I've come across many people this month who are angry for wrongs committed against them. These people have a right to be angry, but there must come a time when we ask ourselves, "Why am I still in this fight?" Most of these arguments are unspoken because there's so much water under the bridge. As we approach the stressful holiday times, these undercurrents of anger can feel very intense.
But here's what I'd like everyone to consider: if someone is being mean to you and is acting in such a way to make this painfully clear, who wins if you get angry, upset and hurt in return? THEY DO. And you lose.
More importantly, why even join in the battle?
People who maintain a negative, angry attitude are sad and depressed and insecure. Trust me, angry people are never happy people. Yes, we all get angry and anger can be a great motivating source. But I'm talking about the people who always choose anger, passive aggression and negativity over all other emotions. These are people to be pitied and prayed for not ones who should be allowed to hurt us.
And let me make this very clear -- if an angry person is hurting you, it is your choice to remain hurt. We have a choice in every, single situation we face. Never forget that.
Why does this family member dislike you or that co-worker despise you? Who knows? And, more importantly, who cares? You have better things to do with your time and energy. Do not allow them to suck your energy dry because if you let them, they will.
If you find your blood boiling around these angry people, if you find yourself talking incessantly about the person to others, then you can bet that you too have caught the angry bug.
To make yourself immune from the angry bug, remember these tips:
Someone's anger toward you is NOT a reflection of you. Their anger only reflects poorly on them. What they think of you is none of your business. Really. Anger is born of jealousy, insecurity, hatred, regret, unforgiveness and deep depression. It is not rooted in your actions but rather in their shadow. When you can see this, really see this, you just might find that you feel sad for this angry person and might even feel compassion for them. That is the goal.
When dealing with the angry person, do not allow yourself to be pulled into their angry vortex. If they brag, let them. Congratulate them too. If they try to one up you, give them the lead. I think this might be what Jesus meant when he said the meek shall inherit the earth. For it is in doing so that you will truly win. What is your prize? Peace, love and joy.