Wednesday, July 14, 2010

From Anger into Pity

If you've had friends, family, or even acquaintances, then you've surely had tough relationships. We are regularly being treated poorly by those around us. The worst is that most pain comes from those who claim to care the most. Strangers can only do so much damage. It is the people we trust that hurt us the most. This can often lead to anger and bitterness for not being given the dignity that every human deserves. The anger is both understandable and justified, but often not fully informed.

People who hurt others are often hurt themselves. A great example from the school system is bullies. A recent study found that bullies have poor social skills, are overly negative toward others and themselves. They are also more likely to grow up in a home with conflict and do poorly academically. The most interesting part, is that they share all of these traits with their victims. Perfectly happy people do not enjoy inflicting physical and emotional harm on others.

Knowing this can help us when interacting with difficult people. It doesn't excuse their action, but it helps explain it. Turning our anger into pity helps us to forgive them and possibly reconcile with them. If you've ever held bitterness towards some person or group, and I have, then you know how much damage that it can cause for you. And finally, if you're honest with yourself, then you have to admit you're not only on the receiving side, but often on the giving side of pain as well.

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