How can we keep calm with the people who drive us mad? Find out with GYALWA DOKHAMPA
As we work on our minds and begin to feel more calm and restful, we naturally develop our compassion and consideration for others. This is the emotional intelligence that allows us to step outside of our own minds and into someone else’s shoes, even when they are pressing all our buttons. We still might disagree with them wholeheartedly, but we have done our best to see things from their perspective, and also to understand that there is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ view, even if they appear to want to drive us mad. We can move on and use the experience as a lesson that the right view does not exist.
With the difficult people in your life, externally try to always gently explain your point of view while trying to see theirs, and internally be extra kind. We will never change anybody’s mind or ways through forceful words or acts. And sometimes we may have to realise when there is nothing we can do to make a person like us, we can still be kind in our thoughts, words, and actions towards them because the only person suffering from frustration and disappointment, and in our attachment to somehow winning them over, is us.
Different people look at the world in different ways. And while we will always try to bridge those different views, there are some people in our life who will just never travel to meet us halfway.
Strategies for dealing with difficult people:
- Don’t get into a game of ping-pong with difficult people, where each of you seems to bring out the worst in each other; then you will have one hurt followed by another.
- Don’t be afraid to keep your distance, and at the same time ask yourself: when I get angry with them, does it make me happy? Why am I making myself suffer?
- It is helpful to be aware that the faults we see in others are often those we see in ourselves so if you find yourself being very critical of another person, investigate this and check in yourself, through contemplation meditations.
- When you are in a calm and positive state of mind, look at a picture of the person who has hurt you and try to gain some understanding about the situation.
- If you have ever been cheated, you may not be able to forgive or let go of your anger immediately. But try to think calmly through what happened…. Try and gently release the anger, so that you can have peace of mind. Think how little you tend to accomplish when upset. When we allow ourselves to think, speak and act from our heart, we become more generous, less grasping, more tolerant and patient of others and ourselves. We don’t ignore the sufferings of others but allow ourselves to feel it is okay to ask what we might be able to do, in whatever small way, to help. All of these things are aspects of the restful mind.
We stop putting so much pressure on ourselves or others to be a certain way; we are more ready to laugh than scowl at the very same thing such as a habit our partner has or a difficult situation. We stop holding on so tightly or running so fast and are able to once again simply sit for a while and may be just listen to our partner’s story of their day, and not be so impatient to tell our own. We remember how much we care about people in our lives; how lucky we are. We relax, content.