To accept without arrogance, to let go with indifference, to receive without pride, to let go without attachment. – Marcus Aurelius
How many times do we get a compliment from someone we may not like or don’t value their opinion? What happens after this compliment? We might spend the next 2 hours or worse the next 2 days or weeks talking about it. “Can you believe what so and so said. I don’t think they really meant it.” You might spend a lot of time thinking about the next time you see them and how you are going to tell them off.
The same goes for when someone makes a snide remark to us, it could come from a family member, or a neighbor. It doesn’t matter, we generally have the same response as a unexpected compliment. We can let it ruin an event or even a weekend or longer. Why? Why do we let this happen? Unfortunately, we let others opinions have way to much influence on us. We tend to value or react to someone else’s opinion more than we value our own. These types of reactions unfortunately occur all too often. It doesn’t mean that we should let others walk all over us, it means that we need to let go when these things happen. We need to under react to the snide remark, we need to accept the compliment as a real one and don’t spend any more time on it.
When someone you don’t like gives you a compliment, say thank you. When someone makes a snide remark, you could say, “I never thought of it that way, or we all have our own opinion, or I disagree.” The key is not getting upset, not showing any body language, no rolling the eyes. Don’t let them see that it might bother you, but more importantly don’t let it bother you!
In my experience in the business world when I know I have a tough meeting with customers coming up, I am much more prepared for the meeting and even if the meeting goes worse than expected it doesn’t bother me very much. Why is that? I knew it was going to be tough and I was mentally prepared. The meetings that are supposed to be easy that unexpectedly get ugly, those are the tough ones. I wasn’t prepared to get blindsided. In life we have to prepare for this type of interaction, you know the people I am talking about. It is generally someone you know, a relative, a neighbor, a co-worker. They just grate you the wrong way every time.
Preparing for these interactions by accepting and letting go can go a long way to making that next event more enjoyable or just maybe tolerable. Hangout and interact with the people you enjoy, ignore the ones you don’t.