You’ve probably noticed that other people can be a real pain at times. Interfering, making too much noise, demanding, whining, doing a sloppy job, messing things up, wanting their own way – other people can find a million ways to get under our skin.
Yet before we react to them, we must look to ourselves to cultivate inner peace. Physically looking after ourselves and leading a balanced life gives us more resilience and we are less bothered by the perceived faults of others. Also, an attitude of love can be fostered for all people, regardless of whether they ‘deserve’ it or not. In fact, often the people who rub us the wrong way are the very ones who need the most compassion, as they have not yet developed inner peace of their own.
Feelings and attitudes are catching. One angry person can fuel anger in a whole room; another person’s laugh can set off a wave of laughter. This is why happiness is a social as well as a private phenomenon.
As conscious beings, we can learn which feelings and attitudes to catch and spread, and which to reject. Self-care and an attitude of love help us to tolerate the idiocy or idiosyncrasies of other people. Then we don’t become part of a negative chain of angry action and reaction but instead become a starting point for the spread of good feelings. This is what social happiness is all about.