Protect Your Power

Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.
– Seneca

Dr. Beverly NelsonSome people have a way of ‘pushing our buttons’. It’s inevitable to run into this kind of situation once in a while. While we can’t do anything to prevent this, we do have a choice in how to handle ourselves in these scenarios.

The easy road is, of course, to react defensively. This can take many shapes: the use of certain words; the elevation of our tone; etc. If we decide to take this road, we usually end up feeling tired, weary – and empty. The conflict will still be there, perhaps even bigger than it was before; and we are left to pick up the pieces. Depending on the context in which the confrontation took place, you may end up losing a lot more than just your temper.

The hardest road, as usual, is also the best: exercise patience and self-control. You cannot always make the other person see your point, and maybe they will never agree with you; but if you listen to what they have to say, and offer points of view rather than defensive lines, you may have a chance for a successful and mutually advantageous interaction. Sometimes taking a pause is good, because everybody gets a chance to breathe and choose their words and reactions more carefully. If the other person attacks you, just thank them for their time and walk away; and ask to talk to them at another time.

No conquest is more arduous and valuable than that of our own tempers. Owning your power means knowing that nothing others say or do will take it away from you – unless you allow them to do so.

How do you own your power? I would be very interested in hearing from you at docbeverly@aol.com.

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