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About Us -- Header -- Deepak Chopra, M.D.

Question:

Sometimes in life we are surrounded by people who are just extremely difficult. Its said everywhere that you need to learn how to forgive and forget and sacrifice and tolerate…. I agree to everything. But, at times it just becomes too much to bear … What if you have in your life one such person who just doesn’t yield to anything and is just too difficult … I know that the person will change in time and I know that no matter what I do I can never change that person but I can change my own thoughts … However, this process of waiting seems to be taking forever and this person is just like a predator on my mind … I have no option but to accept my situation as there is just no way that I can go away or get rid of this person (at least not for 2 more years) … in this situation how can I control my sanity and keep myself calm. At times I get so angry and frustrated that I just don’t know what to do but I truly dislike arguments and fighting so I often yield and am staying like a slave in my own house. You may ask me to move away but there is NO way that I can escape this situation. There is just one way now that I see which is to face it … Can you PLEASE PLEASE tell me Deepak how can I remain calm and not be extremely hurt by the daily bad and rude behaviour of this person.

Answer:
You are right in your analysis that you can’t change the other person, but you can change your interpretation and reaction to this person. It’s not about waiting, or finding a way to stay calm. It’s about changing your conditioned response that is making you feel trapped in this situation.

I would suggest that you use Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is to help you shift your point of view to a place where you can feel good in whatever situation you find yourself in. She suggests you begin with laying out all of your unfiltered judgments you have toward this person. For instance, “He doesn’t respect me.” Then begin your enquiry by asking yourself if you can know, absolutely know, that it’s true that he doesn’t respect you.

After that, step back and ask yourself how you would be, and how you would feel without that belief that “he doesn’t respect me.” Continue by asking yourself, “Is there a way to feel peaceful and stress-free by holding on to those judgments?”

This enquiry process systematically dismantles the ego’s unconscious pattern of miserable attachment to your old mental conditioning. Now you do what she calls the turnaround, where you flip the subject and object in the judgment sentence to take ownership of your feelings. So instead of “He doesn’t respect me,” try “ I don’t respect me” or “I don’t respect him.” This helps you locate the part of you in your shadow side that is generating the painful response from inside of you. This is where you can assume authorship for your unhappiness and realize that as long as you have these self-judgments inside, the people around you can change, but you will continue to create the same feelings.

Having exposed these self-judgments to the light of your awareness, they will begin to dissolve. The mere process of holding acceptance and compassionate attention to yourself initiates self-forgiveness and the necessary transformation. When you become adept at this process, which she calls the Work, you will not feel hurt and angered by others behavior. Rather, your responses become the clues to follow to your own emotional and spiritual healing.

Love,
Deepak

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