If someone has hurt you, your first reaction may be to return the negative behavior. Maybe you wouldn’t think of actually doing or saying something vengeful to that person, but you secretly wish something negative would happen to them. As difficult as it seems, you are much better off thinking kind thoughts. Here are ways to cultivate kindness thoughts about someone who has hurt you.
When someone has been kind to you, it is natural to show gratitude. You may also practice giving thanks that you have things in your life that bring joy. When you focus on these things, you feel more joy and exude kindness to others, even to someone who hasn’t been kind to you. You are no longer focusing on that person and their slights. You are choosing to shift your focus to the positivity in your own life, which will greatly benefit your mental health.
When you meditate, you bring attention to thoughts that enter your mind when you are seeking stillness. By train yourself to intercept thoughts, you can readily assess when thought patterns are leaning towards negativity. Instead of dwelling on a cruel thought about someone else, you can challenge that thought. Maybe that person isn’t all bad. Perhaps they are going through a tough time and need empathy. Challenging those negative beliefs can reframe the way you feel about that person.
Remember Your Shortcomings
You don’t want to ruminate on past failures, but it can be helpful to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Have you ever been unkind to someone? Chances are, you have fallen short on multiple occasions. Think about what was going in your life. There were likely a variety of factors that contributed to your unkindness. Just as you would want someone to offer you forgiveness, you should do the same for others.
Holding a grudge doesn’t harm another person, but it does harm you. Instead of harboring ill will towards someone, open your heart to kindness, and you will be much happier.