Our Moral Compass: Reflection of Them vs. Reflection of You

“How others treat you is a reflection of them. How you react is a reflection of you.”

-Mel Robbins

We all have heard the classic saying “treat others how you would like to be treated.” In today’s quote American television host, author of the book The 5 Second Rule, and motivational speaker Mel Robbins provides us with one that along those same lines and is two fold: one that focuses on how what others say to us is a reflection of them and how we react to what is said is a reflection of us. The first part is and will always be something that is out of our control; however the second part is always something that is within our control.

Let’s face it: some people are just mean. They may be someone who is angry at the world and for whatever reason intentionally hurt others by saying or doing something that makes them feel better. Again this not ok but as the saying goes: they made their bed and now they have to lie in it.

Now we have some decisions to make on how we react to what has been said or done to us. For many, our first reaction may be to retaliate and react by saying or doing something back to that other person. It may for a brief moment may make us feel better, but that feeling would subside quickly for most leaving us with a deep pit of regret for how we lost our cool. When we do this we are no better than that other person. We have lost self control or that self management piece of Social Emotional Learning. This can have a negative chain reaction to our social awareness, relationship and responsible decision making skills.

The more proactive reaction to someone who we feel is mistreating us could be for us to respond back in a respectful manner expressing how we do not appreciate or condone being spoken to that way and essentially telling them how you should be treated. We can still stand up for ourselves without resorting to or retaliating with negative words or actions towards them. We are better than this. It likes Kenny Rogers’ song The Gambler which focuses around a card came and its message about life is knowing when to hold them (the cards of life) and when to fold them; when to walk away and when to run. We have to respond in that same manner when dealing with those who are unkind to us. If the other person continues to be disrespectful after your peaceful attempt this would be the time to just walk away and not to lower yourself to their level. There is no shame in doing this and you are actually rising above their, in my view, cowardly act.

When we learn to better control our thoughts and emotions we will be better for it. By no means is this easy and even at 45 years old it is something that I work on every day. I make mistakes. You will make mistakes. We are humans, not robots. I think if more people focused on controlling themselves better then there would be less conflict in the world and it is my hope that we do a much better job as a society in this area.

What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards managing yourself better?

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