Consider the source

We all have been told, “You are a born loser”, “You are a failure” or “you are such a screw up and you will always be a screw up.”

These comments, like others, are very hurtful and potentially dangerous.  They can tear down your 3 self’s: self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect.   I know, because for years I allowed the negative words of others hurt me to a point that I felt as if my 3 self’s were on life support and about to die. 

As a young adult, I discovered the secret of not allowing the words or comments of others limit my three self’s and my life protentional by remembering something my dad said to me throughout my teenage years – consider the source.

Consider the source means that you should take a long hard look at the person who says something negative to determine how much you should believe what they are saying.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does this person have a reputation of being mean or hurtful towards you or others?  If you have witnessed on several occasions the person being mean or hurtful towards you or others, then the words he or she is saying now may not be very credible.
  • Do they have a personal vendetta against you? If the person has a grudge, feels that you have done them wrong and they want revenge.  You should take that into consideration when you decide if their feedback is valid.
  • Do they have an agenda?  Let’s say the person who is tearing you down is a co-worker, ask yourself would there be any possible benefit or gain for them by tearing you down (especially in front of others.)  If the answer is yes, then you can devalue their words.

When you ask yourself the above questions, be as objective as you can.

Answering those three questions often helped me feel better when someone attacked me, but rarely totally protected me from damage to my ego.

To future insulate me from permeant damage from verbal abusers, I came up with a simple rule:

“if one person thinks you are a jerk, the problem may be with that one person, If seven out of ten of your friends think you are a jerk, then it might be time to take a look at the man in your mirror.”That rule, along with always considering the source, has helped me limit the damage to my self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect when anyone said hurtful words to me.