A Thorny Subject: What’s My Beef?

CalmUp® photo of thornsI get so tired of people who think they know everything. Where do public figures get off telling lay people they have to do something or they must feel a certain way? I recently listened to an interview of a financial expert who made statements such as, “You have to look at money as __________” and “You’re afraid of __________.” Granted, money is a hot topic. However, I don’t believe that anyone has the right to push one’s philosophy on others.

A person’s expertise in a specific topic doesn’t warrant ordering others to think and feel in a particular way. There must be more appropriate ways to communicate knowledge. It astounds me that a speaker can convey an opinion, and without even taking a breath, suggest that everyone should follow by example.

I realize many people might simply attribute this style to narcissism or narrow-minded thinking and move on, so why do I become so emotional and intense when this approach is used?

Practicing self-reflection, I remind myself that historically my buttons have been pushed in response to should statements. I’ve also been known to take things personally, even though I’ve read The Four Agreements. Let’s face it: I’m the one who needs to change here. To me, one of the primary tenets of creating peace among others is to be peaceful within, and inner peace has no need for being judgmental.

So how else can I react instead of assuming that the speaker or writer is coming off as superior? First, I can notice the person’s self-assurance. Second, I can commend their passion for their opinions. Third, I can choose to disagree. Fourth, I can refrain from taking their comments personally. And finally, I can keep an open mind and learn something.


  1. What’s your beef, and how do you tend to respond?
  2. The next time you catch yourself blaming someone, ask yourself why the need to be judgmental?
  3. When you are the expert, what would you recommend as another way of reacting to someone who pushes your buttons?