How to Remain Calm With People - The School of Life

How to Remain Calm With People - The School of Life

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The power to hold on

The power to hold on

One of the most important techniques to calm down is having the power to hold on, even in demanding and hard situations, to a distinction between what someone does and what they meant to do.


2.24k READS


Why we jump to dark conclusions

Part of the reason for our pattern of imagining negative plots and thinking that all people want is to cause us harm is the psychological phenomenon called self-hatred.

The less we like ourselves, the more we appear in our own eyes as possible targets for disrespect and harm.


1.78k READS

How a negative self-image impacts our life

When we carry a baggage of self-hatred around with us (that operates outside of our awareness) we'll constantly seek confirmation from the outside world that we really are the worthless people we consider us to be.

This process starts in our childhood, when someone close to us left us feeling dirty and guilty. As a result, we are traveling through society and living our lives assuming the worst.


1.49k READS

Treating the adults around us as children

We would be much calmer around adults if we could act around them in the way we naturally act around children.

Small kids sometimes behave in really annoying ways, but we rarely feel personally wounded by their behavior, because we don't assign a negative intention to the way they act (quite the opposite, we find the most benevolent interpretations).


1.4k READS

Our broken perception of the people around us

Motives are crucial, but sadly we are very bad at perceiving and interpreting the motives that happened to be involved in the events that most frustrate us.

We usually feel that other adults have something against us, that all the actions they are taking and that frustrate us have the intention to cause us distress, to take advantage of us.


1.15k READS

Emile-Auguste Chartier's formula for calming down

Emile-Auguste Chartier's formula for calming down

He developed a formula for calming himself and his pupils down in the face of irritating people.

He said to never see people as evil; just try to identify what is driving a person to behave in negative ways. It is a calming thought to imagine that they’re suffering in a way we can’t see. Being mature means learning to imagine this area of pain even if you don't have enough evidence about it.


1.69k READS


We don’t ask big questions

Big questions referring to is the meaning of life matter deeply because only with sound answers to them we can direct our energies meaningfully, but most of us get shy expressing them. -...

Philosophy = thinking for yourself

Philosophers are interested in asking whether an idea is logical–rather than simply assuming it must be right because it is popular and long-established. - Alain de Botton

Philosophers were the first therapists

Philosophers teach us to think about our emotions, rather than simply have them. By understanding and analysing our feelings, we learn to see how emotions impact on our behaviour in unexpected, counterintuitive and sometimes dangerous ways.  - Alain de Botton

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Talking horizontally and encouraging honesty

Talking horizontally and encouraging honesty

Sigmund Freud discovered that there is a remarkable difference between what people will tell you when they are sitting up and looking at you in the eye, and what they will say to you when they ...

When we feel discouraged to speak

We perhaps don't realise that seeing another person's face can discourage us from speaking the truth. We may hold back and edit our presentation in the light of their reactions.

With Sigmund Freud's example in mind, we should find our own forms of horizontal conversation. After dinner, we might suggest that we all go and lie down somewhere and become newly conscious of voices and nuances when we don't have to look at others' expressions.

Defining difficult people

Defining difficult people

We are social creatures who desire validation. We feel good when others share our belief system. But we feel dejected when others do not value our inputs, crush our ideas, or ignore what we have to...

Influences that define difficult people

We view the world and the people in it from a specific paradigm.

How we relate to someone is driven by our personality, expectations, background, and experience. Why we find someone difficult is then a very personal affair.

The TRICK framework that drives us

  • T - Tagging. We are quick to label others as needy, manipulative, fake, arrogant, but explain away our own selfish acts and believe we are better than others.
  • R - Righteous. When we find someone difficult, we start believing in the righteousness of how we feel, what we want, and why the other person deserves to be treated in a certain way. We reject them as a person, as well as their ideas.
  • I - Intention. Once we know we are right, it's easy to assume they act out of bad intent.
  • C - Confirmation. Once we think someone is difficult, every interaction serves as a validation of our beliefs. We will reject the evidence that contradicts our beliefs and seek information that strengthens our views.
  • K - Keenness to fix others. Without changing our own behavior, we assume the other person is at fault and then desire to fix them.