This happened to me not that long ago. Someone said some things, made me feel “less than,” not good enough, and generally as if I were in some way below her. I allowed myself to buy in, though. There’s the rub. I gave away my power. I shrank.
I responded as if this person had power over me in some way. I didn’t trust my intuition, the voice inside, which said, “Stand up tall…taller yet! Stand up for yourself. Summon your inner power.” Instead, I did the opposite.
People who make us feel small want to take away our power so we cave in to their desires, so we feel compelled to act and to think the way they want. The response, therefore, should be just the opposite: We should draw on our inner power and grow large. We should get big and strong!
Summoning Your Inner Power
As I know from experience, and you probably do, too, sometimes this is easier said than done. Yet, you can grow large when someone makes you feel small. You need only remember your own worth.
Recall that you have value, despite what they think. No matter what they have said or done, that feeling of being made small should spark a sense of righteousness—not anger. You don’t need to prove them wrong. Don’t come from a place of vindictiveness. Nor do you want to create a desire to become bigger than them. You simply want to behave in a manner that befits someone who is tall and powerful—self-assured, comfortable with who he or she is—rather than small and powerless (and this has nothing to do with your actual height). Behave in a way that would normally demand respect, even if they don’t choose to give it to you.
In this way, you take back your power, and you stand tall. You walk away from the situation feeling large, rather than small, because you didn’t behave like someone who is small. You didn’t cower. You didn’t act afraid or as if you could do nothing about the situation. You stood your ground, courageous and proud.
Don’t Allow Anyone to Make You Less Than
I realize that if you have self-confidence or self-esteem issues, this can seem like a difficult thing to do. However, when someone makes you feel small, you know in your gut they are wrong about you. That’s why you don’t like the feeling. It’s like your internal warning system goes off and tells you that something is amiss. So no matter what your mind tells you—no matter your false and limiting beliefs about yourself—this is the time to connect to your higher self and find that place within that knows you are okay just as you are.
Plus, no matter your beliefs about yourself, inner power comes from a knowing that no one can make you less than you are unless you allow them to do so. People can say and do all sorts of things, but how we feel about ourselves is a choice we make. You can choose to feel big or small, powerful or powerless, in any situation. When someone says something that makes you feel small or powerless, you have chosen to feel that way.
So when you start feeling small and powerless, consider that a trigger to grow larger and to draw on your inner power. Tell yourself that you are not less than the other person.
In fact, the sheer fact that they are trying to make you feel small says something about their character not yours. Most people who have a need to make others feel small actually have self-worth issues themselves. They make others feel small so they can feel large. They make others feel powerless so they can feel powerful. Remember that when you choose to reduce your size because of someone’s words or actions, and immediately choose to grow instead.
Bullies need to feel more powerful than others because of their own internal “not-good-enough” issues. They terrorize others and make them feel powerless to gain a sense of being large and powerful themselves. Inside they feel small and powerless most of the time.
Today I made a vow never to let anyone make me feel small again—not a stranger, a colleague, a friend, or a family member. When I start to feel myself shrinking (choosing to feel small), I will see this as a sign, and I’ll stand tall. I’ll reach inside and summon my power. And I’ll not allow myself to be bullied. I’ll take a stand for myself.
How about you? Leave me a comment below and tell me about how you deal with feeling small.