Recently in one of my reflective moments I was a little saddened by all the hate and anger that seems to be spiralling out of control in the world around us. I personally noticed it in a few successive interactions around me, both at work and personally.
But it’s everywhere…..hatred towards people over what are simply differences of opinion, vitriol online hiding behind computers and cutting people down that we don’t even know, co-workers stepping on each other in order to boost their own career and egos, friends complaining about their other so called friends, and so it sadly goes on.
I don’t know if it’s a symptom of the self-obsessed culture that we live in where respect for others seems to be low on the priority list, that people are simply at breaking point so they’ve lost the ability to interact maturely, or, that in the fast paced “busyness” of most people’s lives we simply don’t spend time truly dealing with our own emotions and feelings. Of course quite likely it’s all three.
Who is worthy of love and respect?
Generally speaking, I believe that most human beings aren’t the devil incarnate. Yes of course there are exceptions and there are some pretty evil people out there, but I’m talking about the general population here and I truly believe the majority of people have good intentions. And yes, people make mistakes and yes, we can go off track in our life, but that doesn’t make us a bad person not worthy of love and respect.
Whilst I reflected on this topic I was mostly saddened because every single person has their own struggles that for the most part, they are doing their best to deal with. But without a mindset of compassion, empathy and respect we revert to judgements, criticisms and contempt. In reality this says SO much more about the person casting these judgements than anything at all about the person it is directed to.
How do we change this for ourselves and each other?
So much anger spills out from such trivial matters and we argue (seemingly to the death) over points that are often forgotten about the following day. I don’t know about you, but I’ve read countless stories, blogs and research papers on the lessons that people wish to pass on from their death bed. The number one lesson from all of these people is that they wish they spent less time worrying and getting worked up over trivial matters and spent more time with family, friends, loved ones (and their pets! 😊) enjoying quality time with those people that they care about.
I said to my husband recently (as he highlighted a few more examples of people in the angry bucket), that I wish everyone could all just “…take a chill pill”, but maybe it’s a love pill that we all need. The keys to being an emotionally intelligent person are twofold 1) self-control/self-regulation and 2) relationship management. And the people that truly exceed in these spaces are the ones who are filled with love. A love for themselves, to manage and acknowledge their own emotions (and yes do the work to clean up their own backyard and deal with their own demons!), and a love for others, seeing other people’s perspectives, putting themselves in others’ shoes and giving love. Interestingly, Harvard’s Grant and Glueck research highlighted over a 75 year period that the biggest predictor of happiness and fulfilment overall in life is one thing….love. So, taking that love pill is not only going to tone down the anger but increase your likelihood of happiness and fulfilment, winning right?!
How will you choose to act today?
So today when you feel that anger (or gossip, hate, judgement, criticism, contempt) rising up inside you, maybe stop for one minute and think, how would I respond if I did so from a place of love?
What could be going on for me as to why I feel that way, what could be going on for that person that I’m directing my anger at, what could be the reason that person might be acting like that?
I guarantee that when you come from a place of love, if nothing else it will ease the fire within you and maybe just maybe help you feel a little calmer, shed a layer of your own emotions and make you feel a little lighter in your day.
Want to chat about this further?
Get in touch via the below, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Suzanne Williams | HR, Leadership, Personal Branding & Wellness