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The Compassionate Eye

The Voices of Namaste Publishing and Our Guests

What to Do When People Irritate You

Jul 23, 2010

It’s so very easy to get upset with people who say things that insult us or do things that annoy us. Yet when we react to them, we also feel bad.

Is there a way to get past the urge to either hit back or distance ourselves when we feel hurt by someone?

There is—and it’s a simple matter of awareness.

Michael Brown puts his finger on the awareness that’s required when he writes in the recently released Revised Edition of The Presence Process, “No matter how anyone’s behavior appears, they are looking for the experience of unconditional love based on the felt-resonance of the emotional charge with which they were imprinted when they sought to be loved unconditionally as children.”

This is quite graphically brought out in the story of The Little Prince, written by the Frenchman Antoine de Saint-Exupery in 1944 and still one of the world’s best sellers. The Little Prince has a sweetheart on his planet, but she has of late done little but get under his skin. Finally, he decides to leave.

Only now does his sweetheart, a rose, confess that all her antics have been egoic ways of hiding the truth of her love for him. She’s been acting out, instead of being real with him. How true this is of how so many of us behave one to another!

Michael further explains in this latest edition of The Presence Process, “No matter how we perceive the quality of their behavior, the appearance they project, or the life circumstances they manifest, we are all doing the best we can in light of the imprinting of our emotional body.”

If we once realize that people act out because they have been imprinted, and that they don’t know how to be authentic, it takes the sting out of their words and behavior. We can now look upon them with compassion instead of with anger.

When I say “compassion,” I don’t in any way mean pity. Rather, we recognize that they are in the same plight as ourselves, just in a different form. We are all seeking unconditional love.

Says The Presence Process, “As we come to comprehend our predicament, we may laugh at ourselves for the drama we manifest. Laughter is the medicine we are after. Being able to laugh at our drama is evidence our self-forgiveness is authentic. Once we accept this about ourselves, we accept this about everyone.”

Self-awareness, then, is the key to being aware of the predicament others are in. To the degree we see how much we act out because we long to be loved, we can realize others do the same.

When you read the rose’s confession of her love to her Little Prince, it’s deeply moving. You feel for her. You can identify with her predicament. (The teaching is brought out in the Namaste audio book based on the story of The Little Prince, Lessons in Loving—A Journey into the Heart).

Seeing ourselves in our own predicament and truly forgiving ourselves enables us to quell our tendency to react to others, instead accepting them and loving them with deep compassion.

*Editor's Note: If you wish to go more deeply into some of these topics, see The Sunday Blog, which is now daily. You can find it under Author Blogs, under the Inspiration button at the top of any of the website pages, Namaste author David Robert Ord. Also, you can have the blog sent to your desktop each day automatically. Just look for the RSS button on the author page.