A recent email announcement sent to my entire database promoting my latest book, The Great Truth: Shattering Life’s Most Insidious Lies That Sabotage Your Happiness Along With the Revelation of Life’s Sole Purpose, prompted two angry responses. In both cases, the recipients took offense to my alleged claim that I have somehow miraculously uncovered a mysterious truth others are not privy to. The back cover of my book jacket makes the following statements: The purpose of life is not what we have been led to believe – to be happy, successful, pursue our passion, etc. While each of these has value, they are not the reason we are here. I promise that once you understand Life’s Great Truth and the Universal Sole Purpose of Life you will possess a guaranteed map for effortless living and will see your lives transformed in ways unimaginable. Everything else will follow.
One person called me “too self-assured”, questioning how I could be so confident in knowing such a Truth. The other commenced to describe her life of extreme hardship and the injustices she had endured, comparing her tragic life to my (supposed) life fraught with nothing more than “stupid relationship issues”. She concluded her two paragraph rant with “I would love to hear how you can make me the star you appear to be because I certainly don’t have your POWER!!!!!!” Admittedly she confessed to being very cynical about “these kinds of self-help books wanting to get someone to love them!”
I know pain, insecurity, unhappiness, fear, jealousy, resentment, and bitterness when I see it. And I know enough not to take personal offense to the anger and sarcasm others spew at me. But not everyone is able to do this and some may easily be insulted by the rude and ignorant comments of others. In both cases it was crystal clear to me that each person was dealing with some serious unresolved personal issues and my claims triggered what they have not yet come to terms with. (Behavior is simply an outward expression of our internal issues.) I also understand that neither individual knows anything at all about me: they are unfamiliar with my lectures, haven’t read any of my books or articles, and do not know my life’s story which contains significant amounts of pain and suffering. To make unsubstantiated and outrageous claims against a person one is unfamiliar with is sadly a reflection of that person’s insecurities and lack of knowledge.
There are six surefire ways of offending someone and alternative ways of expressing how we feel.
1. Make unsubstantiated, absurd or inaccurate accusations and assumptions. Or – research and gather facts.
2. Call the other party insulting names. Or – treat them with dignity and respect.
3. Be judgmental, label them disparagingly. Or – give them the benefit of the doubt, be sensitive to their situation, feelings, beliefs, etc.
4. Be indifferent to their pain and suffering. Or – be sensitive and compassionate.
5. Criticize their success, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Or – appreciate and recognize their accomplishments.
6. Be sarcastic, have a bad attitude. Or – be reasonable and fair.
Life is filled with choices. Making the kind ones requires the same amount of energy but yields far better results.
Pick up a copy of The Secret Side of Anger at www.PfeifferPowerSeminars.com