Dealing with people of a different type than you

Question:

Hello Ektaji, how do we deal, on a day to day basis, with people who are relatively unconscious or ignorant?  For e.g. at work, my colleagues are ignorant about proper diet and healthy lifestyles, such as eating less refined sugar, meditating, contemplation, or taking care of your environment. They indulge in cheap talk and gossip and complain a lot.  My immediate reaction is to tell them that there are ways out of it.  I have made a few comments a few times, in terms of drinking less coffee for their own benefits, or meditating or eating better but they don’t seem to want to listen to me. I am viewed as the odd one in the group?  If I stay quiet and watch them reel in their ignorance, am I not being a hypocrite? How can I cope with this situation on a daily basis, as I spend 8 hours per day with them?  How do I not get affected by their negativity and complaint?

Answer:

Patanjali will soon tell us that there are 4 types of people and one of them is what you just described.

First step – There is no need to judge them, as your judgment creates an emotion inside you. This emotion will create an agami karma for you. Thus drop judgment as soon as it arises.

Second step – Have compassion for them. Compassion is recognizing that ‘I could be in that person’s shoes’. And it is true that you were there once. Look back at your own life and remember those days, you would have not appreciated judgment then, isn’t that correct? Just think that you could be there and just have compassion.

Third step – You must learn to educate them skillfully. Not by pointing fingers or showing a person how wrong he is but by just pointing towards the right direction and saying this is a better and healthier way to lead life. Nobody appreciates a preachy person. But if you speak without being preachy, your point will be taken well.

Fourth step – After educating, it is the most vital step to ignore their behavior. Not everyone is going to listen to you. Some are so blinded by tamas that they are totally ignorant. You must not spoil your peace of mind over them. You maintain your smile at any cost! Learn to balance on the thin rope! Educate them and then ignore them, both are required. You cannot go on educating them forever because soon your words lose their importance. And if you ignore them without educating, you are not taking appropriate action of responsibility. Thus you have to walk the tight rope of educate and ignore. Got it?

Good luck walking the tight rope!

If you have questions, please feel free to send it by clicking on the “Ask a Question” button on the left sidebar.

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