I know it’s not easy to deal with someone who treats you or others around you, that you care for, in a hurtful or disrespectful way.
I’ve been there, am there & will be there. And you too, I guess.
It’s part of our human life.
We are not islands, we are connected to others. Every day, since day one.
Most of the times that’s what we desire, relationships. That magic word.
But on other occasions, we wish some of those in our life would just simply disappear, wouldn’t we? I know I would.
But here is the thing.
On this roller coaster of wanting what we like and not wanting what we dislike, we end up in a constant standby mode. We can’t rest. We give too much significance to that which is around us, the meaning of it, or what we think the meaning is.
Detachment is the remedy here. And wisdom (but that’s a longer road).
People will always surround us. Our job is to be fine with it. Not for anyone else’s sake, but for our own sanity and well being.
So how do we handle those who we experience as “difficult”, “awful”, “disrespectful”, “selfish” etc (feel free to add adjective that push your buttons)?
We detach our minds from what we think their behaviour means. That’s how.
Other people’s behaviour (good and in particular bad) says nothing about us, the situation or else. But it says all about who they are. How they feel. The state of their mind.
With that in mind, you can free yourself. Detach yourself. Don’t allow yourself to be dragged into their negative drama.
Allow them to show who they are. And then, make a choice.
You can remove yourself from some people. I love that option, personally.
Or, you can verbally express your boundaries and clearly signal to the person that the way they treat you is unacceptable. If the person changes, you have just helped her/him to become a better person. If the person fires back or ignores and doesn’t change, they simply don’t have the ability to become a better person.
And then what? You either accept it with a lot of compassion, being glad you’re not stuck in their hell or you resist the fact of what they’re like and suffer until you die (probably) in resentment.
For those people we have around, and whom we sadly cannot remove ourselves from ( due to life circumstance such as family), we can simply detach our minds from what they think of us or try to achieve with their behaviour.
We have mouths to talk (and verbalise our disagreement) & we have minds to switch off to their negativity as they’re are not worth our energy.
And lastly, every person teaches us something. Maybe they show us how much anger we have in our heart or how lucky we are that we are not like them or how we could have turned up if we didn’t work on ourselves.
Whatever the lesson is, it’s definitely not allowing them to be pulled in their negativity and drama.
Just focus on how you act and how you feel. The world then becomes a positive place.
Share your experiences on this topic, from the Buddhist point of view in the comments. We’d love to hear from you, too.
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