When others act aggressively or hurtfully towards us, what do we do? Do we just let them get away with it? Isn't that letting others walk over us?
These sorts of questions are asked often. I know well that internal rush of anger when someone calls us names or out and out lies to us that demands, “They're not playing FAIR! ….
Have you noticed that no matter how right you may think you are, the other, more often than not, feels just as justified in their stance? Each of us is defending our own story of reality. And ego, that part of us that creates these stories, is only interested in being right. It MUST be right and won't settle for anything less. Ego is not interested in peace or harmony. It is definitely not willing to give up on being right – no matter what! That kind of surrender is seen as, “I lost – they win”. An unthinkable compromise for ego.
This fear of being walked over is more often than not, simply ego's need to stay on top. It needs to feel constantly puffed up in order to justify its existence. But this sort of insistence on being right is not a practice of kindness – to the other or towards ourself.
We don't need to meet aggression with aggression. We can meet it instead with the understanding that what other people do is about them, not about us. Ego always wants to personalize everything. But how others act is determined by what they are believing – something we have little to no control over.
We can choose to focus on what's true in the others stance rather than busily defend our own and in this way align with the other in a way that brings harmony and greater understanding between us. The thing that makes this possible is a deep-seated knowing that life's happenings, especially conflicts with others, are really nothing more than friendly reflections of those parts of me that are asking to be seen and accepted.