How Not To Get Upset When Insulted By Others

Image by Hatice EROL from Pixabay

Why does the rich man laugh when you call him poor? Because he is conscious of the fact that he is not poor but very wealthy. The insult has no effect upon him. Why then do we get upset when someone insults us or accuses us falsely even though we be conscious of the fact we are not these things?

The reason is due to two factors both psychological and spiritual. In the case of the former, we have been brought up in a culture that taught us it’s normal to get upset when someone insults us. We’ve absorbed the information of the behaviour we see around us from early childhood. Having this awareness and knowledge of why we get upset is helpful. However, even with this we still tend to get upset when someone insults us, why?

We now move on to the spiritual reason that has to do with original sin. We are sinners and without the light of Gods Grace, no amount of religious or secular new-age mindfulness techniques will ever deliver us from anger. Meditate all we like, pray all we like and get up every morning and go to daily Mass, because without faith in Christ and a cleansing of the soul through repentance we can never reach the spiritual maturity available to us.

Sometimes we get angry at an insult or accusation because it will be true, and at other times if done publicly afraid of how the mob will perceive us. Either way, the source of our emotional turmoil is not those doing the accusing and insulting. The root of all our sorrow is ourselves. We have the will and power not to give in to the upset, but if that will and intellect have not been purified by Christ through repentance, then I’m afraid that try all we might, we will never achieve the perfection required.

If you walk away from this blog post take these little golden nuggets with you. Remind yourself that maybe the insult/accusation sheds light on the truth. Due to pride, your fear of standing in the light manifests itself through upset and anger. If that’s not the case it’s because you’ve been trained to get angry when others insult you even though you’re conscious of the fact you’re not any of these insults they label you with. Finally, there’s the root of the problem. An unrepentant heart. A darkened intellect and weak will be held captive by sin unbeknownst to you keep you chained to this world.

Nothing ever happens overnight. Through prayer combined with faith and a desire to repent, eventually, God seeing our struggle will give us some glory. Being conscious that we are the source of the emotions we generate when insulted is 50% of the battle. With this knowledge, we can now make better progress attaining the better half of it which is repentance.

For example, I once had a Nun get upset with me because I had disrupted her retreat by going on too long about why I converted. I could visibly see her trying to control the rage. She “knew” it was wrong to get upset and with this knowledge did everything in her power to keep it under control. But she struggled to do so because she lacked the repentance required to keep a lid on it. And the more she relied on her own power to keep it under lock and key, the worse it became.

That brings me to my last point which is self-reliance. Reliance on ones own capabilities may prove fruitful for a time, but is not long-lasting. The more we ignore repentance and ask God for help the worse our situation becomes. It’s like the spider prey caught in the web. The more it struggles the further it entangles itself, or a man caught thigh-deep in wet Mud, the more he squirms the deeper he sinks. The spiritual life requires we let go of the world and like St.Peter reach out our hand to Christ and ask for His assistance.

Be aware that you’re the source of the upset, pray and ask God for the grace of Repentance without relying upon your own power to get there. May the Lord grant we all attain this type of grace because it is a great aid upon the path toward Salvation. Amen.

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