Need a little more R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

28 Sep 2010, by michelle in self-care, Stress

One reader wrote in the following:

Hello, Michelle:

(My letter must remain anonymous.)

My problem is I feel I am controlled and “bullied” by so many people in my life. I feel as if I do what my spouse wants, my close friends, etc., b/c of the way they co erce me into doing things for them. I have wondered if I misinterpret their assertiveness as bullying…but it feels like I am forced to do what they want, or they are angry with me.

Some examples: if I don’t spend our house money on what my husband would like, then he doesn’t speak to me for days. If I don’t pick up my friend’s children when she needs a favor, then she won’t call me until I call her. If I don’t drive to see my friend 7 hours away, then she’ll tell me I never have time for her, and will be curt with me the next time I do call her.

The list goes on and on…all this giving from me, and it feels like I never get.

What is this? Is everyone ‘s life full of people like this???

Thank you.


respectDear A.,

You are absolutely correct, you are being controlled.  Yet, to have someone control you, they have something you need.  That is how control works.  What you need is their approval and acceptance of you.  Because you need this from others, you give your power away in relationships.  You give your power away because you are deeply tied to how others react to you.

It is common to turn to others to get approval and acceptance when you don’t give it to yourself.  The fact that you are being mistreated by close people in your life is a wake-up call.  You see, every time you dismiss your needs in a relationship, you further distance yourself from your Spirit/Authentic Self/Essence.  The more distant you are from your Essence, the more you need to rely on others to validate you.

I can tell this distance already exists because you are not tapping into your feelings, rather your focus is on other people’s feelings toward you.  (Notice in the letter above you don’t share how you feel, just others). To regain your connection to your Spirit, you need to remember to F.E.E.L.: Feel Every Emotion as Love rather than feel.

When you “feel” from the emotional stone-ages, you are going to feel angry, sad and frustrated that others are treating you this way.  You are going to feel like the victim and feel powerless.  You cry, mope, whine, maybe even act passive-aggressive at times because your ego is telling you that there is nothing you can do.  It is the other person’s fault they are so mean, disrespectful, inconsiderate etc…

When you F.E.E.L., you still feel anger, sadness and frustration yet you realize those feelings are present to serve and support you to grow in order that you can create a fulfilling life that you deserve.

  • Your frustration is present for you to recognize that how you are going about handling your relationships is no longer working.  Maybe it used to work for you in the short-term to feel validated by others by doing whatever they want but you are to painfully aware of how this is limiting you now.  It is time to take different action.
  • Your sadness is present to support you to get clear about what that action should be. In your case, your Essence is begging you to begin to validate your choices regardless of how others react. Your Spirit is also desires clarity around how you receive love from you.
  • Your anger will be present to support you to own your power and take action to support your Essence to evolve.  Your Spirit is angry that your ego wins.  Honor your eternal fire when it ignites to serve rather than hinder you.  Your Essence knows that you deserve people in your life who honor you and make you feel good.  Why don’t you believe it?  Why are you willing to allow others to treat you this way?  Your anger will be present supporting you to claim “ No Longer Will I Allow This – I DESERVE BETTER!”

There is so much more that is awaiting you A.  Use the F.E.E.L. process to guide you to take those next steps.  There is so much more that I know your Essence is trying to communicate with you.  Listen to your emotions through the voice of love and you will find your way!

Wishing you the love and honor you deserve in your relationships, always!


  • thanks so much for this message

    its exactly what i needed to hear

    i am honering myself more from now on

    i am expressing my needs and feelings

    i am owning my power

    i am looking inside mysefl for approval


    • Excellent Tarek, I am so glad to hear it. You sound well on your way! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Anne

    “A” kind of sounds like me. Earlier this year was when I began taking my power back so I’m not tolerating this kind of behaviour from anyone any more. I’m going about it in my own way since I really haven’t known exactly what to do about it myself. At first I’d been afraid of hurting others’ feelings by standing my own ground so I decided to take a chance on it. It’s causing strain in key relationships but I made up my mind that if someone has difficulty accepting my real feelings then its their problem. I think sooner or later they’ll come around. And if not then I accept their choice. There’s such a concept as finding new friends.
    I’ve had to come face to face with hard truths about myself and also gaining understanding. So that’s led me to understand others as well. So I don’t want to blame others for what they think of me and also not have it affect me the way it used to. I know I won’t always deal with it all perfectly but for me its a start. I think we need to feel somewhere inside of us that we matter, that our self-worth is strong, that even all good feelings are already inside of us and we need to tap into them. Self worth is what I needed and it helped me develop this feeling of “deservingness”. To feel some self worth I had to get rid of my own negative self-talk and negative perceptions I had about myself. I’m still not rid of it all and I don’t know if I ever will. As soon as I feel the strength I want to feel I know I’m in a good place.
    What’s so refreshing to me is hearing Michelle admit such hard truths about herself-online even. No one seems to want to admit their faults but I can understand too that its hard to do. Maybe when we tap into something strong and meaningful and powerful inside of us then it’ll be easier to admit our faults—facing it head on and dealing with it. Dealing with it is another story too in itself. Facing authentic truth is so freeing too I found. And so I’m going to find more within myself.

  • Congrats Anne, you are doing amazing work that requires courage and strength. You will see great results from your efforts in the long run. You are also correct that it becomes easier to admit your personal challenges when you see all the brilliant aspects to yourself. In fact, I believe you want to bring your personal challenges to the surface. Doing so frees up your energy from trying to hide your authenticity. When you reclaim more of your energy, you have more energy to put toward creating your ideal life. Be proud of yourself for choosing this path!


    • Anne Johnson

      It isn’t very often that I am proud of myself but I am thankful for the path I’d chosen. Even though I have made progress to a certain extent, the long run for me is getting too long. Seeing those results at times feel impossible. I know you made a true statement and most of the time I feel determined about it myself. I’m just coming out of one of those times again. As for the path I’ve chosen its the get rid of negative and replace with positive and strong and powerful path. I know how I want to feel, what I want to have. At times I have an iron will and at times its out the window. Its later in life for me now and I have never settled on a dream goal. I think its because I haven’t really known myself to be able to make great choices. I have this other idea that I’ve been negatively affected by more than I’m aware of from the beginning of my life and maybe before that. How would one go about recovering from that? Its very possible this part of my healing could be the key to significant progress….the progress I’ve been striving for for sooooooo long now. The lack of self worth where my whole being feels weakened and defeated will contribute to more lacking in all aspects of myself. So I guess as much as I don’t respect myself is in proportion to the respect I don’t receive from others is what I suspect (the topic mentioned here). Do you see this as a true assumtion? Hardly anything is working for me so that I can experience further growth. Its all fine and well to know what I know but to feel it is a different story…..I know I didn’t mention all of this previously but its still a part of my world—-the part that holds me back. I get so far in progress and I face the old barrier again–over and over and over. Three years ago was when I first experienced a downward slide and I’ve been working at keeping myself afloat ever since with slow and gradual progress. Too slow and gradual for me. I started working on things in the 80’s and keep finding additional things to work on because I don’t feel the way I want to feel yet. It appears within reach but still out of touch. So frustration is high at times as you can probably guess. I still continue on and on…..and on.

      • Hi Anne,

        Thank you so much for taking the time to write and share. You are not alone. In fact, I believe many others have felt that their inner process has taken too long. I too felt that way until I discovered how to really feel as we are intended to, which is to F.E.E.L.:Feel Every Emotion as Love. When you learn how, you are able to access the positive power of your negative emotions to transform your life. I highly encourage you to check out my F.E.E.L. Virtual Mastery Program at for more information. Remember, your frustration is present to support you and what it is telling you is that it is time for you to do things differently. Listen and you will find your way!

  • thanks so much for this message its exactly what i needed to hear i am honering myself more from now on i am expressing my needs and feelings i am owning my power i am looking inside mysefl for approval thanks

    • Excellent Lacey – that is exactly what you need to be doing! Keep up standing up for you and you will see amazing results because of it!