I think we’ve all been there. We’re minding our own business and in the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life we happen to do something wrong. Then someone has a temper tantrum in our face. We are okay with the logic of it; negative action – negative reaction. The problem lies in the proportionality. The reaction is over the top and completely disproportionate to what we’ve done. We may have bumped into a person as they were coming out of the bathroom or not seen a person and accidently taken their place in line or made a small mistake at work. So what do we do when someone calls us out in an over the top manner, calls us names or belittles us just to make a point?
We must focus on the why of their reaction and not the how of it.
Let me ask you one thing? Do you think the people reacting this way to you are stable in any way? The answer is of course no. When you bumped into them as they were coming out of the bathroom, it wasn’t you specifically that was the problem, it was the act itself. The act represented yet another negative occurrence in this person’s life and the way in which this person reacted indicates that he or she is in a negative mindset. Remember the article about system 1 and system 2 thinking, I wrote a while back? Well, the negative mindset is so ingrained in this person’s psyche that he or she is searching for negative occurrences. When you are in this mindset, literally anything can be interpreted as a negative act. They would see someone who may have been too busy to hold the door open for them as being deliberately mean. Such is the toxic state that this person is in. A lot of the people who go to therapy are in this state. Simply put, it is a symptom of depression. So what do we do with these people? How do we stop their toxic energy spreading to us?
We forgive and let go.
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Don’t react, but if you choose to do so, let it be with love. These are people who are ultimately not happy with their lives and the only way they have of coping with the anger is to try to give it to someone else. They are trying to cure their disease by passing it on. The biggest favour you can do them is by being as obvious with your love as possible. Be so kind that they have no way of interpreting your actions as anything negative. In other words, break their system 1 thinking, by being the light in their life. The same goes for more hardcore offenders like neo-nazis, racists, sexists and the like. Do you think they are happy? Again, the answer is a resounding no. I can guarantee you that they suffer from depression and anxiety. There is a reason for their hatred. Maybe they feel forgotten, unheard, scared or left out. That does not make their actions excusable by any means. But before you react to them, look at the why of what they are doing? Why is the racist being racist? Is it not because he feels small inside? Maybe his parents didn’t teach him any better. Is he not trying to cure his hatred by passing it on to you? Of course, he is. Will it work? – no – but he is too blinded by the hatred to understand that. So show him love, give him no excuse to hate and remember to understand the why.
If you are currently suffering from strong and uncontrollable bouts of rage, be aware that this is a strong indicator of depression. Please seek help either via our online life-coaching / therapy sessions or from a local practitioner.
Cross Culture Therapy
Therapy Transcripts: Samuel – Week 6
Samuel discusses his job prospects, why he likes to teach people, his relationship with his ex-wife and the loss of his father.
Philip Andersson – Life Coach
Philip Andersson is a life-coach who is currently studying to become a psychotherapist. He treats people suffering from depression, phobias and anxiety. Having been raised in Hong Kong and having lived in England and Japan as an adult, Philip also treats people who are overcome with feelings of displacement and rudderlessness associated with a global-nomad lifestyle such as Third Culture Kids, Cross Culture Kids, Migrants and Asylum Seekers.
What We Do!
Cross Culture Therapy offers 1-on-1 online therapy sessions to people suffering from depression, phobia, anxiety as well as to people who suffer from displacement issues associated with a globally nomadic lifestyle (i.e.Third Culture Kids – people who have grown up in a culture different to their parent’s passport culture – and Cross Culture Kids) Our sessions are conducted via Skype for a duration of 50-minutes and can be purchased in packs of 1-session, 3-sessions or 5-sessions. If you are interested in purchasing a session, click on the Book A Session tab on our menu or click here.