I would say that generally I’m a pretty easy going person. Until someone really messes with me, then I’m not. I’m reasonably laid back, but if I get pushed too far, I won’t refrain from speaking my mind. In most cases, things get resolved, because I’m happy to get things out in the open and tell people how I’m feeling. But sometimes in life you don’t get the opportunity to express your hurt, pain and anger to the people who have let you down. This leaves a gaping hole, one that often gets filled with intense anger or disappointment.
Thankfully, not too many people have let me down in my life. But I could certainly think of two or three people that still make my blood boil when they pop into my mind. I know it’s not healthy to hold so much anger towards them, or be so disappointed in people in general, but I can’t help it. The title of this blog post is ‘how to let go of hate and anger’, but the truth is, if I’m honest, I haven’t let go of mine.
I still feel a lot of resentment towards certain people who have upset me, let me down, or screwed me over for a range of reasons. Is this doing me any good? No. Is my anger going to change anything that’s happened? No.
I’m not writing this post because recently someone hurt me. That’s not the case. I’m writing it because I have come to realise that I am still holding onto some anger against some people who have wronged me in the past, and it’s preventing me from fully moving forward.
Change your perspective
The only way I can manage to process things is to completely change my perspective on things. Instead of thinking of those who have hurt you as absolute w**kers, try and analyse the situation. Why might that person have acted in that particular way? Perhaps there is something wrong with their life that caused them to act in a certain way. This is by no means an excuse, but it can help you to numb the anger a little. Instead of hating them, feel sorry for them, because they clearly have awful personality traits and issues they need to resolve. It may seem tough, but try and see things from their perspective and consider what may have caused them to do what they did.
I wish I could give examples, but I obviously don’t want to name anyone. So here’s a rather vague example to show you how to look at things differently. If someone doesn’t have the balls to face up to you and tell it like it is, then it’s not you that has the problem. They clearly need to make some changes in their life, and if they don’t, there will eventually come a time where they get called up for it.
Another strategy is to thank these people for what they did. Yes you heard that right. Why would I thank someone for hurting me, or making my life a misery? Because they made you stronger. You may have had to go through some tough times, perhaps directly due to their actions, but the truth is you wouldn’t be where you are now without them. They started a chain of events that lead you down a certain path, and you may have even come out the other side better off. I know I certainly have.
There’s definitely people who I would like to give a piece of my mind. In fact, I have had the chance to confront one of them. So far, I haven’t because I don’t trust that my anger wouldn’t overpower me. But, if I was strong enough, I would walk up to them with the biggest smile on my face and say thank you. Thank you for screwing me over, because I have come back stronger, and I might not be where I am now if you hadn’t caused me all that crap.
You don’t have to forgive, but you can move on
If you hold intense anger in your heart then the only person who is really suffering is you. The person who did you wrong probably doesn’t give a crap about how you feel. So why give them the satisfaction of caring?
Of course I would love to say oh I have completely forgiven these people. But I haven’t. If they were people who were important to me then I might make more of an effort. Although I am going to try and work through some unresolved anger towards a few people who have wronged me. It’s no doubt going to take time, but I’m going to give it my best shot. Because being angry is tiring, it doesn’t make you feel good, and it holds you back from being the best person you can be. Hopefully given a little more time, I can move on, and perhaps you can too.
Be a peace with yourself
Recently I spoke to my life coach Antonio Esposito of TheThinkingMind. I usually go to him when I need advice on what to do in situations that are bothering me. Someone has cut me out of their life with no explanation. Here’s what he said…
You’ve done what you can. If you’re at peace with yourself there’s nothing more you can do.
So in a nutshell, YOU CAN’T CHANGE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO. But, you can change HOW YOU REACT to them. You can CHOOSE whether or not to let people impact your life and your wellbeing. Do you want to waste one more day worrying and stressing about them? No? Then don’t. Look after yourself. People can only hurt you if you let them. Don’t give them the power anymore by choosing to simply not care.
Win at life by being awesome
One way to beat all those people who have wronged you? Be awesome at life. Rise above their attitude by being successful, and let your success speak for itself. If you allow them to get to you, then that’s a lot of energy you are throwing their way when it could be used to improve your wellbeing and your life instead. So the moment a thought pops into your head about that person, or you find the resentment building deep inside – channel it into something that’s important to you.
Put your time into people who are worth it
We’re always going to have people in our lives that let us down and upset us. And over time, we learn who to trust, and who to have faith in. So when someone wrongs you, don’t put energy into them – put energy into the people who make you bloom. The people who charge your inner happy and support you instead of bringing you down. When someone is a total dick to us, it’s an ideal time to reflect on how wonderful the good eggs are. Lean on your support network.