How to Control My Emotional Reactions When I Am Attacked Publically?


Hello! Firstly thank you so much for doing this selfless service of God. I have the trouble of getting into fights with people. I do not start it but somehow some other person either starts talking badly about me, or makes nasty remarks about me, or judges me. And I always end up crying in front of a large gathering of people when I accuse them. This pattern has been going on for quite a while now. Everybody has started saying, “This girl fights with everyone.” The truth is, I don’t! I stay away from people now.

—Petals, India


Dear Petals,
I assume that by “crying when I accuse them” you mean “shouting,” not “weeping.” Is that right? “Weeping” wouldn’t be “fighting with everyone.”

Of course your decision to stay away from people is only a short term solution.

After some time you may start your real inner work of transformation, which is emotional control: begin to create a strategy what to do to control your reaction when someone talks badly about you. Spiritually speaking your reaction of becoming aggressive hurts you more than others.

What kind of strategy could that be? For example, when someone makes a nasty remark about you, immediately start breathing deeply to calm yourself. Or bite your tongue, just not to react. Or leave the scene if necessary. Or prepare yourself an inner affirmation for such situations, like: “I am peaceful, calm, and serene under all circumstances.”

In fact, if it is untrue what that person is saying, why bother about it? Even what people who are present think about you, try not to care. It’s just opinions, and most of the time they are wrong anyway.

Pray to God for help in your transformation.

And be patient with yourself: your inner change will take some time if it is a deep habit.

Daily meditation, even a little bit, with cooling pranayama (such as Chandra Bedha) will help you establishing an inner base of calmness and peace.

Another helpful factor would be to surround yourself with people who are able to remain calm under any attack, and quietly learn from them.

A second step in your strategy could be, once you don’t react emotionally anymore, to calmly but firmly reply that such nasty remarks or judgments are not at all true, and also not a proper way to behave. If you can say it calmly, even with a smile, you will have won a great inner battle.

Here is a possible third step in your strategy: remember that people who talk or behave badly toward others usually are not happy. Happy people don’t do such things. Therefore, once you have learnt to stay “cool” in such situations, and to reply calmly, you may even work on developing a sense of love and compassion for them: “Poor one, this is a clear sign that inwardly he/she is unhappy inside.”

Inwardly, you will be a great winner.

All the best on your journey of growth, Jayadev