Meet Hate with Kindess and Understanding

Don't try to win over the haters.  You are not a jackass whisperer.

I love Brene Brown. She encourages people to be vulnerable because it allows us to develop deeper relationships and to feel both positive and negative emotions more fully. This quote is perfect though in that just because you’re being vulnerable doesn’t mean you should let anyone treat you like crap.

Most of us are people-pleasers. If someone criticizes us, we automatically become defensive and want to fight back and show the other person they’re wrong about us. It’s understandable, and sometimes it is the right thing to do. Sometimes though it really is better to just ignore people when they’re behaving badly.

Especially online, people can be skimming through so quickly they don’t actually read an entire article before they comment. We all view the world through a filter of our past, especially our unresolved pain and grief, and we may not even realize that we’re misunderstanding what someone is saying.

That’s not to excuse anyone from being hateful, but them doing so does say more about them than whomever they are criticizing.

Be Kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about

This quote helps me to accept and forgive people who are being small-minded or cruel. I think we all have the potential to be our highest Selves, but damned if I know anybody who can be that way every waking moment. We are all human, and we all have bad days where we just want to make other people feel as crappy as we do. Most of us probably can restrain ourselves from acting on that impulse, but sometimes we can’t.

Stress permeates our daily lives. We’re all worried about something: paying bills, losing our job, taking care of our kids, taking care of our parents, and practically everyone is TIRED. We’re all working too hard, not getting enough sleep or having enough time to relax.

I’ve noticed that I’m much more judgmental when I think my husband has “screwed up” by not running the dishwasher or misplacing something. Then when I consider it might have been my mistake, I’m suddenly very forgiving, thinking, “Oh, well, it’s not really a big deal, anybody could have made that mistake.”

We all appreciate when other people give us the benefit of the doubt, it’s worth a try giving other people a little slack, especially when they’re really mean. What kind of experiences have they had that brought them to that extreme degree of pain and hate?

The masks of Comedy & Tragedy

We all have the capacity to be kind or to be cruel. It’s a choice we face with every interaction we have: in person, on the phone, or online. The next time someone’s behavior irritates or annoys you, remember a time you’ve behaved badly when you felt tired, afraid, or hurt. Then silently forgive them, and offer them a blessing because they probably really need one. And by practicing forgiveness, you receive a blessing in return.  When you forgive someone else, you also forgive yourself for not being perfect.

A friend once sent me this prayer, which I think about sums it up for me:

Morning Prayer
Dear Lord,
So far I’ve done all right.
I haven’t gossipped,
haven’t lost my temper,
haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.
I’m really glad about that.

But in a few minutes, God,
I’m going to get out of bed.
And from then on,
I’m going to need a lot more help.

How do you balance standing up for yourself and practicing forgiveness?

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7 thoughts on “Meet Hate with Kindess and Understanding

  1. andreaspiritual January 16, 2014 at 7:33 am Reply

    Hi. I think it often depends how you are feeling yourself. If you’re not having such a good day, it takes an effort to remember to be considerate and kind to others. If you’re floating about, feeling happy, it’s much easier to be forgiving and compassionate towards others. I find (when I remember!) that if someone is behaving in a selfish or inconsiderate way towards me, if I try and understand why, where they’re coming from, it makes it easier to forgive and not react negatively to someone else’s bad mood. At the end of the day does it really matter if someone is rude? They’ll probably go home and wish they hadn’t been. I try to smile and say something nice back and that usually means the other person starts to be nicer too. I don’t think it’s about people pleasing so much (although I have been rather an expert on that in the past) but more that I don’t want my own peace and happiness effected negatively by another, so I tend not to engage with people on the rare occasions I might meet someone who’s not in a happy place themselves. Great post, I really enjoyed reading it. Blessings, Andrea

    • Frankie Laursen January 18, 2014 at 1:59 pm Reply

      Thank you so much. This is an excellent point. I like what you wrote about someone going home later and regretting being rude. I have totally done that. I tend to assume when someone is being rude that they’re like that all the time, but of course not.

      Hee, hee, I just clicked over to, and I see that you have not posted anything yet. I like your domain name. Feel free to contact me once you do post something.

  2. Mara Migraineur January 16, 2014 at 10:37 am Reply

    I have been trying to institute with my kids – especially in the car – the practice of brainstorming reasons why someone may have been rude, etc. That way, even if I started off with a bit of a rant at the person, my kids are seeing that there are reasons behind peoples actions and that we can be forgiving. And finding those reasons and trying to remember them can help us to be more forgiving.

  3. […] written before about meeting hate with kindness. I think getting curious about what motivates people is the first step in being able to show them […]

  4. Brett Cole December 4, 2014 at 9:02 am Reply

    Wendy mass’ quote is from Ian MacLaren, 1897. FYI

  5. kelvinhanratty February 7, 2015 at 7:06 pm Reply

    “Don’t try to win over the haters, you’re not the jackass whisperer!” ➜ Scott Stratton

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