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He Said, She Said

We all know that you cannot change someone else. You cannot make someone switch moods or behaviors without them choosing to do so. Each of us has choice – the choice to be however we wish to be. Somehow we’ve lost sight of this and find ourselves swept away in events and circumstances and believe that those things and the people around us have caused us to feel and react the way we do.

In this way we blame the world for our condition and give our power away.

What can happen and often does is that we may express to those around us that they have made us feel the way we do. In essence we’re telling them they have power over us and they may want this power and use it or they may feel overwhelmed by the responsibility now thrust upon them.


If you’ve ever been in a situation where someone (usually someone close to you) blames you for how they feel you know how this can spiral out of control into a “you said, I said” scenario. The accusations go back and forth like a tennis ball and the swipes of the racquet get stronger until someone flags and you break down into a heap of emotional exhaustion.

Own Your Power

How do we stop this cycle? How do we break this pattern?

Someone must take the first step and take back his/her own power. Someone must choose to recognize that no one else has power over how you feel and act but yourself. Once you have decided to be this new version of yourself you have taken a step toward maturity and self-responsibility.

  • Choose to not return accusations when they have been flung at you.
  • Recognize that blame and accusations come from immature, very young, hurt aspects of the self and that the person flinging insults and hurtful comments is in deep pain even if they are unaware of this.
  • This person must be met with the same compassion and caring you need for yourself.

Of course, this does not mean you subject yourself to abuse nor should you not protect yourself. Also, it does not excuse or explain away unfortunate behavior. As adults we are all ultimately responsible for our actions. If we allow a young hurt aspect of ourselves to ‘take over’ and ‘act out’ we must accept responsibility for the consequences.

In Your Maturity

It is important that as you have chosen to be in your adult self and no longer engage in the ‘tennis game’ you choose to no longer act from that child aspect. And in so doing you remain in a mature state of mind or Being seeing that the other is acting from a hurt, child aspect. No more would you strike out physically or verbally to a child should you do so to any other adult human who is being and acting from a very young piece of self within.

Stand your ground in your Highest Self and address the other with compassion, grace and love. This takes much practice and at first the other may be upset or confused by the new “rules of engagement” and may strike out harder. You may also find yourself still easily drawn into the old pattern of ‘you said, I said’. Simply recognize that this happened and next time you can choose again to hold your self in maturity. In time you will find the pattern no longer exists for you.


6 comments… add one
  • Reply Frrank Martens March 20, 2012, 9:01 pm

    So true about choice, and connecting to an aware space away from the heat of emotion.

    • Reply Mary M March 20, 2012, 9:38 pm

      Thank you Frank.

  • Reply Lesley March 21, 2012, 3:11 am

    Beautiful — so true, Mary — and coincidentally, I was just working hard at this dynamic the day before you posted the article.

    The last paragraph is a great way to end because it is particularly strong and resonates with my experiences and experiences others have shared with me.

    Thank you for your careful and caring sharing. This will be helpful to many!

    • Reply Mary M March 21, 2012, 11:42 am

      Thank you Lesley. Yes, shifting how we deal with difficult interactions certainly takes practice. I hope people will realize that if we don’t “get it right” the first time it’s still okay.

  • Reply Linny March 26, 2012, 1:27 pm

    Really needed to read this and kind of wish I would have read it before yesterday. I am every now and again verbally and energetically attacked by grown men who think they can say and behave in which ever way suits them but cannot take a small joke or innocent comment. I have always in the past given away my power and punished my self for their reactions. I think I handle this recent situation better then in the past but could have done so with even more class. This article will stay with me and I will do better next time. But still it sucks to always have to be the better person. I am not perfect either and it gets annoying having to watch everything you say as to not get an explosive reaction just because I express my own opinion. Much gratitude for this beautiful article.

    • Reply Mary M March 26, 2012, 1:56 pm

      Thank you Linny for you comments. Observing ourselves in our personal interactions is a great source for understanding ourselves better. The more we practise being in tune with what is really going on the easier it gets.

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