How do you handle moments when you encounter unpleasant or unkind people? I can’t help but get so angry or annoyed and I know it’s not healthy for me to feel this way so much. How do I protect myself from taking it so personally??
It takes a lot more courage and wisdom to be kind to someone than it does to be unkind. If you treat someone in a pleasant way, and they do not extend to you the same courtesy, just remind yourself "it’s unfortunate they’re not feeling their best" and then, kindly walk away or put your attention somewhere else. Don’t let others sway you so easily and have you spin the situation into streams of negative thoughts.
Look at it this way: When you’re extending yourself in a positive way, it’s like a “gift” you’re offering to others. What you receive in return from them is "their gift” back to you. If in this moment, a person is not in a kind mood, then their gift to you will somehow reflect this mood. And this is their gift to share — it has noting to do with you. You do not need to make this gift yours.
We all have our moments where we don’t feel our best, so have compassion and understanding that one can only truly give what they have. So if in this moment, a person does not have it in them to extend kindness, then so be it. Understand that it is their choice, and their challenging life lesson.
Remember: You possess a powerful personal tool called “choice”. You can choose to accept "their gift" and allow your mood to be easily swayed by them. OR you can choose NOT to accept their gift and leave it behind. If you leave it behind, this means the gift will remain in their hands — not yours. You do not need to unwrap it into your life. Just leave “that gift” behind and put your attention elsewhere. There’s an abundant amount of gracious gifts in this world ready for you to accept, unwrap, and uncover. You don’t need to hold on to gifts you do not appreciate.