This past Tuesday after having a fantastic 4th of July weekend, it was time for reality again.
I was in an emotional slump. It could have been because of the weekend and then having it all stop abruptly. Or it could have been that besides filming a vlog, I didn’t really accomplish much.
Anyways, I was speaking to our guest poster Ethan Carter on Twitter. I was letting him know that I was in an emotional downward spiral and that my emotions were getting the best of me.
I let him know that some people were getting on my nerves and I couldn’t shake it and rise above.
Needless to say, what you will read in the following article changed that immediately. It really is all about how you look at things and your mindset to adversity.
Without further ado, here’s Ethan with:
Trading Anger For Pity:
Emotions are a funny thing.
We all have them, yet few of us understand how they work.
Growing up, most males are riddled with confusion. On one hand, they are presented with hyper-masculine views that purport not being emotional, and to simply “Man up bro!”
While conversely most female, and often societal, advice tends to encourage us to be softer, cry more, and be a sensitive ball of manipulative goo.
Although it can be argued that both modalities have merit, the truth remains that both are extremes. And like all extremes, these two views lack both the balance and rationality that come from applying the filter of objectivity.
As a result, many men grow up into individuals that are either overly aggressive or simply soft and weak. Regardless of the result, both extremes are still slaves to the same problem: Emotions.
Wtf are emotions anyhow?
Emotions and feelings exist in all of us. Everyone knows this, but very few know how to process or use this knowledge.
No matter how emotionally cold one wishes to become, you cannot escape the fact that within you resides many, many, streams of emotion and feeling.
Like breathing, emotions and feelings are in a constant and dynamic flow. They can’t be switched off, and must be navigated in a productive manner. If not kept in check, emotions have the potential to run rampant within you—normally manifesting in the form of bad decisions, choices, and actions.
Despite the plethora of emotions available to us, for this article, I’m going to be sticking to those of Anger and Pity.
Anger is one of the most powerful of all the emotions that we possess. It has the potential to cause radical changes within us and can affect us in ways that many other emotions cannot. In itself, anger can be either a destructive or transformative force, however, for most, it is the former as opposed to the latter.
Many people internalize anger, and therefore effectively cause anarchy within the habitat of their internal wellbeing. The internalization of anger is actually the single most destructive force in our lives.
Growing up, I was raised in an abusive household. I was surrounded by toxic individuals who created a myriad of equally toxic situations on a consistent basis.
This time in my life was very difficult.
Our formative years are difficult by design, yet mine were laced with the acidic result of having to deal with dramatic and violent situations on a daily basis. As a result of this, I ran away from home at 14 years old and lived on the streets of North London for a month.
Understandably, my years of abuse and time on the streets filled me with anger. In fact, it would be no exaggeration to say that my anger consumed me.
It was only later when I met my mentor, that I was able to confront and deal with this anger in a healthy way. And I’m sure that without the influence and intervention of my mentor, the directions that I would have taken in life would have been far more destructive.
My mentor taught me a technique whereby I was able to trade my anger for pity.
Ideally, if you can remove yourself from a toxic person or situation, you should do so.
However, sometimes we may be trapped in a situation, or we may even be in the process of ejecting ourselves from a toxic person or situation; meaning that an immediate separation from the aforementioned person/ situation is not always possible.
So while you’re in the process of leaving, a good way to deal with things is to Trade Your Anger for Pity.
This paradigm shift can revolutionize your life as it causes a shift in both your perspective and overall well-being.
If the toxic person in question is a co-worker that’s passive aggressive/ overly critical, instead of viewing them with anger, start to view them with pity.
Learn to see them as the weak and pathetic person that they really are.
Start to understand that for them to be this negative and annoying outwardly, they must be even more toxic internally.
Pity them because you only have to deal with them for a limited amount of hours each week, whereas they’re stuck with their toxic attitude 24/7.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you become “nice,” though.
And it certainly doesn’t mean that you act like some loved-up hippie, putting flowers in guns, and battling people with love etc.
Seriously though, what this means is that you DO stand your ground with the individual. It means that you DO speak your mind to them. But, and this the most important thing, it also means that you DO NOT internalize your anger for them.
Pity them, but don’t harbor any anger or hate. Because your hate will only hurt you. They won’t feel a damn thing.
The key, and the winning move is to do what it takes to minimize your own stress.
Feeling anger internally will cause stress, and stress will release excessive cortisol and have a myriad of other negative effects on your system.
Before you start fucking yourself up and poisoning yourself with your own anger, ask yourself “Is this (person or situation) that I’m hating, really worth hurting myself for?”
Linking back to what I said earlier, one thing that some guys like to do (maybe because some of us don’t know any better) is to suppress anger.
It’s important to realize that anger is natural, and it should NOT be suppressed. With that being said, anger does not always have to be expressed.
Let me explain by using the co-worker example from above again: If you were to express your anger to your co-worker, you’d probably end up kicking their ass. Now despite that probably feeling fucking great at the time, it will most likely land you in a world of trouble.
Presented with this situation, most guys would probably suppress their anger. But, as I stated, this would be an unhealthy course of action.
The key would be to act by trading that anger for pity.
This is done by understanding that all emotion is simply a generation of energy within us. So once energy (an emotion) is generated, it’s healthier to substitute that for another form of energy (a different emotion) than trying to suppress it.
Therefore, if you feel anger it’s healthier to trade it for another emotion like pity.
Pity is a good trade for anger for several reasons:
Pity brings you perspective. When you pity someone or something, you more often than not, feel a sense of elevation in comparison to them. This allows you to gain perspective clarity, which in turns leads to you feeling…
Pitying someone or something, reduces your stress levels and allows you to feel calmer, which in turn is good for…
Feeling pity gives you perspective and calmness. These simple yet powerful states of promoting health and your overall wellbeing. And nothing (No Thing) is worth more to you than your health.
So as you can see, suppressing anger is unnatural and detrimental to your health. Whereas trading anger for pity is a better (health) deal.
Nuances of life
Both hatred and love are the two basic ingredients included in all forms of expression in life.
While some forms of expression have more love than hate, and other forms have more hate than love—the NUANCES of each of these two ingredients are always present. In fact not only are they present, but they are a gift.
And if someone was to present you with a gift… let’s say Negativity wrapped in a box. If you were to refuse to accept it, then who does the gift belong to? Of course, it will remain the property of the instigator.
By the same token, when people are negative or toxic, they are offering you a gift. If you accept it and get pissed and angry, you’ll ruin yourself. However, if you decide to instead reject their gift, you nullify their actions. And to take things further, when you trade your anger for them to pity, you not only reject their negative gift, but you enjoy the altitude of being above their pettiness.
Ethan Michael Carter is a screenwriter, author, fight choreographer, and stage actor from the UK. He started life on the wrong side of the tracks. Most of his youth was spent in gangs and seeking out fight after fight, but his life changed when he met a very wise boxing coach. This man not only taught him the art of boxing, but also the art of Living More Than You Exist. This mentor turned his life around and taught him that “We are never a slave to our environment, only to our choices.” Ethan’s time with his mentor began a life long journey for knowledge and self-development. A journey that has, up to this point, led him to work as an English teacher, and as a fight choreographer for film and television, with credits including the acclaimed Heroes series. He’s also worked as an actor with the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company. For more of Ethan’s bio and coaching philosophy, please check out his blog.