Posted by: dianaiannarone | December 20, 2016

Reactions are Your Teacher


Your reactions are your teacher. When you react defensively to a situation know that you have likely found a wound. A wounded person, reacts. They react because their wound has been hit and it hurts. Certainly someone may have been being thoughtless in their words, and therefore it is hurtful, yet your reaction defines YOU, not them.

So when you feel the propensity to want to react, versus calmly respond, ask yourself what really happened.

Certainly if someone insults you, it can be offensive, yet the level of anger it triggers lets you know what is going on within you. We might agree that someone saying you look fat, for example, is derogatory, hurtful, even abusive. That said, if I had no insecurities about my weight, I might see their words as unkind, yet I would not feel defensive.


I wouldn’t see that I had anything to defend.

Sure I might decide I no longer wish to associate with this person, true. However, in my secure position about my body I would not be inclined to attack back or defend myself.

When we are defending ourselves, often times we are merely trying to convince ourselves of something we don’t believe! And after we exhaust ourselves with our explanations as to all the reasons it is not true we are fat, now, we not only feel fat, we feel exhausted in addition to the mix of other emotions coursing through our body. Or at minimum, perhaps we just feel completely misunderstood which has with it its own set of challenges.

So when you feel that act of defensiveness, this knee jerk need to react—breathe. Pause, and ask yourself is there an element of truth in my mind to this statement?

Using the weight analogy, if the answer is that your weight bothers you, then make a mental note. I need to do something about my weight. Do not waste one morsel of your precious energy looking to convince the other party of anything.

As Benjamin Franklin stated “A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”

Your wounds are yours. Ask yourself, when as a child did I have this same feeling? Meaning the feeling you felt when in the present moment someone called you fat. Now of course, this is just an analogy. I don’t think there are many “adults” that go around directly calling someone fat (except in some intimate abusive relationships). Yet, what about suggesting you did something incorrectly, or you were wrong in your opinion of a circumstance, or that your work was not up to par, or you were accused of being disloyal in a relationship…the list goes on and on of the potentially false or cruel assertions that can be cast upon us. Yet, the key is to evaluate what is going on inside you as this happens.

Pull yourself back to a time you FELT that same way, and you will begin to reveal the source of your wound. Remember, it is not necessarily the same experience, not the same words you just heard, it is just that you FELT the same way. Relate to the feeling. Don’t filter, go with the first thing that pops up and begin to journal on that.

Be okay with going back in that moment, and in your journal saying everything you wish you would have said in that space in time. Direct your emotions toward the person that previously triggered your defenses, even if in that real moment, you had to remain silent.

As children we could not always speak up due to fear of consequence from our parents, our then authorities. This exercise of revisiting this pain is a private matter. You do not have to address this with the person that may have harmed you all those years ago. You just need to realize, for each wound you heal, you are one step closer to full freedom. If there are no wounds, you do far better at not taking things personally. You will be less defensive, and more open. You will take feedback more in stride, and be able to differentiate what is valid and what is not, and your self-awareness will help you respond appropriately, not defensively.

Bottom line, as you heal, you will be able to communicate through false statements made about you, if it is necessary to do so, or dismiss them with a simple it is interesting you feel that way, if it is not necessary to clarify. More often than not, explaining is just a waste of our valuable energy that serves little purpose in changing anything. Less is often more. If you are accused of cheating in a relationship for example, you can just say: I am trustworthy. There is no need to give a diatribe or similar long-winded response to prove it. The truth simply is.

The more you heal your wounds, the more your self-esteem soars, the more freedom you have in your every moment.

Don’t try and convince others who you are, just be who you are. That is freedom.

Wake Up to how you’re operating from past hurts, Stand Up for your non-negotiable qualities and Live Free into your next reality.

Life is not meant to be a struggle, and healing from harsh forces is a beautiful, gentle awakening to the one limiting core belief—the red thorn—that can be gently released (not extracted).

Cut Your Root of Captivity.

Email for a free initial consultation. Or order our Guide to Freedom

“Me & My Shadow” by Diana Iannarone on Amazon.

We do not give legal advice, nor do we use legal principles to apply to your circumstances. We are neither lawyers nor medical professionals.


  1. Yes! That’s perfect advice!
    I was laughing when you said, “Adults don’t go around calling each other fat” because all the Narcissist and their family members did!
    I remember looking back at photo’s where when the photo was taken, i thought i was fat.
    Then after periods of time, maybe 5, 10 or more years I took a second look. I was shocked! I wasn’t at all what they said!
    Great article!

    • Yes, that is what made me put my parenthetical clarification about intimate relationships…but I should have been more broad in my adjustment. Your example is indeed included in what I meant, and I know you get that, and my quotations around the word “adult…”! Thank you for getting it. REAL adults don’t do that…manipulative children in adult bodies do ;)! And yes, looking back and seeing it was never true is pretty mind blowing. I can relate! Thank you so much for your comments and praises! ❤

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