People, the Way They Act
Most of us have difficulty with the way people act sometimes. We want them to act differently, in a way that makes us happier, more comfortable.
If you have big challenges in this department, you're always in pain and suffering because of other people's actions. Truly it's the worst kind of enslavement. You obsess about it, you try to change their behavior, you argue, usually with little or no result.
Without a doubt this is a hard lesson.
Bottom line, as I'm sure you have heard often, is that you can't control other people's behavior, you can't control what they do or say.
Worst yet, sometimes their actions effect our lives in horrendously deleterious ways. And we have more cause, we can be morally justified, to object to their behavior and insist on a change.
And they don't change.
So you feel powerless, trapped, hurt and miserable.
So, what do you do?
First I want to say that A Course in Miracles (check out Marianne Williamson's talks on A Course in Miracles), and the work of Byron Katie addresses this issue directly and effectively, and if you feel drawn to check them out, do. They may help you.
Otherwise, this is the answer and it's really subtle so you need to give it a bit of consideration.
First, people will act and do and say as they want. There is not much you can do to control that.
Their actions are powered by their own understanding of the world, their own issues and fears. Most of the time they have absolutely nothing to do with you. Even though it looks and feels that way.
If you can, sort of move back and view this from a distance, seeing them act as they are acting because that's just them. Like a car honking at you in traffic. Sure it can annoy you, but it doesn't have to if you look at it as that they are having an issue. It has nothing to do with you.
You can let it go and move on.
Second scenario, someone acts in a way that damages your life in a real way. They damage your property, maybe are physically abusive, maybe through some lie jeopardize your career or finances, and so on, what do you do then?
Same as above with an additional component.
You see their behavior as their issue. They will be doing this whether you are there or not, so it's not about you.
Now, here's the difference. You look around at your damaged furniture, the finances, the bruises and you decide: I don't like this. This does not work for me. You ask yourself, what would I like to do? What will work for me?
You answer those questions, and you take action based on your answers.
You don't need to stay around and argue and try to change their behavior -- because you can't. But that does not mean you're powerless. It means that you actually think about yourself and you decide to take action on your own behalf by moving in the direction of creating circumstances that are better for you.
That's how you move from that point of obsession, powerlessness, helplessness and suffering. You just have to know that you can have something considerably better for yourself. You do not need to suffer. You can move toward peace and joy.
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