When a perfectly lovely day turns sour because someone drops by and dumps all their crap all over us, what can we do?
The other day someone I know chose to verbally vomit all over me with his complaints, negativity and hatred.
He began by giving me unsolicited relationship advice and went on to insult me and all “gringos” for our country’s role in ruining the earth. He was bitching and moaning, accusing me of all sorts of things and telling me just how to live.
I suddenly realized we had never been friends. He was friends with my husband. He was a mere acquaintance of mine, one that I always viewed as harmless until recently. I was a captive audience member, on a boat crossing the lake. He was planning on leaving Guatemala the next morning and never coming back, so I got to hear what he really thinks of me—things he would only say behind my back before.
I said almost nothing, just listened. I could have said a lot of things, namely, “You’re spitting on me,” or “I don’t like you, either.”
But I chose to practice non-violence as his tirade continued for ten minutes.
I did my best to block this man’s bad mojo, but of course some made it through. As I went home, I felt angry and irritated that he had dumped so much on me. I can’t remember a time when anyone has ever spoken to me so harshly and rudely.
In order to let go of all the heavy, horrible feelings that linger after encounters with negative people, here are seven steps I recommend.
May they be of benefit!
1. Get connected with the earth.
I felt my feet on the ground. I connected with a sense of belonging, right where I am.
2. Take a shower.
Or a swim. Connect with water. We need to cleanse both our physical body and our emotional body.
3. Express yourself.
Sometimes this is achieved through action, other times through non-action. Always with nonviolence, with peace.
I chose to walk away, not to insult this man or respond to his accusations.
4. Open your heart.
First, I work with forgiveness.
In this case, I can practice forgiving him for verbally abusing me. Although I can’t force him (or anyone) to forgive me, I can send out a wish to be forgiven by him for any harm I caused him. And I will practice forgiving (but not forgetting), always.
I send him metta, wishing that he may be safe, happy, healthy and free.
5. Speak your mind.
I talked to my husband about what had happened, processing my feelings immediately after the fact. I also mentioned it to two other friends. It’s helpful to vent but not too much. I did not go around telling anyone and everyone.
6. Listen to your gut.
I connected with my intuition and realized that he is wounded, suffering, and hurt, which is the reason why he is lashing out and wounding and hurting everyone else.
7. Lighten up.
I connected with my crown and remembered that I, too, am capable of this type of behavior. It is human nature. I remembered that despite our apparent differences, he and I are actually the same.
Author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Wikimedia Commons