In the ideal world (like the one in my imagination) there is no aggression or nastiness. Everyone is fair and kind and love is the driving force, propelling us into a lovely future.
Unfortunately the real world can be very different.
There is one particular person in my circle who is quite unpleasant. Circumstances dictate that this person remains, for the foreseeable future, integrated into my life.
It has taken me a long time not to take the regular outpouring of venomous words so freaking personally. This is how I did it.
1. Breathe deeply.
When I am feeling energetically attacked (and while replaying the memory afterwards), my breathing becomes shallower, or I hold my breath altogether. This in itself is enough to induce feelings of anxiety.
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. It sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Heart rate and blood pressure falls and a sense of relaxation will automatically take over.
2. Meditate. (You knew this would make the list!)
Yes, it always come in somewhere, but that’s because there is no better way to keep you in the now, stop foreseeing future problems and replaying past events.
3. Remember: you don't know what's going on in that person's life.
If you are met with hostility, it can be easy to judge the other person as nasty but we rarely know what’s going on in someone’s life to make him or her feel hostile.
4. Drop it.
Holding on to resentment hurts you more than the other person. Imagine you are holding on to the back of a moving car; being dragged around and getting hurt. Is it the car that’s hurting you? No it’s you actually holding on to the car that’s allowing you to get hurt. Letting go is freeing.
5. Remember it’s only one person's perception of reality.
It’s hard to remember when you're being criticized, but understanding this is the other person’s perception of reality was a huge leap forward for me. I am true to myself and other people’s opinions of me are really none of my business.
6. Try to love them exactly as they are.
This was a tricky one, but whenever I saw this person I would forget anything that had gone on before and accept them exactly as they are without preconceived ideas or wishing they would change.
7. Don’t mind read.
I had a phase when if this person's name was mentioned, I'd assume they had been bad mouthing me and I would start to feel anxious. By guessing what I thought they were thinking, my mind went into overdrive creating a story. I am sure I put more energy into them than they ever did into me. Unless I hear something directly now I don’t assume.
8. Don’t let one bad incident make you feel you have had a bad day, a bad week or even a bad life!
For every one negative person I encounter, I have a million more things to be thankful for and I make sure I journal a list every day so the good always outweighs the bad.