How to deal with injustice?
Recently a relative was dealt with injustice. When I heard about it, my heart was filled with anger and then sympathy. My relative took a "beating," apparently without feeling the same amount of anger as I did. The anger and sense of “unfairness” may come back later – so I did some thinking on how to deal with injustice and shared this with my relative, - and now you.
I have 3 main recommendations: 1) Try to stay positive, do not fall into negativity; 2) Do not overthink it; and 3) A reaction, if necessary, requires calmness and rational thinking (not anger).
1. Success is the best form of revenge
If you want your “revenge” – it is necessary to put the “shit/hate” away, to stay positive and smile – because your smile and positivity will not only help you in the “moment”, but also attract people and opportunities to you. Negativity and rightfulness may bore people and drive them away, making it harder for you to taste the “sweetness of success”. Your positivity may not only attract others but drive people that have “hurt” you crazy. That may be a good start.
Photo: "Success" (Bruce Mars)
2. Do not overthink it (for too long)
So, you have been dealt with injustice. It felt like shit and may still do. The fact is that it happened and that part you cannot change. While it would be human to think about what happened a lot: “I should have said this” or “I could have done this” – the fact is that none of that thinking will make it right and will only drain your energy and positivity.
You do not want to be drained of energy. Dwelling on injustice tend to “blow things up and maybe out of proportions” and magnify your feelings to a point where you are more focused on your problems than on the possible solutions. I can understand that it can be rewarding to think about “what I should have done” but it is not productive.
There is nothing you can do to change the past. You should not spend time thinking on how to change people or a situation in the past. The only change you can make is how you respond to the situation, how you respond to the person(s) that treated you unfairly, and how you can positively influence the situation - that is all you can do. That is a choice, primarily your choice.
If you catch yourself thinking about what happened – you may want to visualize a big “STOP SIGN” in your head and immediately tell yourself “this is NOT productive. It is what it is, and cannot change it”. You cannot change the past, only how you react to it.
Photo: "Do not overthink it" (Anthony Tran)
3. Think and act rationally
Consider the injustice. If it was a “feeling of injustice”, then you are right. Your feelings are always right. If you felt it, then it happened (to you), no matter what other people tell you. However, now put what happened in perspective. Was it a big thing, or a small thing: Did someone die, did your partner leave you, is your dog is still here? Is there more to your life than this episode? If there is more to your life, then consider letting it go, and do not despair over it.
If it was a “big thing” – then the last thing you want is to stay angry. Correcting injustice requires calmness, careful planning and then action. Be very mindful to “throw gasoline” on an already “unfair situation” – the fire can easily get out of control. If your partner or boss have been unfair to you, ask yourself first what their intention is – is it to hurt you? If it is to hurt you, and certainly if it is a pattern to hurt, then move away and get out of this “relationship.” Quickly. A new door will surely open.
However, if it is not a repeated action, not part of a pattern, then maybe this person just made a stupid mistake – and maybe you could “accept it” and move on with a smile. In my experience, people will respect and like you more if they can see you were indeed unjustly treated but were able to move on with positivity and kindness. A positive attitude, instead of a “negative” response is highly likely be paid back to you, -you will be rewarded. If the injustice happens again and all you feel is continuous negative energy and injustice, then again you must move away from this person, it is a lost cause and staying in this situation will make you depressed and weaker. If you keep accepting injustice, it may well be perceived as “weakness” that likely will be abused by the person(s) involved. Get away!
Photo: "Time to leave, get out!" (Anthony Neel)
If you feel that you have been unfairly treated, breathe for 1-minute! Count to ten. Park the car, step out, go outside. Catch yourself before reacting with anger or frustration. Try not to say anything or do something that you may regret.
Then figure out how big your loss is, put it in perspective. Can you afford it, is it part of a pattern? If you cannot afford it and it is a pattern, then you need calmness and rationality to figure out what your response should be. Anger is not part of this strategy at all. On the other hand, if you can afford it, there is much to be said for “throwing things out the window”, swallow your pride and move on. Focus on something more interesting and rewarding than this.
A person told me last week that it is better to be “healthy instead of right”. It is always your choice where you put your energy, and we should learn to let go of things that we cannot control.
Yes, there are times you need to stand up to what is unfair, but very often you should just move on. It is human to feel hurt, to have emotional reactions. Taking control of your emotions and brain is hard. It takes practice. Maybe this situation is practice?
Photo: Maybe this is practice? (Rex Tavanh)