I’m currently reading, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin. The chapter that speaks the loudest to me is “They Don’t Give Their Power Away.”
She tells the story of a woman who struggles with her overbearing mother-in-law who makes daily unannounced visits & undermines her authority by encouraging her grandchildren to eat sweets after dinner. The woman spends most of her time complaining to her friends about her mother-in-law and fights with her husband about his mother’s intrusiveness.
When she’s not with her mother-in-law, she spends 90% of her time thinking about her & getting angry about her behavior. She allows her to live rent free in her mind without taking any steps to mend the issue & change the way she’s responding to unacceptable behavior.
This got me thinking about my own life & the ways that I give my power away or don’t speak up when something doesn’t feel right for me. I have a tendency to let people or situations that bother me to fester in my mind for a long time. If I’m not thinking about the problem, I can complain to others & get myself worked up over something that’s technically in the past & no longer existent.
Then I thought about the number of times I give my power away in other forms of behavior - through overanalyzing a comment or criticism I received, worrying what others think of me, assuming how others perceive me, & placing my worth in someone else’s hands.
By doing this, I’m allowing other people to regulate my emotions & dictate how I’ll experience myself & my life. Although I’m aware of this, I can still worry about how others perceive me. It’s admittedly something I struggle with often - especially when I’m very public about my emotions & perspectives.
Some of the best tips I received from Morin’s book regarding giving your power away to others:
Set healthy emotional & physical boundaries with people.
Behave proactively by making conscious choices about how you’ll respond to others.
Take full responsibility for how you choose to spend your time & energy.
Be willing to examine feedback & criticism without jumping to conclusions.
What tips do you have for maintaining your power and not giving it away to others? Let me know in the comments!