A Different Way to Look at this Famous Eleanor Roosevelt Quote

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” said former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Familiar, right? It’s a thing we could tell ourselves in order to lift each other up and stand up to negative, hurtful comments and experiences. The idea behind the quote is to say that you won’t allow others to ruin your day as long as you yourself won’t allow it to happen. Another common phrase you might have heard is: “…Whether you like it or not.”

Here’s an analysis on why Roosevelt’s quote isn’t exactly correct, or more likely a(n admittedly) pessimistic interpretation of her famous words as it may come across as such. Let’s put it more into context: the typical interpretation of the quote would be that no one can hurt you without your consent. However, it’s a misinterpretation of such as there are people, as proven by history and life, that won’t care about your consent. You could tie this in with our current #MeToo era where consent is becoming a subject of discussion more than it has been and how consent works in relationships. The idea behind, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” is that no one can make you feel bad without your consent, your approval, and your green light. However, what if the person trying to make you feel inferior couldn’t care less about your consent? Toxic and manipulative people are more than capable of destroying your feelings whether you like it or not.

Imagine this: you, the reader. You could be put down and your boundaries still remain broken by the person trying to put you down. You could be told that your hair looks greasy or that your clothes look tacky. Do you not consent to letting them get to you? No. Will they do it anyway? Yes. Toxic people can have a level of insecurity that has them feel that they can’t feel good and superior without putting others down so they can rise themselves up, and they would do that to you whether you like it or not.

When Marilyn Monroe said, “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best,” she actually spoke about herself in terms that she felt she couldn’t handle herself at her worst through mental breakdowns, so she felt she didn’t deserve herself at her best thus leading her down her tragic path. This isn’t to bash Roosevelt’s quote, I personally love the idea of it, but I feel it’s important to remember that there’s more you can do to assure yourself to love you as you are and to further not allow yourself to not feel terrible about yourself when someone bashes your personal being, appearance, etc. If the quote is still empowering for you, then that’s okay, let it empower you to be your most healthy self. Otherwise, here is your food for thought with a different interpretation of the famous quote said by the former First Lady of America.