How useful is it to dislike others? Are the benefits worth the cost? Probably not, so let’s face the music. There are people on this planet that annoy us. Many of them probably live within our own communities. They may be in our work environment, at school or within our home. We may not be able to control their behaviour but we can change the way we think & feel about them. But why would we want to do that you may say. There are several good reasons to let go of ill feelings towards another human-being. For starters:
A. The annoyance experienced while in the presence or when thinking about such individuals can rob us of our serenity or peace of mind. Vexation can gradually deplete our sense of well-being over time.
B. Another good reason to reduce irritation is for the sake of getting along with that person, which can open the door to some kind of resolution. In general it is better to keep our minds lucid and open, rather than narrow and inflexible.
C. Our third reason could be entirely pragmatic. By respecting and treating the other with dignity we can soften their hearts, thus lessen their animosity and need for revenge.
So that was just a few takes as to why we may be better off omitting or reducing our strong dislike of others. There are plenty of more reasons that can be added to this position but let’s cut to the chase. How can we override or lessen the annoyance that others provoke within us? Here are three exercises that may prove to be helpful:
1) Imagine placing your hand gently upon the head of the person who arouses anger within you and recite the following words 3 times: May you be filled with love and wisdom… May you be happy and at peace… May you be healthy and brimming with vitality…
2) Perceive the individual as a mirror. Look within yourself to determine how it is that you possess the very same traits you find so detestable in the other.
3) Take a few deep breaths as you scan your body to locate where the irritation resides. Be fully present to the emotion -even if it moves you to tears- then slowly breathe the feeling away into the sea of forgetfulness.
Feel free to adapt these methods to suit your own situation and disposition. You may have to practice them for a while before you see results. Let me know if it works for you. There are also other approaches on my site to help purge ingrained negative feelings should you wish to pick up a few more tools for your psychological tool kit.
Love & light,
Excellent post! Couldn’t agree more. “Hating” others steals us so much energy and vitality.
Like deep fried food, it puts a lot of strain on the heart.
Great ideas to lessen the impact of negative feelings Jason. I’ve found that sometimes the anger is misplaced and is really an outlet for something outside of the persons control and unrelated. But, in any event, as you say, anger isn’t productive and the person who is affected the most is the angry one. Thank you for the great lessons we can all use.
My pleasure and thank you Joan. You stated that anger is really an outlet for something outside of the persons control. Could you explain what you mean by this?
Of course, I knew someone who lost a loved one and as a result, they were angry at the smallest issue and their anger was deeper than warranted. Sometimes people lash out unexpectedly. Does that help clarify? Have you ever witnessed that type of anger?
What is hacking at the leaves rather than the root. Got it. Have I ever witnessed this kind of anger? The day my mom got rid of my teddy bear the whole world went bleak. It took place on the first day of school in grade 7. All the hugs in the world couldn’t replace him or fill my emptiness. The sight of other children with small furry toys pinned to their book bags would make my head spin around in circles. How dare they bring their toys to school! Those furry little creatures ought to be home propped up against the pillow. After several years of therapy and many trips to the principal’s office I was finally able to stay calm while in the presence of stuffed toys.
LOL – I’m glad you are better now Jason! 🙂