I’m Diana Swillinger, and this is the Renew Your Mind podcast. Episode Number 13 – When People Are Right About You.
DIANA: Hey. Hey. How y’all doing? I am doing pretty well. I spent time with a friend this weekend, much needed after months of being away from people because of Coronavirus. We got together, just the two of us. We hunkered down in a cabin and just laughed and cooked and had a really, really amazing time. I loved it. I feel recharged. I also feel like I’m getting an F this week, and for me, an F stands for figuring it out. So that’s cool. Actually, the F is a good thing. I’m always learning these days and always trying to figure it out. And there’s so many things in the world happening that have helped me to check in with my own thoughts and beliefs. So I’ve been contemplating a lot of things, and last week, we contemplated about sometimes people being wrong about us.
This week, I’ve been thinking about the times people are right about me, because it’s both. Before I launch into this topic, though, I promised I would read some reviews. I didn’t do that last week, so I want to get you reviewed. This week, people leave reviews for the Renewal Mine podcast and itunes, and I’m so grateful, because what it does is it makes the podcast pop up in the search feed more so more people can find it. And if they do find it and read the reviews, what you say gives them, um, an idea of what they might be able to expect. It’s a part of helping spread the Renew Your Mind movement.
So here’s the review from Heart Happy. H-A-R-T happy. Heart Happy says, “I loved your podcast about processing emotions. So many pearls in there. The highlights for me were leaving more room at the table for positive emotions, recognizing that our emotions are a gift from God, and taking time to honor and process these feelings. I’m already looking forward to the next podcast.” Thank you. That’s awesome. Thanks so much. Heart Happy. Sounds like a lot of good gems from the Processing Emotions episode. I like that one.
Okay, on to today’s topic, when people are right about you. So real quick to give some perspective and some contrast, last week we talked about when people are wrong about you, the recap. Well, let me just give a, uh, different example. I gave examples last week, but here’s a quick example. I had a boss that thought I was lying to her. And the truth was I was being as open and honest as I could. She was wrong about me. She thought I was out and out lying and I wasn’t. I had options then. I could think I was a victim of her and I could feel offended, betrayed, resentful and judgmental.
Or I could think I’m a terrible person. Even when people are wrong about us, sometimes we just take it on and we feel the shame and embarrassment and adequacy or we doubt ourselves or an emotionally healthy option is I could think about it in a way that would allow me to feel compassion and humility and confidence. And this is possible. We don’t even need to get into the thoughts right now.
Go back and listen to the last episode if you want more ideas. But showing up and feeling compassion, humility and confidence is possible when we already feel secure and valued just because we know we inherently are, because we were created by God and we’re worthy and there’s nothing we can do about it. And when we really grasp that, believe that, and don’t rely on other people to fulfill that need, then we get to feel secure and we get to show up with compassion and humility and confidence no matter what people think about us.
So this week we’re going to kind of look at the flip side of that. I don’t know if it’s an exact flip side, but it kind of sounds like, uh it if we look at it in simple terms. Last week we talked about when people are wrong about you. This week we’ll talk about when people are right. I’m not talking about when other people are right about how amazing you are. Because for most of us, that’s not a problem. I know some of us might feel a little bashful, one more complimented, or maybe feel unworthy of praise. But most of us do want other people to be right about the good things about us. So that’s not really a problem. What we’ll talk about today is when people are right about something about you that you might think is a deficiency or you wish wasn’t true, or it could be considered negative or it just it’s one of those things that’s a little harder to hear, but you think, you know what? Maybe they’re right.
I’m going to do my best to explain this and give an example because I’m not talking about when other people say things and criticize us and we just take it on and we’re like, oh, they’re right. I’m a terrible person. I’m talking about trying to do this in a balanced and healthy way. So let me just give kind of a benign example. Sometimes it doesn’t seem so benign if you ask my husband. But in my marriage, I tend to interrupt. And I admit it, I do that. I used to defend it all the time. But sometimes when I’m talking with my husband. He’s telling me a story, finishes a sentence, and takes a breath, and before the next sentence starts, I squeeze right in and I start talking.
Maybe I’m trying to fill in the blanks and get to the end of the story faster. Maybe I’m asking a question because I don’t understand what he’s saying yet, or it makes me think of something else, and I bring up a related topic. Or I just don’t want to forget to tell him, hey, get milk on the way home tomorrow. And it popped in my head, and I think interrupting is okay. I squeeze in, I start talking. Boom. Um, I interrupted. And my husband says, Diana, I wasn’t finished talking. Then I usually say oops. I’m sorry. Go on. And I really wish he would. But then what he says is, diana, when you interrupt me, it makes me feel like you aren’t patient enough for me to finish what I’m saying, or you don’t care what I’m saying, or I’m not important enough for you to listen to. That’s what I’m talking about.
When people are right about us, sometimes I did interrupt him, and that infringed on his communication with me. I could go all sorts of ways with this. Just like when people are wrong about us, it’s actually kind of the same things. I could think I’m the victim here. I was just trying to understand, or I was just trying to help, or I was just trying to speed the story up a little. I’m innocent. I had good intentions. And then I could feel offended or resentful or judgmental. I’ve done that. I could also think I’m a terrible person for interrupting and feel ashamed or embarrassed. I’ve done that too. Or I could think about it in a way that allows me to feel compassion, humility, confidence. It’s the same things I was talking about last week, about when people are wrong about us. It’s the same when people are actually right about us. But it’s possible to show up when someone says, hey, this thing you did kind of made me feel this way, and I didn’t like it. If we want to show up with compassion and humility and confidence, this is possible.
When we are already feeling secure and valued and not relying on other people to fulfill that need, isn’t that cool? It’s the same solution. When I can feel confident that I’m worthy and valuable, and I can look at my husband and be confident that he is worthy and valuable, I m don’t have to bash myself for interrupting him, and I don’t have to judge him for pointing it out, and I don’t have to shame myself. I can just own my part. Even if my intentions were good, I stepped on his toes a little bit when I interrupted him, and I do want him to feel valued and important. And when I interrupted him, he didn’t. When I stop and slow it down and look at how it happened and understand where he’s coming from. I’m feeling compassion, and I’m secure because I’m valued. So I can be fine with him pointing out something I can work on because it does not touch my worth or my value. It’s just a way I get to grow.
On, um, last week’s podcast, I gave an example of a friend who I thought was wrong about me. And she was. She was wrong about me in several ways, and I could see that in what she was saying to me. And the ways she communicated to me left me to process rejection and grief, and that was all appropriate. But I also processed how she was right about me in some ways. She thought I was arrogant. I didn’t think so. But when I pick it apart, I noticed that I thought I was communicating better than her. I thought I was showing up better than her. So her saying that I was arrogant really had some truth to it. I believed it then. I still see now that was true then. When I’m willing to accept that truth, I get to look at myself and I get to take advantage of the opportunity to grow in my character and become a better person.
Sometimes other people do tell us things about us that are true, but we just think they’re wrong about us because we don’t want to admit that there’s something we can work on, or maybe we just don’t see it. So here’s a skill I love, and I encourage you all to give this one a try. When someone else says something about you, instead of just thinking they’re wrong, you can ask yourself what part of what they’re saying is true. You know what I think about this? If when other people pointed out something in us that they thought we could do better no matter what we thought of it on its face, if we would stop and consider it and ask ourselves what part of what they’re saying is true, that could make a big difference in our relationships and how we relate to other people on the planet. It’s possible that humility and being willing to ask ourselves introspective questions like, this is exactly what we need in the world today.
Sometimes we’re so busy trying to figure out how we’re right, we neglect to work on figuring out how other people are right about us or about whatever they’re trying to communicate or about whatever their opinions are. I imagine that I’ll be mentioning multiple people on this podcast that I’ve learned from in my journey. But one of the teachers I’ve learned from the most is Dr. Rick Marks. So I noticed. I keep mentioning him, but that’s okay. He has always encouraged his clients and me and my husband to be teachable. That’s possible when we are humble and when we have compassion. When you listen to anything someone else has to say, about you from a place of being teachable and humble. There’s really no risk in letting the other person share their perspectives and finding what they might be right about and see how you can improve.
I recently asked someone that I met on Instagram because I’m going to be supporting her and her husband. They have a racial reconciliation ministry that they already decided when the year started. They’d already been planning this. And then the recent racial tensions came up in our country and they’re more committed than ever to go out and do the work. But I asked her for just a little insight. She’s white and her husband’s black. And, uh, I just needed some help understanding my thoughts on the racial tensions. And I didn’t go very deep with her. But she just posed one thing to me. She said, if you’re not willing to speak up, it’s possible that you’re a part of the problem. And my first reaction was, no way. I’m not a part of the problem. I’m not racist. But I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks just milling over what she said because there’s some truth to it and I’m still working on it. But I’m willing to not be offended. I’m willing to consider that I might be a part of the problem. And I’m willing to look at how I can grow in my character and improve and show up better and bring more love and compassion and empathy and goodness to the world. And I want to show up this way with all the people in my life. I want to be able to listen and be able to let people be right about me, even if it makes me uncomfortable sometimes. It’s not always easy.
Sometimes we have unprocessed emotions of inadequacy or fear or self doubt and a lot of stuff like that. So sometimes when people say things, it can press on those emotions. But if we’re willing to process those emotions, we’re going to be more free to show up better for other people. If we’re willing to examine what we’re thinking and feeling and clean up what’s messed up in there, we don’t have to show up as defensive bad listeners. That’s not useful. What if we could show up confident in who we are and our own value? What if we showed up confident in who other people are and their value, and then we showed up with humility and a teachable spirit? What if we showed up with listening ears and love and compassion?
Other people get to have their voice, and we can just show up in love and accept them. And we can look at every conversation we have, everything we hear, everything other people tell us, even about ourselves, as an opportunity to look inward and see where we can get better and where we can grow. Sometimes people are wrong about us, but sometimes they’re right. And neither way is a problem. Both ways are part of the beautiful way. We just do our best to live our imperfect lives, interact together. And you know what? Let’s all get enough. Come get enough for me. F stands for figuring it out. Let’s figure it out. We got this. I’ll catch you next week. Take care.
As an advanced certified life coach, I help Christian women trying to live their best lives, but they still feel unsatisfied and stuck. I teach thought management skills that work so you can enjoy life again and step into who God has created you to be. Don’t forget to head on over to Rympodcast.com to get my free resources or a free coaching call.