My father said something to me years ago when I called him in a panic over legal threats that had been made to me, which felt terrifying and serious to me in the moment. (Legal threats had never been made to me before.)
He said, “So what? Do they have angel wings or something?”
What I understood him to say was that you have to be aware when people are making themselves bigger and badder than they actually are. Don’t assign people power that they don’t have over you. Words carry little weight. Don’t assume that the outcome is going to be a certain way. Worry less about what they’re doing and more about what you’re doing.
Other ways he might have said this over the years, in his Eastern North Carolina, no-nonsense, country-roots vernacular:
“They have to wake up and put their pants on every day, just like you.”
“Notice when people are blowing smoke up your ass (and their own).”
“Most people are full of shit.”
“You can tell them to go to Hell.”
So, now I’m telling you, in my own words: Don’t assign people power they don’t have over you. If they’ve got real angel wings, you’ll know it.
- Kendallauren Heath