We do not live in a peaceful world. Every day, there are news reports of conflicts all over the globe. And even if we don’t live in a war-torn country, as individuals, we can have conflicts in our personal relationships.
Other people, either intentionally or unintentionally, can behave in a manner toward us that is rude or inconsiderate. When that happens, we become offended, and our hearts are not at peace.
The challenge is to develop healthy ways of dealing with the not so nice behavior of others so that we can keep our serenity. That isn’t a skill that we naturally have. Instead, we have to learn how to do it.
Below are some strategies to think clearly and positively so that you can be at peace no matter what others around you may do.
- Remember That the Behavior of Others Is Not A Reflection on You: Very often when another person is rude to us, we take it personally. We think, “If I was more intelligent/beautiful/rich that person would not have been rude to me.” Trust me. You are perfect just the way you are. Their rudeness has nothing to do with you. It is a reflection of their own lack of manners. And yes, there are people who are strategically rude. They are unkind only to those who are weaker than they are. Those folks are at the bottom of the barrel of humanity. The key is to not be offended when someone acts poorly toward you. Remember that their behavior has nothing to do with you, and simply is a reflection of their own lack of character.
- You Are Not Obliged to Deal with Unpleasant People: Sadly, there are some people who choose to be difficult. You are not obliged to interact with these people. For instance, if you have a co-worker who acts poorly, try to limit the time you spend with him or her. The same holds true for family members. You aren’t obliged to deal with unpleasant people. I feel no obligation to interact with anyone. If people are pleasant and polite, they get my time and attention. However, if they aren’t, I have better things to do than to spend my time with people who want to undermine my serenity.
- Be Positive and Attract Positive People: The saying, “birds of a feather flock together,” has some truth to it. Positive, considerate people tend to have positive, considerate friends. The same holds true for parenting. Happy, kind parents tend to have happy, kind children. So, if you want to be surrounded by decent and kind people, exhibit those qualities yourself. Practice being peaceful and considerate, no matter what is going on around you. Be positive and hold yourself to the highest standard of behavior at all times.
- Pray or Meditate: We all need opportunities to mentally regroup from the unfortunate behavior of other people. That means finding time to be alone to pray or meditate. Doing so helps us put life in perspective. Often, we can be upset by things that just are not important. We forget that ultimately what other people say or do is not our problem. Our only job is to fulfill God’s will for our lives on this earth. Everything else is a distraction.
Having a peaceful heart and mind is the key to a good life. But that kind of peace does not come naturally to us. It is something that we have to work at. This week, think of ways that you can create peace in your life. A peaceful life, ultimately, is a happy life.
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