“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”I had to look twice at the person who stated this because I was sure that it was from “Dr. Phil”, but it was written by Eleanor Roosevelt, in ‘This is My Story’, 1932.
I’m sure in the context of Mrs. Roosevelt’s writing these words have deeper meaning than the mere buzzwords that they have become in the 21st century. This quote and self-esteem, or the lack of it, are often paired together. There is nothing wrong with saying, “she made me feel…”; “what he did, made me feel…” People’s actions and behaviours do influence how we feel. Are we giving them consent to make us feel this way? I really don’t think so. Self esteem is directly affected by other people, situations, childhood experiences, and especially for us women, hormones.
“People, things and situations can make you feel inferior without your consent; however, it is when you continue to agree with this assessment by giving it mental assent then your own "self" becomes an inner critic that results in lowered self-esteem.”A bit of a mouthful at first but let’s take a closer look. There are many things in life that we have little control over, including our initial reactions. It is in the processing, and in the working through, of different situations that we begin to see how our own self defeating thoughts have tripped us up. By agreeing with our “inner critic” with thoughts like “I’m just no good”, “I knew I couldn’t do it”, “I’m just so stupid”, we become architects of our own misery.