“The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.” – James Allen
Most of us face challenges, stress, and adversity in work and life.
Whether we expect them or not, it happens to all of us.
If we learn how to stay calm in any situation, we can have mastery over our self and our life.
How to Stay Calm in the Face of Negativity
I began to take notice on how stress had on my body.
Because of my sensitivity, I get sick a day after every unfortunate event.
For my own health, I had to learn how to stay calm even if there was chaos on the outside.
Mind you, I was the expressive one.
But becoming impatient and angry had not solve the problem and I, my health and vitality, alone lessens.
Our adversities comes in many shades.
Among the shades are none other than the stress of dealing with our own people.
How to Deal with Negative People
It’s not likely that you will hate a baby when he yells, throws a bowl of food on the ground, or breaks your phone.
So why do we immediately react negatively to an adult who does the same thing?
We’d say, “She was just hungry”, “She’s cranky”, or “She’s having a bad day”.
Rarely do we feel agitated or wounded by the baby.
Yet, we assign negative emotions and meanings to events that may or may not be there.
If someone cuts in front of us in a grocery store, we believe they have sized us up and took advantage of us.
Someone flips the bird in traffic and we immediately believe that we are the sole cause of their anger.
We then react to others the same hostility they give us.
But motives can often be different than their actions would indicate.
If a man died by a car but it was an accident, we let it go.
If a man died by a car but it was intentional, we don’t let it go.
Of course, death is not small topic to let go of.
But in our daily life, we treat every nuances from a bump to the shoulder or a misplaced word as intentional.
We get riled up and angrily point to the other person, “Why did you do that?!”
Most of the time, the answer is because the other person is not aware.
For if they were aware or acknowledge his awareness, then the circumstances would have been different.
How we walk our life is more unconscious than we realize.
Instead of assigning negative meanings, we can say that “maybe they lost a love”, “maybe they didn’t sleep well”, or “maybe they have a physical or mental injury”.
We can be calm in the face of adversity if we take this poise and attitude for adults as we do for babies.
If we realize that every event is up to our interpretation we can stay calm in any situation.
Why We Think Others Are Out to Get Us
Though things rarely appear unintentional to us, especially if they are pointing directly at us.
Sometimes it feels like people are out there to get us.
We are prisoners of the past. I was a prisoner of the past.
Every time someone forgets, I’d take it as them attempting to get revenge on me.
Or when someone takes too long, I’d take that as them trying to ignore me.
And every time someone steps over my boundaries, I’d take it as them putting me down in the social ladder.
But like the baby, we associate the motives of others with bad intentions.
I realized that the way I think about others is a reflection of how I think about myself.
It’s because didn’t like how I looked in the mirror. I felt ashamed. I felt bad about myself.
And so I hated the world for giving me such a prejudice and unforgiving life.
But really, I hated myself. That who I was is as worthless a human being could be.
So the little things others do I interpreted as a means to get at me.
I was the easy little target for them because I was different from them.
In my eyes, I deserved every bit of it because of who I was.
And in return, I give them exactly what I believed they deserved.
But it was all interpretation that caused my suffering.
Through that suffering, I expressed myself in ways that brought about more suffering.
Where our Restless Frustration Comes From
Our sense of being is set during our childhood.
When someone close to us made us feel worthless, dirty, and incompetent, we go through life with the same expectations.
Not because we think it’s right but because it’s familiar to us.
And when it comes to familiarity, human nature would rather stay the same than to change.
I didn’t have a supportive family. I didn’t have an understanding family.
And so I went through life with doubts on every turn.
Because of that, I expected and assumed the worst of others.
It also comes from our wants and desires.
If our set of expectations is stepped on, we become agitated.
The ego’s need to be right will not seek to see reality as it is but as how we expect them to be.
When the situation is unexpected, we panic because it speaks danger to the ego.
If we control our expectations, there is no longer panic and angst but a sense of calmness.
Change Your Perception
Human nature are fallible.
They make mistakes. They make bad decisions.
And ultimately, they are not perfect.
In that imperfection, people are suffering.
The mean, harmful, and inconsiderate people are all suffering in some part of their lives.
Even if they look well established or joyful in conversations, everyone has a dark secret they keep to themselves.
It’s a part of them that spills over other areas of their life like a darkened overfilling smog.
And behind the mask is a cry for help on the inside.
I no longer see them as a means to get a rise out of me or purposely ruining my life.
Now I perceive them as they are and their actions as it is – just words and actions.
But I may choose to accept them as much as I may choose to reject them.