Learning to stop reacting to the words or actions of difficult people is easier if we understand why they are so mean and nasty.
To begin, it is important to realize that any person’s behaviour is a reflection of their inner self.
Those that we encounter who are behaving badly are showing symptoms of inner suffering. Founded in bad feelings and negative attitudes, their words and deeds unconsciously display untruth and disharmony outward to the world – and to you and me!
But in the presence of agitated people we tend to become agitated ourselves. Why?
Because we have been unconsciously “conditioned” to automatically react to the words and deeds of others. But we can focus on a choice- we can operate from unconscious reaction, becoming agitated, or realize that the other’s behaving badly is a symptom of inner suffering.
Those who behave badly are unconsciously telling us of the inner suffering they carry. We can pity such people instead of reacting badly in return. We can refuse to spread agitation and suffering ourselves.
By considering that the difficult person is suffering, our right effort would be to pity them… not become agitated ourselves. We know from experience that mutual wrong action leads to a no-win situation; then everyone suffers.
Meditation, a kind of mental callisthenics, allows us to focus our mind on the truth even when we are not meditating, if we choose. Instead of reacting we can more readily “detach” in the face of difficulty… to enable right action through a mind focused by practicing meditation.
We begin to understand why people can be so mean. We remain calm in the display of the inner suffering by others, and therefore we spread calm instead of agitation.
This detachment is the keystone of the second of The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz – “Don’t take anything personally. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream for themselves, and has nothing to do with you or me”.
Wishing everyone peace and abundance this day.