Resources

Handling difficult interactions

Ma Gurupriya

11 May 2022

writing-details-hero

When we do not allow any dislike or hatred to overcome our mind, the mind will not get agitated by the interaction. A mother may scold her child for misbehaving, but she will not have any hatred or bitterness towards him, instead she will have only love. That is the kind of expansive attitude we must have in all our interactions.

Why does interaction become difficult at times? It is because of raga-dvesha (likes and dislikes). We like some people and are happy to be with them. Some we don’t like, so we do not want to interact with them.

Q: Ma, could you please tell us in the simplest way how we can overcome our interactional difficulties?

Ma: All of us encounter interactional difficulties. Differences of opinion will be there in family, profession, society, everywhere. Now, why does interaction become difficult at times? It is because of raga-dvesha (likes and dislikes). We like some people and are happy to be with them. Some we don’t like, so we do not want to interact with them.

Then there is also difficulty when we do not accept others’ views. We always feel that our own view is the best. Inflexibility of the mind brings considerable difficulty in interactions. When we dislike a person and try to interact with him, very soon we grow bitterness, dislike and sometimes anger also towards the person. The mind then gets agitated.

In such situations, what should we do? We should own up the person. When we do not allow any dislike or hatred to overcome our mind, the mind will not get agitated by the interaction. A mother may scold her child for misbehaving, but she will not have any hatred or bitterness towards him, instead she will have only love. That is the kind of expansive attitude we must have in all our interactions.

We cannot change another’s nature, we can change only our own. Whenever we see that an interaction is becoming difficult, we should not argue and make things worse. We should stop and try to manage the situation in the most effective manner.

In my early years in Ashram, I had difficulty with one worker who would not listen to anything I said. Also, I could not speak the language well. I would ask Swamiji to kindly tell her what  I wanted her to do. One day, Swamiji said “Don’t come and complain to me. If she was your daughter, what would you have done?” Then Swamiji said “If you cannot make her work by your orders, make her work by your love.” Swamiji’s words went deep into my heart. I thought: ‘Yes, this is what we should do.’  We should own a person with love.

There are many qualities in Bhagavad Gita which, when cultivated, help us interact better. One of the qualities in the 12th chapter is anapekshah (having no expectation). We should not have any expectation that another should behave in a particular manner. We should always be even-minded and impartial, so that we can see how the situation can be improved.

A person behaves in a certain way because it is his nature. But he is also the same Self as we are. Maybe he wants to change his nature, but is not able to.  So, instead of feeling dislike, fill the mind with sympathy, forgiveness and compassion.

Right in the morning, tell yourself, ‘Today I will not react, I will not say hurting words to anyone.’ At the end of the day, before you go to sleep, see what you have done and analyze where you have failed. Bhagavad Gita talks about evenness to success and failure. So, it doesn’t matter if you have failed to be even-minded today. Tomorrow, try again.

– Vicharasethu–April 2022

writing-details-hero

“We should not have any expectation that another should behave in a particular manner. We should always be even-minded and impartial, so that we can see how the situation can be improved. ”

“ Right in the morning, tell yourself, ‘Today I will not react, I will not say hurting words to anyone.’ At the end of the day, before you go to sleep, see what you have done and analyze where you have failed. ”

end
arrow-icon