Our Responses To Others Say More About Us Than Them

While walking with a friend the other day he greeted someone he knew who passed us. The greeting was not returned. To me it looked like a blatant ignoring of him. But what really touched me was my friend’s response. He turned to me and said, ” Someone must have made him very angry this morning.”

There was a total lack of defensiveness in him. He never felt angry or rejected. He didn’t feel his dignity had been impaired. Instead he simply chose to enter the world of the other trying to understand the person’s response from that person’s perspective. May sound simple and rather insignificant, but can you imagine if we were all that strong in ourselves when it came to our responses to others. It’ll change the world.


About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in Discernment, inspiration, Letting go of Ego, Relationships, wisdom and insight and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Our Responses To Others Say More About Us Than Them

  1. Healthy A-Z says:

    This is one of the great lessons of life that can transform our world personally and globally.


  2. The power and peace in detachment. Nice vignette.


  3. nrhatch says:

    Excellent example of how we can control our emotions by controlling the thoughts we think. Thanks!

    I do the same thing when someone cuts me off in traffic. Instead of taking it “personally,” I assume that they are racing through the streets to ransom their favorite Teddy Bear from kidnappers.

    It works like a charm.


  4. Pingback: Change Your Mind . . . Change Your Life | Spirit Lights The Way

  5. My daddy always said to treat everybody with the same respect. Sounds like your friend would agree with him. Truly transformational thought.


    • Don says:

      He certainly would. Sometimes I wonder Sheila if we grasp just how transformational it is. Your Dad must have been a great example. Thanks for your comment.


  6. Don says:

    Thanks for the pingback Nancy.


  7. josna says:

    Your friend’s freedom from defensiveness is something I have yet to learn. More often, I find myself reacting and notice my mistake just too late. I do try to practice this kind of response with strangers–store clerks or waitresses, for example, reminding myself that their abruptness is more than likely nothing to do with me. But with my nearest and dearest, ironically, it is much harder to practice loving detachment at the time, even as I can empathize beforehand or in retrospect.


    • Don says:

      I identify with what you say Josna. My experience is much like yours. There’s something profoundly freeing when this kind of response comes naturally. Thanks so much for your comment.


  8. ladyfi says:

    I totally agree – I often try to think of this when faced with bad attitude or words from others.


  9. I am impressed with both your friend’s attitude and your thoughts about it. Nice post!

    Blessings ~ Wendy


  10. I love that. What an empathetic response and you are right, if we could all do that, the world would be a very different place. 🙂


  11. Gulp, thank you for sharing this simple lesson. I hope to attain such strength by cultivating the power of letting go. If not I’m sure that life will generously continue to teach me through its many diversities all pointing back to its oneness.


  12. QueasyPeasy says:

    Just finished reading about Terry’s funeral and then I find this treasure. You have a selection of beautiful men about you Don. I believe like attracts like. We need more empathic folk in our world, those willing to leave their feelings and emotions on the shelf and ‘listen’ to others.


    • Don says:

      Thank you for your affirming words. I appreciate them. I’m not quite sure by what name I should call you. Would you be okay with QueasyPeasy.


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