What is the secret of people who are able to keep their spirits up when they are hurt and insulted? I think it’s about two things: self-control and understanding. Let’s start with self-control.
I have read that one of the great secrets of the bravery and serenity of the Japanese samurai in the days when they still existed was their deep and natural breathing. They learned to breathe consciously and breathed into the belly in what is known as the “hara”, which is how children breathe.
But as we age, unfortunately, we stop breathing correctly. Adult people breathe superficially, and this is one of the reasons for an unbalanced state of mind, because the vital functions of our body largely depend on breathing.
And if you observe yourself in moments of anger, resentment, and any situation where you don’t control yourself, your breathing will be shallow and frequent.
And it would seem simple: if you lose your temper, remember to breathe deeply, and you’ll find inner balance and calm. But this is the main difficulty: we forget about it and are completely immersed in the emotions that have come over us.
So this is solved by practice: we have to try to remember it when we lose our temper, and gradually it will get better and better. This helps to develop awareness and self-control.
And the second thing is understanding: we need to understand the very essence of the offenses and insults directed at us. And at this point we turn to quotes from writers Franz Kafka and Robert Heinlein to help make sense of it.
“A wise man cannot be offended, because the truth cannot be offended, and the untruth is not worth paying attention to” (Robert Heinlein).
R. Heinlein. A famous american science-fiction author, aeronautical engineer and Naval officer.
This does seem absurd: if someone called us, say, a bad word, but we know for sure that it is not true, then what is the point of attaching meaning to it at all?
So we need to look closely and evaluate what was said to us in terms of critical thinking, and ask ourselves the following questions:
- Why did it hurt me?
- Maybe this person is right? Or maybe I think I am?
- Am I really like that? Or am I just blindly believing these words?
Generally speaking, in many situations, the insults said to us are not true and reveal more of the essence of the person from whose mouth the dirt is pouring. But since we don’t know ourselves and don’t study ourselves, we simply take others’ words at face value, and mistakenly believe that what is said can hurt us and demean our status and authority.
But these words won’t do us any harm if we don’t take them personally. So everyone is free to choose: if he does not accept them, they do not apply to him.
“For the most part, people are not evil at all. People do bad things and bring guilt upon themselves because they speak and act without imagining the consequences of their words and actions. They are lunatics, not villains” (Franz Kafka).
F. Kafka. A famous bohemian novelist and short-story writer.
Who are sleepwalkers? They are unconscious and insensitive people. They don’t realize that you will be hurt by their actions and words, they don’t know what they are doing.
Of course, all this does not excuse them, but when you understand it, it makes their actions easier to deal with. After all, what is the use of, for example, demanding and expecting adequate behavior from a madman? We simply pay no attention to such people and try to stay away from them, if we cannot help them to change for the better.