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· You make me feel stupid.
· When you treat me like a child, you make me feel inadequate.
Similar to the previous phrase, “You made me do it”, it simply reeks of helplessness, which isn’t an attractive way to present yourself. Yet, we all say this once in a while. Why?
Sometimes we FEEL helpless, or we feel that another person is in control of our emotional reactions. It’s not true, but it feels so, at least sometimes, and many of us haven’t learned that our emotions are OURS.
Understanding this is a huge step towards self-empowerment. We will all face challenging situations in our lives, at work, and in relationships, but HOW we react will determine whether we succeed, establish great relationships, and how we feel about ourselves.
Since nobody can MAKE you feel stupid, and since you can learn to not feel stupid in situations, it’s a good idea to take responsibility for your emotional reactions, recognize that you will be affected by, but not controlled by what other people do.
If you use this phrase type often, take a look at yourself in the mirror; Are you trying to avoid responsibility for your life? Do you really want to spend your life being pushed and pulled by life events?
Get rid of the “you make me…” phrase.
Make It Better:
Apart from self-reflection about your attitude towards taking responsibility and control of your life, you’ll find your relationships will function much better if you use phrases that reflect that you are an adult, and realize you have some control over your emotional state, even when it doesn’t feel so.
· When you criticize me, I feel stupid, and that makes me angry.
· I’m sensitive to negative comments, so I’d appreciate it if you would be gentle if you want to talk about something you don’t like.
· I know I have a problem when it comes to feeling stupid, and I’d appreciate it if you would tell me about the smart things I accomplish too.
· It’s easy for me to feel inadequate about trying new things, so perhaps you could hold off on any criticisms when I try a new thing?