Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Working on Middos

At times, you may have to deal with people who are different than you. It can be difficult and it can be frustrating but the most important thing to remind yourself is that you have to let it pass and not let it get to you. Tell yourself that Hashem put you in this situation so that you can work on refining your middos and become more tolerant of others.

Every person has their quirks and the things that make them tick. It may be hard to deal with people who are not exactly like you and do things differently than the way you are used to. But by telling yourself over and over again that Hashem is giving you an opportunity to work on yourself you will grow from the experience instead of just becoming annoyed.

Every person has positive qualities. So if someone is doing something that bothers you, a good way to deal with it is look out for the good – notice the things you like about them or the things they are good at so that you can get past the things that make you frustrated.

When someone does something and you cannot understand why, try to be dan l’kaf zechus. There are so many reasons why someone would do something that at first glance makes no sense or why they would not be able to do a favor for you. Think of a time when you were in a similar situation and think of what the reasons were that you did what you did.

I heard a great way to excel in this area – judging favorably. If you would be in the same situation, what excuse would you come up with for yourself to explain why that happened?

We are all so good at excusing ourselves. When we do something that looks wrong, we have so many ways to explain our actions. When someone asks us to do a favor for them, we come up with so many reasons why we couldn’t. I was too tired. I didn’t realize what you meant. It was a misunderstanding. I was busy. I was on the phone. I didn’t hear your message. I totally heard wrong! I thought you said you wanted me to…I was away. I was sleeping. I was preoccupied with something else. I needed to relax and couldn’t jump up and run to help you right when you asked.

We have so many ways to say the (almost) same thing! It just wasn’t a good time for me.

So why is it that when someone tells you they can’t do it does it bother you so much? She’s also human! She is also allowed to have her reasons for not being available at the exact second that you needed her!

Come up with excuses for your friends when they do things that are not the way you wanted them to be. Slowly, you will become an expert at judging them favorably. This will help eliminate stress and disappointment and a lot of arguments can be avoided.

Now’s the time to work on polishing our middos until they shine!


  1. Thank you so much for putting this up! just one thing....if there is someone whos constantly nervous and gets others anoyed, yes you still do like them and can find many things you like abut them-but theuy still get you anoyed, and constantly frustrated-no?

  2. Anon-this is what I was trying to point out from this post. People may do things that get you annoyed or nervous but you need to view it as a way for you to improve your middos and work on tolerating other people. Not all people are created the same way! Every person has their quirks and when someone does something that gets you nervous, you need to tell yourself that you can GROW from this situation and work on yourself!

    Try to let the things she does pass so that they don't bother you too much - this is how you can get past it: by telling yourself that everyone has their "things" and you probably do too. It is something small and should not affect you too much. Let it pass and don't dwell on the things that bother you. Instead, try to focus on the good things this person does or the things they are good at.

  3. These are all great tips! Was it the Ba'al Shem Tov who said that the things which bother us in others are precisely the things we need to work on in ourselves? I find that to be true in my case. When I'm bothered by something, it's usually related to something within myself which I feel is lacking.

    Also, I had a Rebbetzin in seminary who gave me these five things to remember:
    1. This is a custom-made situation designed for my growth
    2. I can handle it
    3. Check my expectations
    4. Judge favorably
    5. What do I want to do about it.

    When I remember to do these five steps, it really, really helps

  4. Rivki-I don't remember who said that but it's something I've learned to. It definitely has some truth to it but it is not always the case. Sometimes people do things that rub the wrong way and you wish they did things differently but you can't change them, you can only change yourself!

    I love those 5 pointers. Thanks for writing them out! They are so good and I can see them being really helpful for me as well.

  5. Devorah-
    sometimes whenit does happen though-i realize that its a test but i STILL have a hard time answering back or doing the right thing its just so hard to keep it down when one person is screaming at another, how could the other not scream back-i mean how could the other make them selves heard if the one that was screaming in the first place doesnt stop?

  6. thanx so much for putting this up!

  7. Anon-I'm not gonna say it's easy. It's very hard to keep quiet when someone else is yelling and you feel like you are bursting with something to say but you won't be heard anyway so what's the point in talking?

    Keep telling yourself that this will make you into a better person. This is how you will grow and become more tolerant.

    You should know that the reward for keeping quiet when someone else is yelling or embarrassing you is unimaginable! It cleanses your neshama and you will get a lot of schar! Tell yourself again and again "I can do it!" and you will. Take a deep breath and let the person vent...and when they are done you can try to start talking calmly and see if they will listen.

    I know it's hard but you can do it!

    Liat-I'm so glad you liked it!

  8. im glad you posted a blog on anger so alout of people can see it


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