Day 65: Compassion While Under Attack

Here’s a thing that I’ve come to understand about people: the way a person treats you is the way the way they treat themselves. When someone treats you with contempt or disdain you’re getting a view into their inner world. It’s not possible to treat someone with contempt unless you yourself have contempt for a part of yourself.

If you can hold this frame when under attack, an amazing thing happens. Suddenly, instead of feeling wronged, and hurt, instead of playing the role of the victim, you will suddenly find yourself feeling deep compassion for the other person. Internally, you know, “Ah, so this is how this person treats themselves all the time. I’m getting a taste of their inner world, of their suffering.” (never say this out loud). All of a sudden we are able to hold them gently in compassion, we able to not take the attack personally, and we are also able to take care of ourselves in the interaction.

Just as it’s not healthy for someone to beat themselves up like this, it’s not healthy for them to beat you up. When you understand that this is not supposed to be a dynamic between two people, you are able to not take it personally, and are empowered to stop the abuse: “Please don’t talk to me like that … I love you, and what you’re saying to me is hurtful … I love you, and I’m going out for a while.” We model (demonstrate) a more adaptive and integrative way of handling these inner conflicts that are spilling out in the pragmatic life of this other person.

You’re not off the hook. Notice how you treat other people. Remember that when you’re irritated with other people, when you treat others with contempt, when you lash out at others, you’re demonstrating to the world the inner conflicts that you deal with day in and day out, all the time. That’s okay, but use this visible, audible activity to bring awareness to your inner conflicts, so that you can learn to become more gentle, compassionate, and loving with yourself from moment to moment.

Please join me on this amazing lifestyle challenge. Please join me in taking our lives to the next level of outstanding.

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An engineer-psychologist focused on machine intelligence. I write from my own experience to support others in living more fulfilling lives | duncanriach.com

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