We all have people in our lives that get under our skin. Some of us even have people in our lives who are downright rude. How do you handle people like that? Most of us would treat them the same way they treated us, and then gossip about them.
The world’s great religions and philosophers will often proclaim not to beget another’s negativity with negativity of your own, i.e. do not gossip and do not treat rude people with rudeness. Gandhi said “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” The books of Matthew and Proverbs in the King James version of the Bible state:
“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” -Matthew 5:39
“Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.” – Proverbs 24:29
And Mohammed said “Do not envy one another; do not hate one another; do not turn away from another; and do not undercut one another, but be you.”
The point is, if someone grates your nerves, do not relive it with gossip and do not perpetuate negativity by treating those people as negatively as they treated you. Most people think that gossip is harmless. However, when people retell stories to others they often keep those negative emotions with them, and, in the retelling of the story, they spew out that negative energy.
What do I mean by that? I mean if someone makes you angry, when you gossip about it, you are still angry. Think about it. When you retell a story of someone who irritates you or makes you mad, don’t you still feel that anger as if the event had just happened? Of course you do.
Keeping those negative emotions in your body is harmful to your nervous system and your immune system. The alternative to reliving these negative emotions would be to deal with them in a positive and constructive way. It is also important not to treat others as poorly as they treated you. Turn the other cheek, as is said in the book of Matthew.
The first thing I would recommend you do is realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even about you. If someone thinks something about me that I do not agree with, I let them have their opinion and I stay true to my opinion of myself.
The next thing I recommend is for you to breath deeply when you feel negative emotions. Deep breathing exercises calm the mind and calm the body’s natural reactions to things that upset us.
The third thing I suggest is to realize that what is important in life is how you behave, and that you have the power to control your reactions. You can choose not to react negatively to other people’s bad behavior. If you are a good person, even when someone is rude to you, it is as if you receive extra credit in life’s homework assignments. You are being the better person, so you get the higher grade. 🙂 Realize your own choice in how you react and you can control your reactions.
All of my suggestions take practice, of course. Any change in behavior requires awareness and discipline. But what I am suggesting to you will allow you to live a much happier life, and a life much more in tune with the Divine.
“Live well. It is the greatest revenge.” -The Talmud