My recent article Mindfulness is the Secret to Navigating an Angry and Obnoxious World was selected for curation. It’s now behind a paywall but I’m sharing it with you for free.
Almost everyone wants to know how to ‘be better’ in the face of increasing anger and hateful discourse. In my last workshop, Lisa, a customer service specialist, said it this way:
“I am not prepared to deal with people who are nastier than ever. They don’t just call and want a refund. They attack and insult you in the lowest, most personal, and vicious way. It’s like they call wanting someone to fight with.”
Whether you are in line at the DMV, helping in a customer service role, or working at a front desk, you need to recognize that you can’t fight against anger. If you fight something, you give it power.
This advice may sound like a platitude or a bromide, but you can’t deny its truth.
An angry reaction cannot help but provoke a more violent response. It is the destructive nature of fighting and retaliation to tear down, destroy, belittle, oppress, crush…I could go on.
“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”—Mark Twain
Show your better side
Be mindful of a deeper reality. No one hates you. How could they? They don’t even know you.
They may have opinions and judgments about you, but they don’t know you. Opinions and judgments are ideas, constructs.
Look closely. Anger, conflict, and fighting come from within. It’s a secondary upwelling of deeper and darker energy such as insecurity, unhappiness, or worthlessness. Someone may say you are making them angry, but the reality is they are spewing toxicity outward, and it lands with you.
If you are not mindful of this fact—while you’re being yelled at, threatened, and demoralized, you react and take on their pain. It becomes your affliction. You feel it. Your mind activity becomes dominated by their pain. You grumble and ruminate on why….. or how you’ll teach them a lesson someday. The truth is, you’ve given them the power to disrupt, push your buttons, or ruin your day.
BUT a lot of the time our days are ruined…..mindfulness is not automatic
Noticing sounds simple but don’t confuse simple with easy. Mindfulness is a special quality that doesn’t come natural or automatically. It takes an uncommon, focused effort.
Read the full article for free here