Monday, December 26, 2005

No excuses

The things you learn when dealing with people who don't like you...

You know, you are fully capable of dealing with your emotions. When someone makes a comment, there's a conscious decision that goes on that goes on in a split second in your head. How to react?

You can choose to see it as an insult; you can choose to let it slide. There's no "I can't help it." It's something I've realized recently. You have the capability to decide whether to get angry or offended. And I've seen it happen-it's fascinating. X makes a careless remark, which causes Y to hate X forever. But Y could have stopped and thought Hm...I'm sure X didn't mean it that way...people aren't malicious by nature...


Stx said...

"...People aren't malicious by nature..."

Now you're talking. That single thought it what shows me when I'm acting like an adult. Sometimes I feel like I'm still stuck in teenager-land...when I forget to realize that one thing...

Karl said...

Its that realization that we do actually have control over ALL our actions. That we can ultimately take control over everything. There maybe some inbuilt reactions to things - scream out when in pain, and learnt/acustomed actions - nasty reply/ loshon hora, but if you train yourself, actually, you can overcome that. Mind over matter. A little thought goes a long way. Self control, mind over heart, being aware of oneself. It is ultimately what we are striving for.
Its hard, but is possible.
I made it sound like its robotic, but it is controling every aspect of onself and using it to fulfil ones potential.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

People are not malicious by nature.

Some, however, do not think before they speak. It has taken years for me to learn how to stay as still as a log when feeling angry, take a breathe, and be calm about what is said.

Masmida said...

It's fascinating to watch yourself make these decisions, to see the interaction of emotion and will.

to be able to choose what you feel, and how you react, that's a grownup

Chana said...

Out of curiousity, what would you do if the person was deliberately being cruel?

What if someone did something that was not tactless, but inexcusably cruel?

Sure, you are not supposed to bear grudges. But there are some things that cannot be forgiven.

Examples? People who lie or double-cross. Someone who claims they'll give you sterling recommendations and actually ruin your chances of getting into college because they defame you and lie about you. Or, as was written about in 'People Speak' the same sort of thing, only with shidduchim.

What about these people?

People aren't malicious by nature- but they can be. Someone can enjoy someone's pain, feed on it, glut themselves on suffering.

It sounds sick, but it could happen.

What then?

Masmida said...

Dan l'caf zecut really mean judge according to the merits of the person.

Someone who is generally kind and thoughtful, think twice about seeing them be callous and cruel.

Someone who is overall preety nasty, be distrustful when you see them be kind.

Those stay away from, very far away.

TRW said...

Stx: Yeah, that's what shows me that I'm actually using logic rather than emotions in reactions. MUCH easier said than done, but still...

Karl and Masmida: Exactly

Barbara: Yes, and that's what makes it so amazing when we can overcome it!

Chana: Use it as an intellectual exercise. Remove yourself from the situation, and try and see the person from their perspective. It's sooooo much easier to do when it's someone else who's upset and not you, though.
Do they think that what they're doing is right? You can justify EVERYTHING. And if they feel that their actions are correct, and yours are wrong (whether they actually are or not), they are trying to somehow fix something.
It is very true that some people break even more things when they try to fix them, because they have no clue how to react to things, and that can be extremely dangerous.

People rarely do things intentionally that are "bad." It's always for someone's "own good," and the doer often thinks that what he/she's doing is absolutely correct!

That is extremely painful.

BUT. If we spend our lives focused on people who hurt us, how can we live at all?

Jen said...

"People aren't malicious by nature." Teenagers don't count, right? (I teach high schoolers.) I would LOVE to teach kids how to hold their reactions. It's a LONG process.

David said...

What if the same person says the same nasty things? For example, say someone keeps repeating, "You can't even talk straight," or, "I don't need your buba maisas." What if that same person keeps making the same deprecating remarks--and worse--over and over again? For six months? Can one be justified in being miffed and staying away from such an obvious creep?

Let us say, just for argument's sake, that the even though the individual claims that he is going through a difficult time--i.e., financially or emotionally because a family member is is ill--and you detect (and some of can) a lack of sincerity, is it not, again, not unreasonable to stay away from someone who so obviously is lacking in derech eretz?

Doesn't your observation have some limitation?