“Someone else’s action should not determine your response.” – The Dalai Lama

When someone calls your name out loud, you instantly turn your head to the source of the sound. Or when you watch a sad movie, admit it or not, your eyes tear up. Or when you hear the punchline of a joke, you burst out in laughter. It’s almost instinctive how you respond to your surroundings, and it’s the same for everybody.

But if someone hurts or angers you and tells you not to react, would you be able to hold yourself back? You can only imagine how challenging it must be to fight your reflex. Well, sometimes you have to restrain your response when it causes you more harm than good, especially in response to someone else’s doing.

Be the one in control

Sometimes you forget that you are the one in control of your feelings. You lose that very control when you give more importance to what others say or do and respond accordingly. If someone says you’re worthless, your self-esteem takes a hit and then you start to think he or she is probably right. You don’t believe your worth and you lose the power you have over your emotions.

So, let’s remind you of your control. You don’t have to house the negative thoughts that are living rent-free in your mind. It is time for you to choose the way you want to live instead of living the way others want you to. Do not take whatever others say about you as gospel, you know your own value better than anyone else.

The rational reaction

If you were to burn your fingers on a stove, would you immediately pull your hand back or would you just let it rest on the stove? You know that your most rational reaction would be to get your hand away from the hot stove, place your stinging fingers under the running water and apply a soothing cream – problem solved.

However, when someone else does or says something in ill faith to you, would you rather get mad or simply ignore it? The choice is yours. But if you let your anger and sadness get the best of you, your response is just like further pressing your burnt fingers on the hot stove and letting the stove get the best of your hand. Now, that’s an irrational choice you should steer clear of.

So, why don’t you offer the same treatment to your mind? Don’t let people burn your feelings so easily. Nurse your feelings, and put some distance between yourself and others. Your response should depend only on you and not on someone else’s action.

Give credit where it’s due

It is easy to hold a grudge against someone, but the burden falls on you. The other person might not even know about it while you simply can’t let it go. It’s an unfair exchange, and you don’t have to be a part of it. You can let go of the grudge and start a new deal with forgiveness and tolerance. Forgiving someone for their actions does not mean that you have to forget about it and approve it.

Remember, you don’t have to forget to forgive. It simply means that you can move forward without them holding you back. With this, you don’t have to credit them for upsetting your peace of mind. Credit yourself for not associating your worth with the opinions of others.