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I received this mail around a week ago:
“Hey, Hardik! I am 24-year-old girl living in Dayton, Ohio and I love reading your writing. They really inspire me! I wanted to have a conversation with you about how one can still be compassionate and kind in a scenario where the other person is shouting and is extremely angry and is criticizing you. I try hard but more often than not, I end up shouting and getting angry as well which really makes the scenes worse than they already are. What do you in a similar situation? Waiting for a reply! Thank you.”
This one is a tough cookie, eh?
We all often advice and are advised to be calm during a fight or an argument or a scenario which is getting unnecessarily heated up. But more often than not, we give and start shouting and howling ourselves which in all honesty makes the scenes worse than they already were.
I am working with a youth organization since years and when you do work with people with varied interests, there are bound to occur differences in opinions and I can remember so many occasions where situation could have been handled in a much better way than it was.
Also, when it comes to my parents, I believe that things would have been better with them, if instead of arguing rashly and fighting, I could have just been calm and patience in the situation.
So, yes. This is the arena where I myself have faltered a lot.
But, I am growing out of it. I am learning.
And for that, I follow one philosophy, one thing which helps me to stay calm and handle the situation in a so much better manner.
Whenever a situation gets worse– where people are blaming me, shouting or getting angry or all in all behaving in an extremely horrid manner, I deal with as if it has nothing to do with me.
Yes, that’s the key. And it has truth to it.
Let me give you an example:
Imagine XYZ is your boss. He comes to the office and started behaving rudely to you. He shouts on you, argues with you, throws files on your table and tells you lot of things. What is the general reaction? You’ll probably want to rip his head, which is fair. But think about it does it have anything to do with you? Most likely not. He must be having a bad day. Probably fought with his wife or lost some money in share-market or something of that sort.
You’re just the trigger. So if it has nothing to do with you, why you want to get into an aggressive mode?
You can be calm and compassionate and try to understand the entire situation. I am not saying that let him treat you badly. But you definitely also don’t want to start howling that would just make the things worse.
So be calm, think peacefully, form a proper statement to give him, probably ask him if everything is OKAY or not. Chances are he’ll cool down.
Whenever I travel in Local Trains, I see so many people shouting on each other and howling and abusing, all on a stranger. They’re just venting it out. It has nothing to do with the person. He was just a trigger.
This applies to almost all cases.
Even when it is directly related to you, it is not you.
It is generally the expectations.
So when people see that or feel that, you haven’t fulfilled their expectations, they go nuts and start shouting and howling. I am not saying, they’re wrong or something. But the fact is, it has nothing to do with you. It is do with them and their expectations.
So why are you taking it personally and losing your cool?
There will be cases where you know you aren’t at fault and there will be cases where you know you are wrong.
Deal both with compassion and kindness and sense of calmness.
Know that the opposite person’s screaming and losing the temper has nothing to do with you.
You, in most cases, act as a trigger.
So don’t lost your calm. Don’t lose your cool. Handle the situation with compassion and ease. With a cool mind. Apologize where necessary and be firm on your point in a calm manner when you feel you’re right.
But don’t get angry. Or abuse. Or howl. Or throw things. Or beat people down.
That is futile. It just worsens the situation and chances are you’ll regret it later.
Deal with such situations as if you’re an outsider. And in all honesty, you’re an outsider.
It has to with them. Their anxiety, their problems, their life. So deal with compassion, deal with niceness, deal with calmness.
And always remember, It has nothing to do with you.
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