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(Stillness in the Storm Editor) What’s wrong with a little venting? Discharging toxic emotional energy is extremely important, which helps us avoid trauma, feel joy, and forgive others to maintain healthy relationships. But if the button for negativity isn’t reprogrammed, an endless stream of emotional toxicity can be a part of daily life. In such situations, when we haven’t learned to transcend (which is a skill all to often overlooked in education) we’ll think badly of others. This has a terrible price, it makes the “hate” button or triggers bigger, and it bleeds over to other places. Before you know it, all that’s left is bitterness and an endless stream of excuses for why you’re justified in thinking badly of others. But with a little courage, all this can change in the twinkling of an eye.
Psychologists understand that the aggression response, inherited from our animal ancestors, has a valid place in our lives. We need to defend ourselves against threats, and if properly used, aggressive energy is extremely useful and healthy. But we aren’t cavemen and women anymore. We’re people who need to learn to manage this energy properly, constructively—which is what spirituality founded on holistic truth is designed to do. Without the capacity to transcend the animal-self, the animal aspects of the brain take over.
In modern times, especially as a result of social programming, we’ve been trained through culture to feed the fires of hatred, offense, and victimhood within. We are encouraged to justify our hate, to tell others of our victimhood, so we can gain sympathy, and that the more emotionally reactive we are, the more social attention we’ll receive. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the future, this era of history is termed “the age of temper tantrums.”
There’s much to unpack as to why thinking badly of others is so commonplace.
Briefly, the value of forgiveness, and the personality healing that it imparts has been stripped from our culture. In today’s world, the most bitter, crabby, hateful, and resentful people (think Mean Girls and the Kardashians) have become our role models.
Go watch a few teen-targeted Disney shows, meant for young people, and almost all the popular people, the models for the young, are depicted as venomous, hateful people, who constantly spew their toxic thoughts of others as if it was some great virtue.
Thinking badly of others, in one sense, is a cowardly act.
Because it is often a reaction founded on the blind belief that you are right and another person is wrong. It is cowardly because putting yourself in another person’s shoes, and empathizing with them, changes you. It causes you to see the error of holding on to a grudge for silly reasons. As a result, doing the opposite of thinking badly of others, which is forgiving others and taking their perspective, is threatening to the social self, the ego. It feels extremely uncomfortable to entertain the idea that you might have done something wrong, and be willing to let that self-correction process unfold, which often results in anxiety and inner tension. But this is what is supposed to happen. You’re supposed to go within and change when you realize you might have acted with less than an ideal stance.
The fact self-reflection can be so intense is one reason we justify thinking badly of others. But as soon as we let go of this ego-defensiveness, and grasp on to the thought that maybe we have something to gain by being humble, all the energy of resistance usually melts. And along with it, the bad thoughts we held about another.
In relationships, this is called resentment and bitterness. I can’t stress enough how dealing with your resentment is essential to tapping into joy, love, and fulfillment.
Something you found mildly annoying one day, will become a massive trigger in a year, if you don’t face it, forgive it, and change yourself in the process of becoming humble.
So many people destroy their relationships, whether romantic or platonic because they hold on to hate.
With the idea of soul mates so popular these days, imagine an afterlife scenario were God, or whoever your chosen deity is, asks you why you denied yourself so much joy, adventure, and bliss, by holding on to trivial grudges with your partner.
To be clear, I’m not suggesting passivity in the face of harm or real threats. But I am suggesting that the wisdom of “loving thy enemies” continues to be proven true, within modern science and psychology.
This is a fairly advanced concept, but it’s the idea that hate, in any form, is never a good idea.
Hating someone who hurt you, who really harmed you through malevolence might feel good. Who doesn’t love it when the bad guy gets what’s coming to them at the end of the movie? But it costs you joy and peace of mind.
The brain is plastic or changeable; it is also archetypal. By this, I mean, if you allowed yourself to justify hate for one person, it will be that much easier to hate other people in your life. And before you know it, almost anyone can be the target of your unchecked emotional toxicity.
You know what happens when you hold onto a grudge? You rob yourself of happiness in other areas of your life. It’s called projection in psychology.
We’ve all heard the phrase “they just pushed my buttons.”
Did you ever stop to think how painfully true that statement is? “My buttons…?”
Yes, your buttons!
They are our buttons.
We program them.
We put them out there for other people to bump into. And we let them stay active for no good reason.
Hey, if you want to be a toxic wreck, where you’re so easily triggered it’s hard not to cross you, that’s your choice.
But I’ll probably avoid you, and other people will too.
And is it really worth ruining joy in the future for a past event? Are you really going to let that asshole in traffick continue to rob you of joy because hating them feels so good? If you don’t figure out a way to let go of the things you hate, then you’ll guarantee a steady supply of hateful emotions that requires some kind of venting.
In closing, the price we pay for hating others is monumental.
Personally, I don’t want to be that kid in the playground sulking for the rest of the year because another boy didn’t want to play with me. I want to be that boy who, even after the bully beats him up, still has love, joy, and happiness to share with everyone.
Who would you want to be around?
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by Staff Writer, February 3rd, 2020
People with a bad habit of thinking badly of others are often unable to see anything positive in people. Unfortunately, their social and emotional life becomes highly impoverished and it may even lead them to hurt others.
Thinking badly of others is a bad habit derived from prejudice. The worst part is that this behavior is usually prophetic. In other words, the expectation that someone will behave badly or harm often becomes true due to the intervention of those who believe so.
Those who adopt the habit of thinking badly about others are usually people who’ve had surprising and negative experiences in the past. Such experiences aren’t the problem, but their lack of elaboration. They’re jaded and biased and, unfortunately, often lead to further damage.
It’s hard to feel disappointed by others. Furthermore, it’s a painful experience that isn’t easy to overcome. Mainly because, from your perspective, it represented deceit, betrayal of trust, or disregard. However, it’s up to you to either deal with the pain or let it linger.
“Whoever is suspicious invites treason.”
Thinking badly of others
The bad habit of thinking badly of others is a way of anticipating possible damage. It roots itself in the idea that someone will deceive you if you don’t stay alert. Or that they must be on the defense. Sometimes, people hurt others to avoid being hurt. In any case, they expect the worst because they’re trying to prevent surprises.
As a consequence, they end up creating superfluous and defensive connections with others, be it deserved or not. Thus, they deprive themselves of the joy of showing themselves as they are, without shields or masks. Likewise, they stop experiencing the joy from establishing an intimate bond with someone.
Worst of all, they end up leading others into fulfilling negative expectations in one way or another. A distrustful person can only generate distrust and distance. It’s a magnet for negativity they surround themselves with. So consequently, this results in a tense and defensive situation.
A dog is more likely to attack you when they sense your fear. This is because the animal interprets it as readiness to fight. Human beings have a similar instinct.
The negative experiences of the past
A person who thinks badly of others is in pain, even if they don’t admit it. This habit drains their well-being and keeps the flame of past disappointments alive. They may also develop harmful behaviors toward others, due to their defensive attitude.
When a person doesn’t address their pain and doesn’t elaborate on it, they end up using it as an axis to revolve around. People who have been hurt before always have a reason to distrust others. There’s major disappointment behind their attitude. Quite often, it had to do with someone they deeply loved or depended on.
Their rejection, abandonment, or harm came as a surprise to them. This is precisely what impacted them the most. Being let down by someone they once trusted. A person who’s been the victim of such a situation often blames themselves and has no intention of being caught off guard again.
Elaborate the pain
Every person has the ability to let others down and to be let down by others. No one goes through life without disappointing others. This is because human beings are neither angels nor demons. Nobody is perfect and everyone hurts someone.
Distrusting humanity doesn’t ease your life. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. It merely turns your disappointment into the central focus of life and imprisons you. The way out isn’t to strengthen your defenses and just begin to trust everyone overnight. Rather, it’s about returning to those episodes that were so hard on you.
You must forgive and let go mainly as a way to be at peace with yourself. If you trust someone and they deceive or disappoint you, then the action is personal to them, not to you. Someone did you wrong because you did the right thing: you trusted them.
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Stillness in the Storm Editor: Why did we post this?
Psychology is the study of the nature of mind. Philosophy is the use of that mind in life. Both are critically important to gain an understanding of as they are aspects of the self. All you do and experience will pass through these gateways of being. The preceding information provides an overview of this self-knowledge, offering points to consider that people often don’t take the time to contemplate. With the choice to gain self-awareness, one can begin to see how their being works. With the wisdom of self-awareness, one has the tools to master their being and life in general, bringing order to chaos through navigating the challenges with the capacity for right action.
Not sure how to make sense of this? Want to learn how to discern like a pro? Read this essential guide to discernment, analysis of claims, and understanding the truth in a world of deception: 4 Key Steps of Discernment – Advanced Truth-Seeking Tools.
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