In order to dodge this bullet, we need to discipline ourselves to look to ourselves to evaluate ourselves. In other words, look inside instead of outside. And to do this we need standards to evaluate ourselves with. Call them your standards of excellence.
Once you have standards of excellence for yourself, all you
have to do when some has an issue with you is evaluate what you did or said in terms of your standards of excellence. If what you did falls short of your standards, then take responsibility for how it affected the other person and move on.
If however, what you did or said falls within your standards of excellence, let it be the other person’s issue. You can have compassion for it upsetting to them, but never lose sight of the fact that it is their issue. This keeps you clear of other people’s notions of how you should be which is quite liberating.
So perhaps it might serve you take some time to clarify your standards of excellence. Topics include: parenting, work, marriage, friendship, ethics, values, religion/spirituality, and personal integrity.
Or perhaps you are clear on these things and all you need to do is take a moment to evaluate what you did when someone takes issue with it. Then you can see yourself in terms on how you actually are.
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009, and my second book Natural Way of Being will published in 2019.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.