Yesterday I tweeted this – something that demanded a lot of response. I was asked to write a little more about it on my blog.
How awful you think people are has a lot to do with 1) who you surround yourself with and 2) how you process conflicting ideas.
What I was trying to get at in under 140 characters is that you’re responsible for how you process the world around you. We all have the responsibility to monitor what and who we let into our lives. We also have the responsibility to practice self care and make sure that we are treating ourselves well.
I see a lot of people who are mad all the time. They’re mad that the people in their lives aren’t good to them. They’re mad that people they don’t even know exist. They’re mad that people can’t see the world like they can see the world. They’re just mad people. And when you’re a mad person you hold on to a lot of really yucky feelings that can present themselves in a variety of different ways. For some people, a belief emerges.
People that aren’t me don’t understand what it’s like to be me, and people who are different than me are doing something wrong.
This must be an awfully lonely way to live and it must be an unhealthy way to live. In response to the desire to not be this way, I try to live by a few guidelines.
1. If someone doesn’t approve of me or any part of my life that I deeply care about, that person doesn’t belong in my life. If we were all being honest with ourselves, it should be easy to make a distinction between those who do and those who don’t.
2. If someone has different opinions than you do, talk to them about those opinions sometime and let those options either strengthen or break down your own world view. We should never be afraid of learning something from someone different than us.
3. Make your own opinions of every single person in your life. If someone is talking about someone else negatively behind their back, encourage them to stop. We gain nothing from bonding over hatred and we lose everything by believing that someone is inherently evil.
4. If you feel pushback against an idea (something new or foreign) ask yourself why it makes you feel that way. Pushback would be thinking something is gross, or saying ‘I would never do that.’ Why is it gross? Why would you never do it? And conversely, why do other people think its great or do it regularly?
5. Try to be a good person every day. Often times this means going out of your way to consider what other people want and need and not just what you think they want and need. For instance, I am not in constant communication with all my friends, but I know some people desire higher levels of communication. I try to go out of my way to let them know I’m thinking about them when I can.
A lot of this has to do with two simple concepts. Get rid of the people in your life that anger you, and consider why it was that you were so angry in the first place. Learn how to use self care. If you are upset or angry, if you lash out, if you are constantly talking shit about other people, why? How can you shift negative aspects of your life to be a happier person? Not just for yourself, but for the people who are around you every day?
Do you have any tips that keep you cool as a cucumber? Do you know someone who is just really angry all the time – and have you been able to chill their harsh?
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