Imagine It Happening To Someone Else

This is from the Daily Stoic:


When something frustrating happens to you today—a flight gets cancelled, a pen breaks and spills on your shirt, you get jostled by the crowd, painfully, on the subway—and you feel that immediate, instinctive anger rising up, just stop.
Try this: Think about it happening to someone else. Imagine the thing that happened to you, happening to someone else. What you’ll notice then is that you don’t feel anger, you feel sympathy. I’m sorry that happened to you. It’s alright. No need to get upset.

When it happens to us, we feel wronged and aggravated. When it happens to someone else, we feel a desire to comfort or help. Yet are we not a person just like them? Do we not deserve sympathy and comfort ourselves?

Well…don’t wait for someone else to give it to you. Give it to yourself. Give it to yourself as a gift instead of anger. Remember Marcus’s quote from Euripides,

“Why should we feel anger at the world?
As if the world would notice.”
Anger is worthless. It only makes the world a worse place. It only makes the holder of it feel worse. Stop the cycle. Treat yourself how you’d treat someone else.