Nathaniel Branden wrote in The Psychology of Self-Esteem: “There is no value judgement more important to man, no factor more decisive in his psychological development and motivation – than the estimate he passes on himself.”
This certainly isn’t a new idea. Many people have expressed this sentiment in many ways.
I’ve been told “Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t ask advice from” a lot on the writing forums.
One of the most quoted is this gem from former US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt:
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Yet it’s still a concept that many of us fail to grasp. I’ve been in rather toxic work environments where negativity and often-baseless criticisms are the norm, and I am not proud to say I let it get to me all the time.
It should not bother me, but it just does. I’m human, and humans draw both strength and weakness from their emotions. And so, I get affected by the numerous shallow nitpickings.
But why should I? While I’m not the world’s foremost expert in social media marketing, I’m still the most experienced and researched in this field when it comes to my workplace. The complaints and criticisms come from people whose experience in the matter is limited to having a personal Instagram account.
So maybe Eleanor Roosevelt’s wisdom isn’t working for me. It’s a nice succinct quote and all, but maybe I need someone that had a greater emotional impact on my phone early childhood and formative years.
I need Jennifer Connelly in the movie Labyrinth, patron saint of the misunderstood (and my first childhood crush). I need her, standing defiantly against the mighty David Bowie in the Labyrinth, declaring with no uncertainty in her voice: “You have no power over me.”
So no, I’m not going to feel bad today. You don’t get to do that to me, because you’re nobody. You’re not even the Goblin King.