This I Believe

John - Manlius, New York
Entered on December 18, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

A COMMON MISCONCEPTION

I believe that people do and say things that anger others. I also believe that those who were angered often times incorrectly assume that those who angered them did so on purpose. They don’t take into account the personalities of those who angered them, or the circumstances that those people may be in. This lack of insight can often times make for much unnecessary anger and stress, for if one just pauses to think: did she really mean that?, was he just having a bad day?, well, that’s just how they are or he just did that to look cool, they can save themselves much unnecessary aggravation and bitterness.

In the heated moment of an unkind word or a thoughtless action, many may take immediate offense. They may automatically consider the person who angered them to be purposefully condescending or intentionally mean. They often fail to think about what had actually happened, and they tend to get uselessly irked. This can lead to grudges, rumors, or perpetual feuding between the two people.

You see, many times, when someone angers another, he or she often does so as a result of his or her own intrinsic personality. They don’t do this to purposely anger the other person. Not many people actually want to enrage others enough that they will purposely go out of their way to do so, knowing that this is considered mean.

However, everybody has a different personality. Some people are just naturally more bitter than others. This bitterness may result from their own insecurities, or may merely be how they naturally are. Another possibility is that these “mean” people were just having a bad day at the time of the comment, or were simply in a bad mood then.

If people only stopped to recognize these possibilities, much unnecessary anger can be saved. However, many times this is hard to realize. For example, I was talking to “Bobby” once, and a friend of mine was with me. Bobby was being extremely rude to me. He was rolling his eyes, sighing, making snide remarks, etcetera. Two other days, the same type of thing happened. Bobby happened to be an adult, but people of all ages can have this type of personality.

I knew that Bobby was not purposely being rude to me. That’s just how he was. His personality was something that he couldn’t help. I didn’t get angered over these exchanges because knew that Bobby had an intrinsic personality that was not quite as friendly as that of many others.

My friend “Daffy”, lacking this insight, assumed that Bobby was being purposefully rude to me, and he got upset about it. I explained to Daffy what I have just explained to you, and then he realized that I was right. His anger disappeared.

I believe that everyone could stop to think about the true personalities of those who anger them, or the other possibilities that could have been behind the exchange. This is hard to do, but people should really make an effort to do so. If they did, they would all live much less stressful and happier lives.