Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feeling, and emotions. Will Smith

Today I read in The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, “The Real Source of Harm.” We think how other people treat us and think about us, names they may call us, and attitudes they have about us, our behavior, beliefs, or ways of doing things is important. That this is what harms us. Epictetus a Roman Stoic who was also a slave tells us, “Keep in mind that it isn’t the one who has it in for you and takes a swipe that harms you, but rather the harm comes from your own belief about the abuse. So when someone arouses your anger, know that it’s really your own opinion fueling it. Instead, make it your first response not to be carried away by such impressions, for with time and distance self-mastery is more easily achieved.”

If someone sent us a nasty email but we never got it, would we be hurt by it? The fact that we wouldn’t be hurt by it testifies to the fact we play a part in our hurt feelings. If we think the person is a complete fool and has no bearing on our lives even if we got it, would it bother us?

We may wish someone would think well of us that does not. We may think their standards are unreasonable. It might be a better society if when we told people what hurts us no one would use it against us. We don’t live in that world. It always seems there are some people looking for something hurtful to say and the more we react to what they say the more power we give them.

I watched Dr. Phil last night and the situation was ridiculous, a couple married for 13 years never consummated their marriage. The wife was bitter, she never agreed to this. Why they never consummated their marriage never got addressed, but she is very abusive towards him, and said, “The viler the words coming out of her mouth toward him the better she feels.”

It’s not what you say to everyone else that determines your life: it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the greatest power. marcandangel

I think we have a lot of this in our society, some people are looking to say hurtful things and when they find someone that is hurt to the core, they rejoice. The more we let things roll off of us the better. When people don’t get the desired reaction their attack ceases to be fun for them, they don’t get their pay-off so they quit.

Do I believe people should say mean and hurtful things to each other? Do I think it is okay? No, but it seems this is the human condition and the only person we are in control of is ourselves. The best way to handle difficult people is not to play their game. If people wrote about this over 2000 years ago, and it is still a problem today, then controlling someone else, what they say, what they think, telling them they have to accept and like us obviously isn’t true. No one has to accept and like anyone else. They may have to put up with us, they may have to tolerate us, but they don’t have to think good things about us, the way we live our lives, our conduct, our beliefs, what we stand for, and what we would die for.

Our reaction is what actually decides whether harm has occurred. When we feel wronged and react with a raised voice, a confrontation ensues. If we retain control of ourselves, let what was said roll off of us, act like we didn’t hear or didn’t comprehend their intent to hurt us. If we handed them something like a snickers bar to let them know we think what they are saying is their problem and not ours. We take back our power and go on with our day. If we don’t, we can let what someone said ruin our day, sometimes we let it ruin our life. Does anyone really deserve that much power over us?

Learn to control your anger, before your anger dictates the path you take in life. Unknown

A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret. Unknown

People will usually hurt you in an attempt to heal themselves. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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