Is there someone that makes you feel intimidated or insecure? Do they seem to be in control of your feelings? It really doesn’t matter who that person is, if at all possible, we will naturally look for ways to limit our exposure intimidation and insecurity.
Does someone you know bring out these feelings in you? Think about it for a moment, how hard do you work at avoiding that person? Now ask yourself this simple question:
What is it about them that feels like intimidation?
There is always some core reason for such strong feelings. Do they belittle you, or embarrass you in front of others. Do they treat you like a child, or constantly try to put you in your place? Any of these situations can seem intimidating, and no sane person seeks out intimidation. Have you ever wondered what gives that scary person the emotional leverage to manipulate your feelings?
Why does it feel like they are able to take control of your feelings? Perhaps they are your employer or supervisor and it feels like they hold your career in the palm of their hand. That can certainly be a source of intimidation. Maybe they are just plain mean and confrontational and you are one of their favorite targets. That kind of mentality feeds on intimidation.
Where does their power to take control come from?
In a moment I am going to answer that question for you, but there is a good chance you won’t like what I am about to say. That’s because human nature being what it is, we have a tendency to make excuses.
When we don’t like something that’s happening to us, we want it to be someone else’s fault. It’s a built in avoidance technique that I am about to take issue with, but trust me, it’s not personal. OK, here it is. That scary person gets their power to jerk you around and take control from one source and one source only.
You allowed them to take control!
That’s right, you are the source. If you didn’t give it to them, they would be powerless. They simply cannot intimidate you or make you feel insecure without your permission. Now, I don’t expect you to just accept that without some explanation, so let’s drill down a bit and see if I can convince you.
The first thing we need to accept is this, we have the power to decide how we are going to feel about any situation. Feelings are an internal emotional response, that means they come from us not some external source. Nothing has any emotional value or meaning in our life except that which we assign it. We control what things mean to us.
We always get to decide who gets to take control
We decide if something has emotional significance or not. We chose whether to take it personally or just blow it off. It’s imperative that we realize, the moment we take something personally we become emotionally involved. That means that our ego, with all its issues, has been pulled into the equation and we are now vulnerable to external manipulation.
Emotional triggers can be used to take control of people in just about any area you can think of. Advertisers use them to stimulate impulse buying. Politicians use them to get your support. Movie makers use them to pull us into their story. And people who want to gain an emotional edge use them to get their own way.
But only if we play along and grant them control
If you decide not to play the game, then you don’t ever need to feel intimidated again. As soon as you choose not to grant permission to the would be source of intimidation, you render them powerless. It’s like letting all the air out of their tires. They can still rev up their engine, but they really can’t go anywhere.
Accepting full responsibility for your feelings is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself. It lets you take control and simplifies life enormously. No more blaming others for your feelings, or being manipulated some control freak’s efforts at intimidation. It eliminates a huge energy leak because we no longer waste time trying to formulate excuses or looking for somewhere to point the finger. We are liberated from all that nonsense.
Take control out for a trial spin
Try this little exercise for the next ten days and see how it makes you feel. Eliminate phrases from your vocabulary like “they made me feel so…” Instead, try saying “I chose to feel…” Allow yourself to get accustomed to the idea of being in control. Remind yourself that you can choose not to participate in someone else’s emotional game, and then stay out of it.
If you reserve your emotional involvement for worthwhile endeavors, your life will be a much more rewarding experience. Ten days from now you will have a new sense of freedom and control. You’ll be empowered and that person who once represented a scary source of intimidation will look completely different to you.
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Don’t be intimidated, go for it!
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