Exercising Kindness & Overcoming Hostility

Hostility is one of those negative emotions that can easily be triggered.

It’s a tough emotion to try to overcome.  Sometimes anger can be a natural reaction.  If it’s directed appropriately to constructive action and solutions, it serves a purpose.  If it’s misdirected, we all see the consequences on the evening news.

With this post, I’d like to provide a few tips that help me overcome initial feelings of anger and hostility that arise.

Remember that you may not be able to choose your initial reactions to an event- but you can control your responses and thoughts to any circumstance that arises.

I like to listen to an audio series from Les Brown- called “The Courage to Live Your Dreams”.  On one of the audios, Brown quotes Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Things may happen to you, things may happen around you, but the only things that really matter are things that happen in you.”

Outward Actions vs. Intent of the Heart

When we’re wronged – it’s easy to get caught up in the moment.

We see surface behaviors and hear the words of others, but do we really understand their intent?

It could be that the frustrated or difficult person that you’ve encountered has emotional or physical problems that you and I don’t even know about.  They may be acting out of their own frustration and their behaviors have nothing to do with you.

It’s also helpful to remember that our words sometimes don’t reflect what we intend when we speak.

Is it really important for us to understand the intent of others- when all we see and hear are actions and words?  Sometimes it is, and many times, it isn’t.  When it isn’t important, I try to let it go and move on with my day.

Personal Responsibility

Brian Tracy, in his book “Change your Thoughts, Change Your Life” has some excellent advice in personal development, and the role our thinking plays in our quality of life.

He suggests that we incorporate the phrase “I am responsible” in response to the things that happen to us.  Brian Tracy mentions in his book that the best way to eliminate anger of all kinds is to accept responsibility.  He talks about the Law of Substitution- and the fact that your mind can only hold one thought at a time.  Because of this fact, you cannot accept responsibility for your situation and be angry at the same time.

This advice has really helped me in my daily life- and my hope is that it will be valuable for you as well.  Many times, we don’t have the tools to deal with our emotions and thoughts constructively, which is part of the purpose of my blog.

The “Big Picture” Question

In the past, I tended to dwell upon my thoughts and feelings of anger.

I have allowed negative events to ruin my day.  It’s easy to allow the comments and actions of others to affect us.

Looking back, if I asked myself “Will this be important 1 year from now?”, I would have saved myself from a lot of mental and emotional turmoil.

Keeping this “big picture” question in mind, it’s focused me back to being in control of my own well-being.  I don’t allow others to define my mental or emotional well-being.

Other people’s ideas, opinions, and comments are just that- their ideas, opinions and comments.  Your thoughts, goals, inner peace and contentment are valuable assets in your life.  Don’t allow others to darken your outlook on life with their words and actions.

In the grand scheme of things, much of the negative that we hear ultimately has no validity.

In summary, then, it helps to control anger and hostility by:

  • recognizing that the words and actions of others does not always reflect their intent
  • accepting personal responsibility for your own responses to negative events
  • remembering that your own inner peace and contentment has more value than the words and actions of others

In my next post, I hope you’ll be able to incorporate valuable tips in overcoming insecurity- as many of us have battles with low self-esteem.  All the best to you until then.

the man who dares Exercising Kindness & Overcoming Hostility

About kevinb


  1. I found your wisdom very helpful. Thank you.

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