Those who know me know that one of my foremost values is gratitude.

Today I shared with someone how powerful gratitude can be at diffusing the anger that can arise when someone insults you.

In this case, this young man reported becoming very upset when a friend insulted a sport he really enjoyed playing.

His initial response was a common one, he felt anger, hurt and somewhat offended. But instead of lashing out he decided to suck it up.

Though he didn’t start an argument he also didn’t resolve the anger effectively, so I offered him the following approach.

One of my primary rules in communication is to clarify the other person’s intention whenever I feel upset about something s/he said or did. More often than not, I misunderstood something and the clarification gives the person a chance to rephrase and better explain his/her position. This approach saves everyone a lot of frustration and hurt feelings.

However, what if you clarify and the person responds with the same criticism, insult or negative judgement? That’s when I pull out the big guns for transforming anger into gratitude.

I simply say to myself, “Thank you for showing me who you are.”

As we search for those who will bring value to our lives we must do a lot of sorting and sifting. We are grateful when we find the wonderful people, but often go off on a rant when we find those who are clearly a poor fit for us.

Wouldn’t it make more sense, and be a more pleasant experience to thank them for disqualifying themselves?

Those who make their negativity more obvious are doing us a favor by cutting to the chase instead of leading us on.

So to those who have chosen to criticize, condemn and complain, “Thank you for showing me who you are.” That way I can walk away sooner than later.

Thanks for being you.


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