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Rude Behavior? Walk On By

Photo Credit: Jaycen Saab

It’s inevitable: if you interact with other human beings, you’re going to be subject to an assortment of slights, glares and smirks (if not downright rude gestures). Whether their behavior is intentional or not, the driver that cuts you off, the person in front of you in the “15 items only” line with 25 items in their cart, the sales person who refuses to make eye contact as they text away on their phone--are all annoying.

Sure enough, you fume, you have a conversation with yourself about how ruuuuude these people are, how you would neeeeever behave that way. You are justifiably irritated, and you stay that way for the better part of your day. You then inflict your foul mood on whoever you encounter next: co-worker, child, partner, friend. Suddenly you’re all thumbs, you drop things, you can’t find that whatever you need, and your back is acting up again.

No big surprise! Like attracts like, energetically speaking, and when you’re in a rotten place, you cease to perceive the goodness all around and in you. You can only relate to things that match in some way, your foul mood.

The solution is not to pretend you weren’t slighted, dissed, or generally “rudified” – you were! The solution is to recognize the behavior as something you don’t want in your life, and refuse to attach to it. In short, don’t cling! Don’t latch on to the person’s rudeness as if it were a life preserver and hang on to it for all you are worth. Let go! Immediately, totally, completely. They were rude, yes. You don’t like it, fine. It’s done, over.

You see, it’s not the slight or the cutting-in-front that hurts you, not really. Oh, you may have to spend 5 more minutes in line than you intended, and you may have to remember to pay more attention to potentially irresponsible drivers, but there’s no real harm here. You’re irritated, annoyed, not damaged beyond repair.

Unless you make it so. The more you fume, dwell on the slight, rehash it endlessly in the theater of your mind, the bigger it gets, and yes, then you can do damage to yourself over this truly insignificant event.

You have better things to do with your life, your time on this glorious planet. If you can, forgive the person (who knows what’s going on in their life?), if you can’t, that’s all right too, but at the very least, let go and walk on by. You will be the happier for it.


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