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The Meanest Thing You Can Do To Yourself Is Hate Someone Else

(Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash)

The meanest thing you can do to yourself is to hate someone else.

Wow!

I wish someone had told me that a long time ago.

I was awfully mean to myself for a long, long time.

Hating my dad for the moves we made when I was younger caused me more pain than I’ll ever be able to explain.

(Check out the last blog to discover how I overcame this so you can do what I did and change your life.)

My experience with hating someone else proves this saying is a great lesson to learn and a valuable warning.

Are you doing this to yourself?

Are your judgmental thoughts and harsh feelings about someone or something else reflecting back on you?

The feeling doesn’t have to be hate.

It can be a milder emotion.

I’m getting better at using deliberate thinking to avoid this.

But I still make this mistake occasionally.

Here’s an example of one of those recent occasions.


A few years ago, I decided to take better care of my health.

A big part of living healthier is eating healthier.

Planning and preparing healthy meals for my wife and me is a rewarding experience I enjoy.

I go through several different cookbooks for about an hour a week to find healthy, great-tasting meals to prepare.

During the pandemic, I decided to start having the groceries delivered.

(Photo by Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash)

It’s a tremendous convenience.

It saves me a lot of time and is worth the additional expense.

I compile the grocery list, order online, receive the deliveries, and cook the meals.

Four out of every five orders have one or two items missing from the delivery, which is easy to correct.

I just call the grocery store, tell them what’s missing, and they have it at my door within an hour or two.

No big deal.

A little inconvenient maybe.

But not something to get upset about.

It doesn’t seem like a big deal now as I write this.

But I sure made it one a few weeks ago.

I didn’t deliberately choose my thoughts about the experience.

I reacted horribly.

I lashed out in an ugly and regrettable way.

There were items missing from the order, and when I called the store to let them know…

Well, let’s just say I wasn’t pleasant.

I got angry.

I yelled.

And I was rude.

I want to try to defend and justify my behavior.

In the end, none of my justifications matter.

The only thing that matters is how I acted and how awful I felt about myself afterward.

So let’s skip that part and go straight to what I was thinking and feeling before, during, and after calling in the missing items.


I was mad that they got my order wrong again.

I felt like I was a victim of their bad customer service and lack of attention.

I thought they were jerks because they didn’t care enough to get it right.

And I was going to let them know what good customer service was, how to do it, and tell them all the ways they were failing me.

This was my thinking just before calling in to report the missing items.

If I had spent just a minute evaluating how I was thinking and feeling before making the call, I could have completely changed the experience.

I would have noticed my thoughts and feelings were going to create an awful experience for me.

Taking just a minute to regain my composure and choosing to focus on different thoughts would create an entirely different result.

But I didn’t.

I didn’t use deliberate thinking.

I just reacted.

My impulsive intent was to make them suffer like I was suffering.

But that never works.

The title to this blog tells us so.

The meanest thing you can do to yourself is to hate someone else.

All the negative thoughts and feelings I directed at them only hurt me.

Everything I intended to project out was reflected back.

And it’s always this way.

So I made the call.

An incredibly friendly customer service agent greeted me.

She asked how she could help me.

I responded by being rude.

I interrupted her.

I told her about all the other orders they had made mistakes with but ignored the fact that each error was promptly corrected.

I threatened never to use their service again.

I told them to stop sending me surveys about my experience if they wouldn’t use my suggestions to correct their issues.

(Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash)

I was a horrible ass.

And it felt horrible too.

I felt myself tighten up during the call.

My chest felt heavy, and an uneasy, anxiety-filled sensation washed over me.

The whole time I was schooling this friendly, undeserving customer service agent on the finer points of customer service, I felt outside of myself watching in horror as some other crazy man ranted and raved on the phone.

When I got off the phone, I felt sick to my stomach.

I think I got myself so worked up that the adrenaline surge I experienced upset me.

Then I started to think about what I had just done and how unnecessary it was.

The shame I felt was intense.

I acted like a complete jerk.

Remember I said I thought they were jerks for getting my order wrong?

This is how your thoughts about somebody or something else get reflected back to you.

I created an awful experience, and it was completely unnecessary.

The thoughts I had about them going in were reflected back on me as if they were a blinding spotlight.

A little while afterward when I was writing about what happened, I remembered the saying:

The meanest thing you can do to yourself is to hate someone else.

And trust me when I tell you the impact I hoped to make on this undeserving customer service agent missed completely.

She didn’t walk away with a new, enlightened perspective on how to exceed a customer’s expectations.

Other than walking away from the call thinking I was a crazy person, I doubt there was any impact.


This is always the way it is when we lash out at others.

We only hurt ourselves, and the person who is the subject of our rant usually feels nothing at all.

A lot of the time, we lash out at these people in silence.

We carry our hate around all day long inside our heads.

We ruminate over it.

We rattle our hateful argument around and around, blocking out everything else.

And nothing good has an opportunity to get in.

We disrupt our own lives, and the object of our hate experiences no impact at all.


Flash forward.

Two weeks later, and four items are missing from my delivery.

Ut oh.

Wait a minute.

Before we go off the deep end, let’s use some of that deliberate thinking stuff you talk about all the time.

So I did.

I sat down at my desk and wrote down my thoughts.

(Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash)

All the thoughts from two weeks ago were still there.

But there were some new thoughts too.

They ranged from – they just don’t care about customer service…

To this really isn’t a big deal…

To they always quickly correct their mistake and deliver whatever is missing.

All these thoughts felt true to me.

So how do you deliberately create your experience when you have conflicting thoughts?

Decide to focus on the thoughts that create the result you want.

So I focused on the thought that this wasn’t a big deal and on the thought that they always quickly and efficiently correct their mistake.

And that’s precisely what happened.

It wasn’t a big deal, and how I felt and acted aligned with my thought.

I was relaxed and pleasant when I spoke with the customer service rep.

And they were kind and took care of the issue promptly and efficiently.

Two hours later, the missing items were on my doorstep.

Boom!

Done. 

No harsh words.

No hateful feelings.

No regret.

Just the result I wanted and created by deliberately thinking and then feeling and acting in alignment with the thoughts I chose to focus on.

What we think about others is always reflected back on us.

Treat yourself with kindness, love, and compassion by being kind, loving, and compassionate to everyone.

You reap what you sow.

You create your experience with the thoughts you choose to think.

Who are you hating right now?

How is it reflecting back on you and disrupting your life?

What can you think instead about them or the situation that is equally true and results in an experience you do want?

What thoughts can you choose to create the feelings and actions you want to have?

Choose your thoughts carefully.

Choose deliberately.

Create your life on purpose.