Winner: Scott’s Favourite Blogs of 2014 #3
Most of you take way too much way too seriously. Someone can exhibit a behaviour a single time and you can completely revise your opinion about them as though some deep dark secret has been revealed. Grow up. You know what? People get tired. And hungry. Or they’re ill in some way you can’t see. Or in pain. Or on a medication that’s challenging. Or maybe they’ve had a horrible experience in the past that the current situation is reminding them of. There’s a lot of legitimate reasons for people to respond in a hostile manner and very few of them have to do with you.
A lack of food or sleep will actually impact your blood and brain chemistry. Ruminating thoughts will wear you out emotionally, making you much more sensitive and reactive. Maybe you have had several disappointing experiences recently and this one’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Or maybe, deep down, the person’s just scared and what we’re seeing as anger is actually fear.
Yes, we have to assume more personal control than people are currently inclined to exhibit. We don’t have to be prudish or Victorian, but patience and kindness and generosity do lubricate a society rather nicely. So everyone wins if everyone is being actively compassionate with each other. At the same time we have to let others and ourselves be human. We can’t demand perfection from them or us or we’ll be angry and depressed and so will they, and who wants to live in a society filled with that?
We need to have thicker skin. If someone’s usually decent and now they’re rude or lashing out, then you’re better to presume they’re struggling than to presume you’re being attacked. And so instead of offering a defense, you can offer a helping hand. Use your personal strength and understanding to move past their words and focus on what you and the other person have in common.
Angry words are untrustworthy. People are venting off their anger and they’re capable of saying things they absolutely do not believe. They can be loud and intense and relentless and still it can all just be how they’re feeling now. In an hour they could just as easily be focused on something more appealing and all of their opinions would have subsequently changed. So let others and yourself have your moments. If you know you’re hungry and grumpy, then sure, let people know to watch out. But if you slip and snap at someone, don’t beat yourself up over that. Everyone will do it at various times in their life, so it’s simply human. So relax and be kind to yourself.
Don’t judge others on a lack of information. And don’t take things personally. Because your boss might have spoken to you sharply because he really needs a cheese burger. And that’s nothing you should be spending your lunch hour worrying about.
There’s a lot of reasons people are temporarily unreasonable. Give them that freedom so that you can have it too when it’s your turn. If we all do that, the world will be a much more peaceful place. I hope you’ll join me in tolerance. Have a wonderful day.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.