“Does a brother wrong you? Remember your relationship with him. Do not focus on how he has wronged you but focus on the relationship. Then you can remember that you are choosing to be angry or hurt.” – Epictetus
If we haven’t realized already, it would be good for us to recognize now that people are going to fail us. By default, we will also fail others. We will hurt each other, we will take jokes too far, we might even do some terrible things to one another.
It is important for us to keep in mind, when someone does something wrong to us we are the ones who decide how hurt we are going to be by the action. It is also really important to look at things through the right perspective.
If someone we love does something mean or hurtful to us, we need to remember the nature of our relationship with this person and how our response to their actions might damage that relationship. Sometimes, the relationship might need to be damaged, most of the time it doesn’t
The only way to be able to honestly tell ourselves that we are responding to someone else’s actions in an appropriate manner is to ask ourselves if our response takes the entirety of the relationship in mind. If we are simply reacting to the feeling of being hurt, we need to recognize that we control this feeling and that it is not the other person’s responsibility. If the action was so egregious that we need to consider not associating with this person any longer, we need to reconsider that thought and reevaluate our reaction. If after reflection and reevaluation our decision stands, so be it.
All of the time, we can choose to not be hurt and most of the time we can choose to maintain the relationship.
virtus fortis vocat