Do you change the way you act around certain people?
Do you take to heart someone’s words so much that it impacts your mental well-being?
Or, you think a zillion times before taking a decision, worrying about what would people say?
Well, you are giving away your power to people if you tend to do this.  Giving away your power to people is the worst thing you could ever do to yourself. It tends to rob you of your strength, courage, and confidence in life. Letting another person govern your thoughts, feelings, and emotions impacts not only your mental health but also sucks away every ounce of happiness from your life. So, how to stop giving people power over you? Here is a list of 10 ways that will help you stop letting others affect you and your choices in life. So, let’s have a look!

1- Take responsibility for your emotions

One of the greatest flaws of human beings is that they never take responsibility for their emotions. We fail to understand that the feelings we experience are a product of our thinking and emotions. You might have heard your friend saying that her office colleague makes her feel bad. Or, her coworker drives her nuts with their toxicity. This thinking that the other person makes you angry, worried, frustrated, or agitated just sums the fact that they have power over you.

However, what we need to do to be able to stop giving people power is to start taking responsibility for our emotions. You need to understand that you can only get angry if you make yourself angry. But, if you remain positive when others bad mouth you then you won’t feel those negative emotions of anger. If a coworker makes you doubt yourself then this is because they know they can influence you with their tactics. As long as you are giving them that control, they will continue bullying you. But, the sooner you start taking responsibility for emotions the lesser control others have over you.

You may consider taking a few deep breaths before saying anything. Or, exiting the situation and taking a stroll out might also work in taking control of your emotions. Taking some out of the situation helps you find out what you do rather than just acting in the spur of the moment.

2- Establish Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries are certain limits that we establish to define the extent of any relationship. These relationships range from personal to professional. We need to establish healthy boundaries in a relationship so that we don’t end up feeling exploited, manipulated, or caged. The Resilience Centre highlights the importance of Healthy boundaries by considering them ‘an essential component of self-care.

You must set certain limits if you want to stop giving people power over you. Some people have the habit of taking advantage of others and if you don’t make your boundaries clear they will continue doing it. This only leaves you feeling exhausted and unfulfilled. You end up agreeing to things you never want to do. You end up feeling exploited, but who is to blame for all this? Are other people responsible for your inability to say no? Or, would they understand your boundaries without you even communicating them? Well, no one else is responsible for you. They are responsible for themselves and so are you.

You need to realize that every person has their motives. Some only know how to take from others without giving anything at all. Some like venting and complaining all day. Others have the habit of taking advantage of your money or your things. However, you need to speak up for yourself if you want to stop this exploitation. Stand up for yourself. Make your limits loud and clear. Say no unapologetically and never compromise on your boundaries at the expense of your integrity and your life.

Related; How to Deal with Arrogant People

3- You are not responsible for other people’s emotions

While it’s important for you to be cognizant of your actions and how they can affect others it is equally important for you to understand that you are not responsible for other people’s emotions. You can’t make everyone around you happy no matter how much you try. You can never compel everyone in the room to like you. There will always be someone unhappy with you. There will always be someone spreading hate and rumors about you. But, if you keep trying to please every person and make them like you’ll end up losing yourself.

So, remember that no matter how much you try to please anyone not everyone will like you. No matter how much you try to make them happy, they might not be as happy as you expect them to be. They will lash out at you for no reason even if it’s not your fault. If you keep blaming yourself for their anger, sadness, frustration, or resentment then you’ll end up living a very unsatisfactory life.

Related; 10 ways to build emotional maturity

4- Stand for your values

One of the most common traits of people who let others have power over them is that they don’t know who they are and what they stand for. They lack a clear vision of their life. When you lack clarity on your life you easily submit to other people’s opinions and directions. The first step to stop giving people power over you would be to identify your values. Have a clear picture of the morals that you want to construct your life around. Are you okay with people intruding in your personal life? Are you okay with dishonesty? Do you like taking up the initiative or do you hate risking things? Once you identify things you can tolerate and things that you can’t stand even once you’ll have a clear picture of yourself.

After you have identified your values, you won’t ever let other people dictate you or compel you to follow in their directions blindly. So, start with identifying your priorities first. See what matters the most to you. Is it the work? Or is it your family or practicing your faith? Perhaps you like learning skills rather than gossiping around with your colleagues after work. Stick to whatever you stand for and be proud of your values. Once you start keeping by your values you’ll feel an immense sense of strength within yourself that will eventually help you to stop giving people power over you.  

Related; 9 Tips to Say No Without Explaining Yourself

5- Stop seeking external validation

Do you do things for seeking approval? Or, you go out of your way to prove to people how competent and efficient you are? If this is you, then you are giving people power over you. You need to realize that everyone will have a different opinion of you. Some will consider you a loser while others will think you have it all on your plate. But the thing is that you should be independent of their opinions. Doing things to prove others wrong might give you an instant sense of empowerment. However, in the longer run, this attitude will make you struggle to reach your fullest potential.

While seeking external validation we often tend to do things that don’t even hold any value to us. This is because we don’t know we are enough. We have low self-esteem that pushes us constantly to seek the approval of others only to feel good about ourselves. This behavior instantly gives other people power over you because you start living for the approval of others.

But, you need to realize that if start living for external validation you would never be able to live your life on your terms. You need to work on your relationship with yourself. You need to change the tone of your voice with yourself. Most importantly, you need to change your thought pattern. Instead, of thinking, ‘let me prove them wrong’ or ‘they will be amazed at how competent I am’ start thinking ‘ I have to prove to myself that I can do it. 

So, start with changing the tone of your inner voice from discouraging to motivating. Remember that you are enough. You know what you are doing and why, and you don’t need to seek the approval of others.

6- Don’t complain or victim shame yourself

While complaining you might feel that you are trying to get to a solution but you are doing quite the opposite. It shifts your attention from problem-solving. Complaining not only eats up your time and energy but is also damaging for your brain. According to research by Stanford University complaining considerably reduces the size of our brain. It also destroys our immune system as during complaining your brain releases the flight or fight hormone called cortisol. This is the same hormone that is responsible for your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Frequent venting to your friends and family also shifts your thinking pattern from positive to negative as you start focusing more on the problem rather than finding a solution. This gives your brain a signal that the problem is more powerful than your capabilities. Therefore, complaining makes your brain assume that you are doomed to failure. You start having negative thoughts and you end up feeling hopeless about your situation. It is not only bad for you but also for your listeners.

When I see someone complaining I instantly arrive at two conclusions. Firstly, they have no control over their situation. Secondly, they have no control over their attitude as well. I have a special place in my heart for people who despite facing problems don’t complain about life. This attitude tells a lot about your mental strength. So, the next time you feel the itch to complain just think that complaining only eats your time and energy. It makes you feel tiny in front of your problems giving them power over you. These problems are often created by people so, would like to give them the power over you? Or, muster up the courage to find solutions to these problems?

7- Forgive and forget

You might not have very fond memories of your childhood. You still remember that mean child who would push you while playing. Or, you remember how rude your colleague had been to you while your presentation a month ago. You still can’t forget how they made you seem dumb and unintelligent. Are these negative feelings holding you back from fully enjoying your life? Do you hold onto grudges and plan on taking revenge? Well, holding on to bitter memories and grudges against people who might have wronged does not affect them but you. You might spend a good amount of time remembering those bitter times. But, what is the use of all this? Nothing, right!

Holding onto grudges only gives the people who have wronged you power over your life. Do you end spending a considerable amount of time on them? But, are they even worth it? To stop giving people power over you, you need to forget the bitter memories and mean people. Instead of letting your life revolve around the people who wronged you start by forgiving them. Life is too short and too precious to spend on people who do nothing but spread hate and negativity.  Are you going to go down the same drain and spill hate? Or, are you going to spend your time truly living and enjoying life?

Also, forgiving does not mean that what the other person did was right. Rather, it means that you have chosen to let things go and move ahead.  

Related; 7 Ways to Let Go of Things You Can’t Control

8- Avoid wasting time on unproductive thoughts

Have you ever wasted your entire evening thinking how awful your job is? Or, how much do you dislike being there? What was the result of spending 2, 3 hours of your remaining day on something that you cannot change now? Not until you find a good, decent job. So, why waste your time on something that doesn’t deserve any more time in your life?

Know that you always have a choice. Nothing is permanent here. Life moves on and everything changes. The people who give you a hard time at work might also change. Or, who knows might even get replaced? Even if nothing works you still have a choice to quit and find another job. But, wasting your precious moments of life on something that might get better or change altogether do no good to you. It makes your mind a slave of these mind-boggling thoughts. You become a prisoner of these unproductive thoughts and let them have power over you.

So, to stop giving people power over you, you need to get rid of unproductive thoughts. Instead of worrying about things that don’t deserve an extra minute of your time start cherishing your little moments. You’ll feel much empowered and stronger once you start nipping the unproductive thoughts in the bud.

Related; 8 Ways to Stop Taking Everything Personally

Conclusion;

In a world where you have to live with various relationships which are often not healthy you might end up giving people power over you. Doing things to seek the approval of others, complaining, compromising on your values, and not establishing healthy boundaries are just some of how you let other people have power over you. However, this submissive attitude only stops you from exhibiting your fullest potential. The sooner you realize this, the better your life will be. Start practicing these 8 life-saving tips and let me know how they helped you achieve a better life in the comments down below.

About the Author

Sara Khan

Sara Khan is a writer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. She aims to inspire and motivate people to live, love, and laugh wholeheartedly.

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