Question: “Hello, I got a question that I hope you will be able to answer ._. If someone you see often and can’t avoid is bothering you. Like as if this person’s selfish and angry actions is influencing you and makes you think badly, how can you avoid that? I’ve been living with this person for years, and no matter how hard I try to help and give advice, he won’t ever change. How can I be good enough to see past his actions and turn my bad thoughts to good?”
It’s a natural process to think that someone or something else is what is influencing our thoughts and actions. We tend to always put the blame on others or other things, because it just can’t possibly be our own fault. That is a false perception. The truth is that we are always responsible for anything and everything we think, say, or do.
You live with someone you are trying to help but doesn’t want to change. Ok, don’t help them then. You can’t make someone change if they are unwilling to change themselves. So don’t spend your energy on that. You say the things that person says and does makes you angry and have bad thoughts. But why? How? If some random person that doesn’t know you passes by you and says something bad about you that you know is not true, chances are it doesn’t affect you that much and you just brush it off. That same process should be applied to everyone. Because the only reason something or someone might bother you is because you allow it to.
People always get upset when someone bumps into them and doesn’t apologize or doesn’t hold the door open for them. We think these are universal and common courtesies, but that’s only true because society influenced us to believe that. In some societies it’s actually rude to speak to someone you don’t know when walking or bumping into them, so why are we so hyped up and angry if someone doesn’t apologize to us? Our false perceptions of how people or things should be causes us to suffer. So instead of thinking of what should be right or wrong, evaluate why it makes you angry before becoming angry at someone else.
Sometimes after contemplation we will arrive at an “aha!” moment and realize that it isn’t this person that’s doing this or that, that causes us anger, but it’s actually something else that we have full control over that we can change. So evaluate your own thoughts and feelings first. Find the core and root of those causes. Often times we find out that it’s something unexpected and that we can touch the root of these causes and either eliminate them completely or lessen its influence.
Change always comes from within first.
Smile and be well!