Being undermined is not a nice feeling. Often it happens when we reach out to others for support or when we share our excitement about a new direction we are taking. However, what should we do when being undermined gets us down and who should we look to for support?

Being undermined – what gives it power over us?

I was having a conversation with a friend about the direction I am taking my business. I am very thrilled and motivated, so it was exciting to discuss. We were talking about how far we’d come and on the surface it was a very supportive conversation.

But I left the conversation not feeling positive.

I’m sure you’ve had those conversations that make you feel bad and you’re not even sure why.

Doubt started to creep in–about my business, about my feelings and about my choices. I had been feeling great and now I felt bad. I had let this person get under my skin. To put in technically–I felt icky inside.

Determining who has power over us

I usually shake it off, as Taylor would say, but this is not the first time, so I started
to think, ‘what do I do to invite this passive aggressive behaviour?’

I spent a morning wondering about the choices I make and if am I too open. Do I share too much? Am I passive aggressive? The list went on and on. I went round and round with seemingly no end in sight. Then I thought, ‘I am going to get of this train right here and now.’

By spending my morning thinking about the call, I had given it more power. I had the power to choose whether or not to join in with my friend’s passive aggressive opinion of me. From that moment I decided I wouldn’t.

I know it sounds hard to just let it go. I admit it takes practice but it really is quite simple. We are never going to get everybody to like and approve of us and that is ok. The problems start when we need them to. When their opinion of us becomes more important than our own.

By caring too much what this person thought of me and my decisions, I gave them power over my internal world. I let them decide how I was feeling. That is too high a price to pay for any friendship. Usually when someone is passive aggressive to me, in my head I simply say, ‘thanks for your opinion,’ and move on.

Getting the right input

We all need other peoples input to check in that we are on the right path. But the secret is to be asking the right people.

Some people will have no interest in us growing, changing and improving our lives. In fact, some people are invested in us not changing; they like the status quo. The trick is to know who to trust and when to trust them. Which is why I have a coach and mentor.

This guidance I needed to change and become the woman I want to be inspired me to write my program Money, Men and Me. Claiming who we want to be is tough in our forties, especially when other people see you as you were, not as who you are becoming.

Tips for dealing with being undermined:

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this person knowledgeable about what you’re undertaking? E.g. a coach or mentor?
  • Does this person have your best interests at heart?
  • Do they want things to change?
  • Do they really want you to grow?


If the answer is no, practice letting go of their limiting opinions. Seek out people who are knowledgeable and can guide you from a place of understanding, not limitation.