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By Guy Finley

It's a little known - yet much denied fact - that people treat you the way you secretly ask to be treated.  Your unspoken request that determines how others behave toward you is extended to - and received by - everyone you meet.

What is your invisible inner life?  It's the way you actually feel - as opposed to the way you're trying to appear - when meeting any person or event.

In other words, your invisible inner life is your real inner condition.  It's this state of internal affairs that communicates with others long before any words are exchanged.  These silent signals from your inner self are what a person receives first upon meeting you.  The reading of them determines from that point forward, the basis of your relationship.  This unseen dialogue that goes on behind the scenes whenever two people meet is commonly understood as "sizing one another up." But here's the point of this introduction. 

We're often led to act against ourselves by an undetected weakness that goes before us - trying to pass itself off to others - as strength.  This is secret self-sabotage. It sinks us in our personal and business relationships as surely as a torpedo wrecks the ship it strikes.

Any person you feel the need to control or dominate - so that he or she will treat you as you "think" you should be treated - will always be in control of you and treat you accordingly.  Why? Because anyone from whom you want something, psychologically speaking, is always in secret command of you.  

It would never dawn on any person to want to be more powerful or superior to someone else unless there was some psychic character within him or her that secretly felt itself to be weaker or lesser than that other individual.

Any action we take to appear strong before another person is actually read by that person as a weakness.  If you doubt this finding, review the past interactions and results of your own relationships.  The general rule of thumb is that the more you demand or crave the respect of others, the less likely you are to receive it.   

So it makes no sense to try and change the way others treat you by learning calculated behaviors or attitude techniques in order to appear in charge.   Stop trying to be strong.  Instead, start catching yourself about to act from weakness.  Don't be too surprised by this unusual instruction.  A brief examination reveals its wisdom.  Following are ten examples of where you may be secretly sabotaging yourself while wrongly assuming you're strengthening your position with others.
1.  Fawning before people to win their favor.
2.  Expressing contrived concern for someone's well being.
3.  Making small talk to smooth out the edges.
4.  Hanging onto someone's every word.
5.  Looking for someone's approval.
6.  Asking if someone is angry with you.
7.  Fishing for a kind word.
8.  Trying to impress someone.
9.  Gossiping.
10.  Explaining yourself to others.

The next time you feel yourself about to give in to any of the above behaviors, give yourself a quick and simple internal test.  This test will help you check for and cancel any undetected weakness that's about to make you sabotage yourself.

Here's what to do: Run a pressure check.

Here's how:

Come wide awake and run a quick inner scan within yourself to see if that remark you're about to make, or the answer you're about to give without having been asked for it, is something you really want to do.  Are you about to speak because you're afraid of some as yet undisclosed consequence if you don't?

Your awareness of any pressure building within you is proof that it's some form of fear - and not you - that wants to do the explaining, fawning, impressing, blabbing, or whatever the self-sabotaging act the inner pressure is pushing you to commit.

Each time you feel this pressurized urge to give yourself away, silently but solidly refuse to release this pressure by giving in to its demands.  It may help you to succeed sooner if you know that fear has no voice unless it tricks you into giving it one.  So stay silent.  Your conscious silence stops self-sabotage.

Special Summary:  In any and every moment of your life, you are either in command of yourself…or you are being commanded.

Excerpted from Design Your Destiny Copyright 1999 - Guy Finley.   Published by  Llewellyn Publications


Guy Finley is the best-selling author of more than 18 books and tape albums on self-realization and higher success. His works, which have sold over a million copies worldwide and have been translated into ten languages, are recommended by doctors, ministers, and industry leaders. For information about Guy Finley's books, booklets, tapes, and helpful on-going study groups call (541) 476-1200 or visit where you can also sign up to receive a free, weekly Key Lesson.

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