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How do I let insults go without experiencing anger

When people direct hatred towards me it spreads endlessly. Its terrible and I cant stop it. When I am insulted I cant help but feel diminished than feel the need to direct anger back. What can I do to make the anger feel insignificant. How can I forgive and let it go?

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Comments

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I used to be a school principal, and in a profession like that you get your fair share (and unfair share) of criticism, some of it very vitriolic.

    One thing that I would do mentally to diffuse it was to consider the source. Was it a person whose POV might be valid? Someone I respected? Then I would carefully consider the criticism.

    But if it was a person I did not respect or feel had valid POVs, then I would simply think, "What do I care what that little shit thinks or says." And I could usually let it go.

    TheEccentricKundo
  • @vinlyn said:
    I used to be a school principal, and in a profession like that you get your fair share (and unfair share) of criticism, some of it very vitriolic.

    One thing that I would do mentally to diffuse it was to consider the source. Was it a person whose POV might be valid? Someone I respected? Then I would carefully consider the criticism.

    But if it was a person I did not respect or feel had valid POVs, then I would simply think, "What do I care what that little shit thinks or says." And I could usually let it go.

    Pretending that I dont care wont relieve my anger.

  • @heyimacrab said:
    Pretending that I dont care wont relieve my anger.

    Exactly. You ought to find out why you're angry. Usually, it is because have an image about ourselves - and when that image is 'disturbed' by someone/something, we get angry. Shed the image if you wish to get rid of anger. The contradiction between image and reality is the real issue - insults simply trigger this conflict.

    banned_crabLostSoulsova
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @heyimacrab said:
    Pretending that I dont care wont relieve my anger.

    I'm not suggesting you pretend. I'm suggesting that you consider the source, and it it's not a source you respect, why give a damn?

  • There are two ways to tackle this. First of all, remember that your emotions don't define who you are. Feel angry, upset or whatever and then let the feeling pass. Of themselves emotions are harmless. The trouble starts when you hold onto that anger.

    The second, longer-term, strategy is to figure out why you being subjected to hate attacks. Unless you are in the presence of a psychotic, there is usually a reason someone would insult or denigrate you. Is your own behaviour provoking it?

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited March 2014

    if you are insulted because of something you have done wrong, then acknowledge your wrong-doing and ask for forgiveness and take caution not to repeat that wrong-doing again.

    if you are insulted because of some wrong understanding on the other side and nothing wrong done by you, then why to make yourself angry over other person's misunderstanding - you can only take care of your own actions and what others do or not do has nothing to do with you.

    from the view-point of karma, if you are experiencing something bad and you have not done anything bad, then you should be thankful to other person to letting you get rid of your previous bad karmas' result - then your anger may even not arise - also if you react badly, then you create bad karma for yourself, whose bad effect you will receive in future, so why should you create something bad for yourself for future? thinking these things, you can refrain yourself from reacting badly to others, who have insulted you.

    metta to you and all sentient beings.

    Jeffrey
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited March 2014

    First, what are you doing or what people are you hanging around with, that you are subjected to insults often enough for it to be a problem? Unless you're in an abusive relationship (either at home or at work, since a boss can also be abusive) then understand it should be a rare thing to be intentionally insulted. Oh. unless you're different enough to attract the bigots and racists who enjoy inflicting pain.

    The second thing, you did not include an example so we cannot tell you what your problem is. If it's not obvious aggression, then perhaps you mistake constructive criticism for an insult. Is this directed to you, or something you believe you overhear, or second-hand rumor, etc? In other words, your anger about thinking you're being insulted might be a symptom of a different, bigger problem.

    And the biggest thing is to realize this anger at a perceived insult is Dukkha and the Noble Truths in action. If you cannot comprehend what is happening to the extent you can change your reaction, then you've got a huge job ahead of you. What's happening is, you want to be liked and admired. We all do. Anyone who claims they don't care is fooling themselves. It's as instinctive a behavior as jerking our hand away from a fire, because we desperately want to be part of the group.

    So when you think you're being insulted, that slams into your desire to be liked and accepted. The world is not behaving the way you and your ego desire it to behave. And you get angry and hurt.

    You have to learn to let it go. That's practicing the 8-fold path. Correct effort. Maybe this "insult" is from someone who is trying to help by pointing out something that you need to be aware of in your behavior. Even an obvious insult is someone trying to make themselves noticed and feel good by having the power to hurt you. Don't let them.

    Vastmind
  • @betaboy said:
    Exactly. You ought to find out why you're angry. Usually, it is because have an image about ourselves - and when that image is 'disturbed' by someone/something, we get angry. Shed the image if you wish to get rid of anger. The contradiction between image and reality is the real issue - insults simply trigger this conflict.

    Exactly. I always feel a need to defend my image and it ends up ruining my balance. I cant simply convince myself that im better off not caring simply because my thoughts cant choose.> @poptart said:

    There are two ways to tackle this. First of all, remember that your emotions don't define who you are. Feel angry, upset or whatever and then let the feeling pass. Of themselves emotions are harmless. The trouble starts when you hold onto that anger.

    The second, longer-term, strategy is to figure out why you being subjected to hate attacks. Unless you are in the presence of a psychotic, there is usually a reason someone would insult or denigrate you. Is your own behaviour provoking it?

    ALright thats a good point. The emotions themselves wont hurt me, I will be mindful of that. I am attacked by coworkers and friends. Its not constant but when it happens I want to know what to do about it.> @Cinorjer said:

    First, what are you doing or what people are you hanging around with, that you are subjected to insults often enough for it to be a problem? Unless you're in an abusive relationship (either at home or at work, since a boss can also be abusive) then understand it should be a rare thing to be intentionally insulted. Oh. unless you're different enough to attract the bigots and racists who enjoy inflicting pain.

    The second thing, you did not include an example so we cannot tell you what your problem is. If it's not obvious aggression, then perhaps you mistake constructive criticism for an insult. Is this directed to you, or something you believe you overhear, or second-hand rumor, etc? In other words, your anger about thinking you're being insulted might be a symptom of a different, bigger problem.

    And the biggest thing is to realize this anger at a perceived insult is Dukkha and the Noble Truths in action. If you cannot comprehend what is happening to the extent you can change your reaction, then you've got a huge job ahead of you. What's happening is, you want to be liked and admired. We all do. Anyone who claims they don't care is fooling themselves. It's as instinctive a behavior as jerking our hand away from a fire, because we desperately want to be part of the group.

    So when you think you're being insulted, that slams into your desire to be liked and accepted. The world is not behaving the way you and your ego desire it to behave. And you get angry and hurt.

    You have to learn to let it go. That's practicing the 8-fold path. Correct effort. Maybe this "insult" is from someone who is trying to help by pointing out something that you need to be aware of in your behavior. Even an obvious insult is someone trying to make themselves noticed and feel good by having the power to hurt you. Don't let them.

    No man its clearly an insult im not dellusional.

  • I had the same problem at work one time. Not with a boss in particular, just with whoever had decided to share their opinion loudly. I changed myself since I couldn't change them. Their words used to hit me like stray thrown objects. Everything we experience can be dealt with a peaceful resolution. It might be true that our emotions and reactions may fuel their next action. Overall its not important what they say. They don't make or break you. The spark they ignite may either start a campfire or a forest fire, either way we shouldn't act like a fuel.

    metta

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Why does it matter what someone else thinks of you? Honestly? Have you thought about that and tried to determine why? Are we talking about someone close to you like a parent or sibling or are we talking about someone at work or at the grocery store? People who insult or are otherwise rude or cruel reflect to others what they see in themselves. It really has nothing to do with you. When you can really understand that, it takes away their ability to have power over you. If it is bothering you so much, is it possible there is a teeny element of truth in what they are saying that on some level you realize?

  • @karasti said:
    Why does it matter what someone else thinks of you? Honestly? Have you thought about that and tried to determine why? Are we talking about someone close to you like a parent or sibling or are we talking about someone at work or at the grocery store? People who insult or are otherwise rude or cruel reflect to others what they see in themselves. It really has nothing to do with you. When you can really understand that, it takes away their ability to have power over you. If it is bothering you so much, is it possible there is a teeny element of truth in what they are saying that on some level you realize?

    How am I supposed to think my way out of this problem if the problem itself is thinking.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    There is a difference in being able to step back and logically analyze things that are going on, and being totally involved in your emotions. Thinking is required, we can't really get through life without it. But there are different ways of thinking, and when your thinking is based on your emotions that quite different. You have to be able to use your thinking to evaluate your feelings. Not let your feelings control your thoughts.

  • Things get better over time when we ignore things that we should ignore.

  • @heyimacrab said:
    No man its clearly an insult im not dellusional.

    So why is this person going around insulting you? People do things for a reason, as unlogical as the reason might be. Does this person think you've done something to them and is retaliating?

  • @Cinorjer said:
    So why is this person going around insulting you? People do things for a reason, as unlogical as the reason might be. Does this person think you've done something to them and is retaliating?

    It doesn't have to be that complicated. There are mean people. They do very bad things, and there may be no reason at all. Our rational minds can't accept this, so we over analyze this, wondering why a person would do this etc. Truth is, there is no reason.

  • yagryagr Veteran

    There was a case of a psychiatrist working with a woman many years ago. She came to him because she was angry that her husband kept telling her that she was an alcoholic. Whenever he did, she would become furious. The doctor listened to her go on for most of the session and at the end announced, "I don't believe that you are an alcoholic." The woman, much relieved, asked him then what he thought the problem was. He replied, "I believe that you are a typewriter."

    The woman burst out laughing. When the doctor asked what it was that she thought was so funny she answered, "Doctor, it's just that it's ridiculous!" she cried, "I am very clearly not a typewriter." The doctor began scribbling on his notepad and when she asked him what he was writing he said, "Just noting that you didn't think it was laugh worthy when your husband called you an alcoholic...that wasn't ridiculous enough to elicit a laugh."

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited March 2014

    @poptart said:
    There are two ways to tackle this. First of all, remember that your emotions don't define who you are. Feel angry, upset or whatever and then let the feeling pass. Of themselves emotions are harmless. The trouble starts when you hold onto that anger.

    The second, longer-term, strategy is to figure out why you being subjected to hate attacks. Unless you are in the presence of a psychotic, there is usually a reason someone would insult or denigrate you. Is your own behaviour provoking it?

    I don't like the word 'psychotic' because it means that someone has a thought disorder and sees hallucinations in some cases. Giving insults isn't one of the characteristics of psychotic disorders.

    Your first paragraph was great.

  • I am attacked by coworkers and friends.

    You could try asking them: 'It feels like you are attacking or insulting me. Are you? Why?'

    Buddhadragon
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    There is always a reason for why people do what they do and say what they say. The reason may not be obvious to them or us, but there is always a reason. It isn't simply because "they are mean." Though I have to ask why you have friends who you consider to be mean, cruel, and insulting.

    vinlynlobsterCinorjer
  • @lobster said:

    Nah

    The problem is that I want the anger to go away without any consequences. I used to always reply but that only ended up making me even more angry.

  • The problem is that I want the anger to go away without any consequences

    Try magic perhaps . . . You are going to have to pay a price. If you take herbal tranquillisers it will calm you. As will meditation.
    How about drinking chamomile tea on a regular basis?

  • @heyimacrab said:
    When people direct hatred towards me...

    Why are people _doing _that?

  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited March 2014

    The Hawk Sutta explains how to deal with this kind of anger. In that parable, you are the quail, the anger is the hawk, and attention to your breath is your ancestral domain. Of course, for it to work you have to get to know your ancestral domain very well, and learn to prefer dwelling in your ancestral domain to being carried off by the hawk...

    lobsterLostSoul
    1. Like fine dust thrown against the wind, evil falls back upon that fool who offends an inoffensive, pure and guiltless man.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.09.budd.html

  • @heyimacrab said:
    When people direct hatred towards me it spreads endlessly. Its terrible and I cant stop it. When I am insulted I cant help but feel diminished than feel the need to direct anger back. What can I do to make the anger feel insignificant. How can I forgive and let it go?

    People would not direct hatred towards you if you don't give them the opportunity. If they indeed did, that's their bad karma. You should feel glad then it's not you who perform the bad deed. So, you don't have to forgive and there is nothing at all for you to let go.

  • @betaboy said:
    Exactly. You ought to find out why you're angry. Usually, it is because have an image about ourselves - and when that image is 'disturbed' by someone/something, we get angry. Shed the image if you wish to get rid of anger. The contradiction between image and reality is the real issue - insults simply trigger this conflict.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    Cinorjer
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    This thread is really awsome! Probably because we all have to deal with anger and insults at some point in our every day life.

    Remember when the Buddha said that "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else: you are the one who gets burned"? Or that an insult was like a gift you can refuse to accept? I tend to think that if someone lashes out at me out of an anger or a hatred that they can't control, it is more revealing about their personality than about me.

    Constructive criticism helps you grow. We are not perfect and people out there can help us grow by providing us with an image of ourselves that we sometimes can't see.

    But scathing remarks, insults, especially if they come from not well-meaning people, I ignore. Like the others said, it's important to see where the aggression comes from.

    Another interesting point the other guys made is, how come you find yourself in an environment where you feel continually subject to aggression? Couldn't it be that you are being a bit thin-skinned? Could your interpretartion of the situation be confused?

    Cinorjersova
  • NMADDPNMADDP SUN Diego, California Veteran

    This Buddha story helps me.

    Extracted story from:

    A collection of Thien stories by Ven Sister Hue Can from the Vietnamese Zen Buddhist tradition.

    http://www.dhammaloka.org.au/articles/item/754-stories-of-thien.html

    Thien = Chan = Zen

    Hurting Ourselves

    _A Brahmin was angry because his followers were leaving him to follow the Buddha. He found the Buddha and walked behind him for hours, all the time insulting him. When Buddha did not respond, the Brahmin walked in front for Buddha and stood facing him. "I have insulted you for half a day, why don't you answer?"

    Buddha said: "If you gave someone in this village a present beautifully wrapped and it was refused, what would you do with it?"
    "Take it home with me," replied the Brahmin. "I have not accepted the insults you have heaped on me," said Buddha, "Now you can take all the anger and hatred home with you."

    We do not have to take on board insults, vindictiveness, sarcasm etc. if we choose not to.

    Insults and compliments alike may be regarded as unreal, since they are fleeting and usually of little or no importance to those who give them to us. It is ourselves who magnify them and cling to them, reliving the pain over and over. Or we can let go. As we meditate we breathe in fresh air and can let go of pain as we follow the breath, always returning to the breath._

    BuddhadragonJeffreyjaynefollowthepath
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited March 2014

    Hi, NMADDP!
    When I referred to the insult as being "a gift you can refuse to accept," I meant this story you have just transcribed!
    Me, for one, I try to have an answer apposite for every comment I receive, good or bad, but always in good terms.
    Resorting to insults is allowing for the other person to take the better or yourself, giving them a victory.

  • msac123msac123 Explorer

    Notice when you meditate (if you practice Zazen meditation), you are breathing. If something comes up, like a thought, noise, disturbances, etc, just notice (observe) them and don't judge it, label it, or analyze it. Observe and let it go. In relationship to experiencing anger (or any other emotion), observe your emotion and let it go.

    The reality is that you are going to feel all kinds of emotions, but remember that they will not always last. So experience what you're feeling and let it go.

    CinorjerJeffrey
  • Always try to remember that anger comes from within, not from outside of us.

    CinorjerBuddhadragonsova
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Yes, if somebody pushes your buttons, then there are buttons inside to be pushed.

    What about quid-pro-quoing with a question to the other person like "Why do you feel you have to tell me this?" or "What will you get treating me this way?"

    The Buddha said " There is no outside enemy if there is no anger inside."

    Cinorjersova
  • @lamaramadingdong said:
    Always try to remember that anger comes from within, not from outside of us.

    But the trigger could be outside, such as an annoying person. And if one does nothing, it could embolden the person to keep provoking us. So while I don't believe in violence, I believe that a line must be drawn somewhere.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    A trigger is completely useless if there is no gunpowder or spark. If someone or something triggers you, that's still your problem. 99% of the time, there are options. Such as, walk away/remove yourself. Ask them to leave. Ignore them. Just like with most people, those who wish to annoy you get embolden when they succeed, not when you ignore them.

    Buddhadragon
  • wangchueywangchuey Veteran
    edited March 2014

    People will go through great lengths to show you who they are with or without your approval. Usually it's without. Sometimes they don't expect or realize that distance and discord is being created, but usually they do expect it.

  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing Veteran

    Yes. Conquer yourself and all enemies are vanquished.

    Lama Yeshe teaches a profound meditation "what is the mind's image of myself?"

    (it is not an essay question, it's a mirror)

    more about it in the wonderful tome "The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism"

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @betaboy said:
    But the trigger could be outside, such as an annoying person. And if one does nothing, it could embolden the person to keep provoking us. So while I don't believe in violence, I believe that a line must be drawn somewhere.

    I agree with you, betaboy. Anger does not always have to be negative. It is a primal defense weapon we have to precisely mark our boundaries when someone is transgressing them.

    The point is HOW you're going to react. If you choose to react calmly, then the other person will be left with the feeling that "I could not get to her and have only made a fool of myself."

    I'm a Scorpion, so my quips can be quite sharp when need be. I try to figure out why this person is saying this to me, where it comes from, and then address that. But always in good terms. Like I said, rather they are left with the feeling that they made fools of themselves than let them get the better of me.

    Still, I don't understand why you could choose to remain in a hostile environment. I don't often experience people aggressing me, so might it not be heyimacrab's idea that people are aggressing him?

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited March 2014

    @sova said:
    Also just wanted to add that this thread is really wonderful. I am happy we can all have these kinds of discussions because not only is it beneficial for the original poster, but also invaluable for other people with similar goings-ons.

    understanding of karma will lead you to fearless serenity, no matter the "outside" world events.

    read about it, ask [knowledgable people] about it, absorb it, practice it, share it when there's benefit.

    may your practice cut through to the essence

    I liked what you said so much, sova! I had been away from the site for a while, but I came back because it helps us so much in our personal development path.
    The sharing part is so amazing!

    sova
  • @karasti said:
    A trigger is completely useless if there is no gunpowder or spark. If someone or something triggers you, that's still your problem. 99% of the time, there are options. Such as, walk away/remove yourself. Ask them to leave. Ignore them. Just like with most people, those who wish to annoy you get embolden when they succeed, not when you ignore them.

    You mentioned one option ... ask them to leave.... well, that's what I call drawing the line.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I don't think there is any problem with drawing lines and keeping boundaries, we all have them. But your attitude in how you react is important. "I'm sorry, I'm really trying to have some quiet time to myself" is a far cry from "Get out of my face!!"

  • @karasti said:
    I don't think there is any problem with drawing lines and keeping boundaries, we all have them. But your attitude in how you react is important. "I'm sorry, I'm really trying to have some quiet time to myself" is a far cry from "Get out of my face!!"

    But that's temporary, they come back. How do you tell someone you no longer want them in your life - because they're consistently rude - without being a little curt?

  • howhow Veteran

    @betaboy said:
    But that's temporary, they come back. How do you tell someone you no longer want them in your life - because they're consistently rude - without being a little curt?

    @betaboy‌

    You just need to know that a boundary, like our ego, is really just the effort we put into maintaining it.
    If maintained with vigilance those attempting to test its strength, seldom need to be repulsed with anything more than your mindfulness.
    But.....
    like the ego, it pays to remember that boundaries limit your freedom as much as anyone elses and where they manifest as walls between two perceived polarities, a Buddhist practice is a path towards the transcendence of such limitations.

  • Ive noticed that subconsciously these people who spread anger can somehow sense the way I feel. When I feel vulnerable or angry than I sure enough get into something with them. Its not some super sticious crazy idea, its actually true. When I feel loving and forgiving I find that these people act differently. I am also able to suppress other peoples anger by feeling loving or forgiving. I dont even have to say anything to them, i just have to feel it.

    howanatamanjayne
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    @heyimacrab - was that a realisation, or just a comment!

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