There are times when what others say or do triggers us and we feel a need to comment or even rant. Can we do this better, from a place of personal power? You bet.

Any time we speak about others, no matter what we say, we speak loudest about ourselves.

This realization came to me after a conversation I had with a friend about someone else. Sometimes I speak to others to gain clarity; but the fact is, the clarity I look for in this and any matter can come from only two places: my honest feelings and/or a conversation with the person involved.

When someone says or does something that triggers us, we may feel the need to vent. However, we often do this with critical statements about the person. Maybe we make these comments to others. Though it's healthy to honor our feelings, to get them out of our psyches so they don't fester and then manage them, a more powerful way to do this is by using "I" statements: I feel angry or I am angry, or whatever words are appropriate. This puts the responsibility (response-ability) into our hands, where it belongs. We and others may not always do or be our best, but I don’t believe most of us strive to do or be our worst.

What usually triggers us is what the person says or does conflicts with our viewpoint, ideal, comfort level, or agenda. We often live in a state of what we desire rather than Desire plus What Is. This can keep us in the belief that something lacks rather than something can be expanded or enhanced. Holding the energy that something lacks or someone is wrong impacts us negatively whether we like to admit this or not. It imprisons us, and we are the self-jailers.

Taking responsibility for our inner and outer words matters. Energy is energy. Like attracts like. We may not like how it feels when someone does something and we find ourselves feeling off course or out of balance, but we can ask ourselves how we wish to be treated when what we do, innocently or not, triggers strong feelings in another. If you wish to be treated the same way you treat others, you're doing well.

Do you ever listen to yourself when you comment or rant about others? Do you concern yourself with how you'll be perceived, or only on convincing whoever is listening that you're right and the other person is wrong? What do you think your listener actually hears during such conversations? Depending on the situation and person involved, they may have some attention on the person or situation you're speaking about; but even if subconsciously, the greater level of their attention is on you.

A side effect of this in my life is that I choose what I share with people based on this very thing. Are they able to discern what and what not to repeat? Do they hold positive energy more often than not? Will what I share be viewed or shared with others with criticism and judgment or do they respect my individual path of successes and missteps (opportunities to learn and grow)?

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t talk something out with another to gain clarity or to feel better, but this can be done with the purpose to move forward rather than not. Gandhi said gossip is a form of violence. He was right. We can be triggered by people AND we can respond with integrity, respect, and self-respect. I recognize that many of us, this includes me, are in the habit of talking about others. Sometimes it’s useful. Sometimes it’s wasteful. Sometimes it’s harmful. Phil Evans says, “What others do or say is their stuff; how we react, or not, is our stuff.” Even when I stray from remembering this, I eventually return to the fact that whatever dynamic with another I’m engaged in, the primary one is with my self.

If what you say about others isn't what you want those you say it to, to hear about you, give this some thought. It may take a while to adjust this, but it's worth it. It's not about others' opinion of you, but your opinion of yourself and the energy you choose to send out and receive back. You can choose your energetic vibrations. Choosing good ones just makes sense in the grander theme of your life.

Author's Bio: 

Joyce Shafer, L.E.C., is the 4P Power Coach ( Details, free newsletter, and more at Coach4LifeBalance. Books, reviews, preview chapters, including Law of Attraction Alchemy Cards, are available at