The Price of Proving Them All Wrong.
Some people or situations make us angry. I have noticed all the same patterns in my own life. For example, people who kind of piss me off, because I can’t handle them or I can’t tolerate their way of living or thinking. I break it down to my own responsibility, because it’s the most efficient way to stay away from negativity. Not getting involved in other people’s drama. It’s their movie, not ours.
When we’re angry or feel insecure, we sometimes say things we don’t want to say, or take actions which aren’t in balance with our actual truth. We say or do things which we actually don’t mean or even really think, and then regret it afterwards. Summarized, we add pain to someone else’s life, destroy their mood, and above all, we add lots of pain to our own lives. We consciously create a space full of negativity.
Is proving somebody wrong worth it? Is making somebody unhappy worth it? Is making ourselves unhappy worth it?
I had many situations in my life where my ego was way too big, and while angry, I did everything to verbally destroy them, and when I proved them wrong and they admitted it, I felt horrible. That’s the funny thing about soothing our egos: it doesn’t always feel good.
Recently, I had a situation where somebody from my past made me wait for a long time. When he showed up, he was arrogant, too cool for school, and didn’t talk to me in a friendly manner, although he clearly could’ve apologized. He verbally and non-verbally tried to show me his superiority and fake coolness.
Without going into details, in the first moments, I was really angry, and wanted to shout at him, but then I looked at him and saw a lost child who can’t control his own emotions, his thoughts and his actions. From here on, all I could feel is deep compassion.
Self-awareness practices help us be clear about who we want to be vs. who we are now. When something happens which could unbalance me, I try to slip into the observer-role and remember who I want to be in this life and what truth I want to live.
I try to always live by the so-called cause-effect dogma: If I reacted to his ignorant behavior with a dramatic discussion about fairness, his shitty behavior, what a jerk he is, and what I deserve or don’t, I would’ve created a disaster. Instead, all I did is stay calm and try to create a safe space for him and myself to exist in (and it was damn hard).
After some time, I jumped over my ego and asked him to hug me, which he seemed to do quite insecurely, but I gave him the tightest hug I could, which calmed him down.
Like in the above example, if we learn to choose self-love and peace over our egos in most unpleasant situations, in ways that protect both ourselves and others, how beautiful would this life be? Here is how:
Evaluate the situation with a loving and calm mind: Most of our conflicts are based on nothing big, and though they don’t matter in the bigger picture, they cause lots of suffering on a daily basis. When such a situation arises, it makes sense to evaluate it and ask ourselves if it is worth it to prove the other wrong or argue aggressively.
Sure, we can speak our minds, but in situations of anger, it’s mostly impossible to express our opinions clearly, because we are dominated by rage. If this discussion won’t matter tomorrow, or after a week, or even a year, it’s not worth it. Letting others stand behind their truth, even if this truth seems crappy to us, is the best choice we can make.
Decide what kind of person we want to be: This is my favorite practice, and it makes everything simple. I know that I don’t want to be a nagging, negative, arguing woman who takes everything personally. Nothing that other people say or do has to really do with us. It’s their shit, we have ours. They might want to live a life full of drama, lies and cheats, but I don’t.
I want to hug people close to me, compliment and cheer up for other people, and give them the space to experience whatever… their victories, their happiness, their inner worries, insecurities and expressions of love and kindness.
Be compassionate (above all, to yourself): Imagine how hard the lives of those angry people, who can’t handle their own ego and emotions, would be. They have to deal with so much anger and feelings of an unfair world every day. And they don’t want to admit that this anger doesn’t come from the outside. It’s what they generate and put out into the world. It’s from the inside.
And if we realize that all the emotions and situations are first born within our mind, then we can offer deep compassion to those who haven’t realized this yet. Like tight-hug, teddy-bear compassion. They suffer, and don’t know how to deal with it. They can’t fight their egos to be kind and feel good about themselves in a pure way.
When we succeed in applying these practices within the first few seconds of an arising drama, where we potentially will try to prove somebody wrong, we have won the fight. Arguing never really makes us happy, and neither does proving others wrong. What really fulfills us is the control over our own negativity explosions, and the calming power over other people. When we feel insecure, how do we want to be treated? We want others to understand us and to be on our side.
But when we don’t show integrity, and endlessly try to prove others wrong, even in the most difficult situations, we only create bad vibes, negativity and suffering in and around us. The price of proving others wrong is very high and totally not worth paying, no matter how difficult it might be.
And even if we don’t know how to act, I strongly believe that nobody can resist kindness, love and appreciation. Can somebody please prove me wrong on this?
Olga Chirkova was born in St. Petersburg and moved to Germany when she was nine. She believes there is no journey which is more difficult than the journey to your own true nature. It can be hard, painful, confusing, but it’s worth it. It is the most beautiful and honest journey there is. Come with her on the journey on her blog.