My anger management book, titled, “Anger Management 101-Taming the Beast Within”,
is a bitter pill to swallow for some people, and I understand. Some people have been led to believe that the best way to respond to force is with force. The problem with this is that force is negative, and negative added to another negative will only yield negative.
The idea of responding to with a positive towards a negative, is an old idea that works, but is ironically foreign to some people.
So what does this have to do with the title of this post? Everything. Take for example, you are addressed by an insult from someone, what do you do? You can respond in a number of ways, but the best way to respond to an insult is to not respond back with an insult of your own.
When people insult me, I choose not to insult them back, and I will respond in one of two other ways. I will either ignore them entirely, or if this is someone that I can’t entirely ignore or dismiss due to circumstances beyond my control, I inform them that their remark was unacceptable and declare my boundaries for how I prefer to be communicated with.
Twenty to ten years ago, I used to suffer from the disease of chronic anger. I would periodically resort to explosive temper tantrums that severed relationships with others who mattered and brought sick people closer to my circle. This kept me in a constant state of resentment, as the people I kept close always gave me good reason to be resentful.
This of course was all before I realized something about people who enjoy delivering insults to others, there is a lack of recognition in their ability to bring anything positive and useful into any relationship, to include with themselves.
An insult is a rejection, and a rejection is an illusion. The illusion of being better than the person who is being rejected. It’s reverse psychology in action, kind of like when a high end department store decides to not sell to certain members of the population. The message is this, we are the best thing to happen since sliced bread and you are not good enough to purchase our merchandise, our merchandise is only reserved for a select few.
The reality is that this store offers nothing you need at all, and their rejection of most people creates an appeal to a minority with the disposal income to purchase overpriced things they don’t need. This is because very few people will have access to the product, and from a hierarchical mindset, uniqueness is important . The important thing to remember here is that the store has nothing you need.
So the next time you find yourself upset with someone who has just insulted you, ask yourself one question, what type of a friend would that person have made?
When we come to realize that there was nothing lost upon being rejected by another person, we stop being bothered by the insult.
Ugo is a psychotherapist and a life coach.