Last post we talked about not holding on to negative emotions. The easiest way to do this is to not have too many of them in the first place. Easier said than done right? After all how can we help how our family, boss, coworker or even spouse treats us? We can’t tell them “I’m trying to live a more positive life, could you please not act like a jerk?” OK we could tell them that, but not with very positive results.

So how do we limit the effect that other people’s actions have on us? This can be done by asking two very simple questions. I suggest you write them down on a small piece of paper and carry them with you for when such an event takes place.

The first question is this, “what else can this mean?” Quite often the answer can be the other person is just a jerk or has just treated you poorly. Which again is on them and not you. What others do is their business, how we react is ours. So look for a deeper meaning? Often they are hurting and may be expressing that hurt in a very unproductive way or in other words taking it out on you. Another popular thing to note is that often anger is a cry for help. Hearing your spouse say “If you ever stopped playing golf long enough to do something else” may be their way of saying “I would really enjoy spending more time with you” Which brings us to the next item. Sometimes they are bringing to our attention some aspect of our character that could use some work. This is often hard to see if done hurtfully, but ask yourself if there may be a ring of truth to what they are saying? Could you improve a little bit in that area?

The second question we should ask is “How can I use this?” Turn their hurtful emotions to your benefit. Can you use it as positive motivation? Can you use it to learn something about them or even you? Perhaps you can just use it as practice to control your emotions or practice forgiveness?

Either way, understanding we can control our emotions by asking two simple questions “What else can this mean?” and “How can I use this?” Will certainly give control to us.

If you still get upset or hurt see our last post on the power of forgiveness and how it is truly a gift we give to ourselves.

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