Can you think of somebody who drives you crazy, who really pisses you off? For almost all of us, the answer is a definitive “Oh, yes!”
We may have spent countless hours reliving events when this person was unfair, unappreciative or inconsiderate. We may have thought, “What a jerk!” over and over again. Even remembering this person may make our blood pressure rise, our pulse race with anger and our minds fill with grief.
Try not to let this person – or other people like him – make you feel so miserable. Their problems are their problems. Try not to make them your problems. Letting other people “get to us” is seldom a good idea for two reasons: 1) it usually doesn’t help the situation and 2) life is too short to spend all of our time feeling bad.
An old Buddhist parable may help.
A young farmer was paddling his boat up a river to delivery produce to a village. As he looked ahead, he saw another vessel heading rapidly downstream towards his boat. The vessel seemed to be aiming directly at him and he furiously tried to row out of the way with little progress.
He yelled at the other vessel, “Change direction you idiot! You are going to hit me. The river is wide. Be careful!” His screaming was to no avail. The other vessel hit his boat with a sickening thud. He was enraged as he stood up and cried out to the other boat, “You moron! How could you manage to hit my boat in the middle of this wide river? What is wrong with you?”
As he strained to see the pilot of the other vessel, he suddenly realized that there was no one in the other boat. He was screaming at an empty boat that had broken free of its moorings and was just floating downstream with the current.
The learning point of this story is simple. There is never anyone in the other boat. When we are screaming – we are always screaming at an empty vessel.
That other person that is making you so angry cannot help but be who he is. Getting mad at him for being who he is, makes as much sense as getting mad at the chair you are sitting in for being a chair. The chair can’t help but be a chair. The other person can’t help but be who he is. If you had his parents, his genes and his background, you would be him.
You don’t have to like the other person. You don’t have to agree with the other person. You don’t even have to respect the other person. Just accept the fact that he is who he is and decide not to let his craziness become yours.
🍺 to a great week ahead!