There are innumerable things in life we once thought we were a hair-strand away from having, but due to uncontrolled factors they slipped away in a heartbeat. You held a grudge against the world. Instead of aiming to display your resiliency, you were caught up with negative emotions that kept you from seizing other opportunities. Dealing with unfairness requires strategy and skill.
Dealing with unfairness
You were deprived of a promotion. Instead, an officemate who’s far less qualified and tenured got the break.
You aced the audition, but the producer’s nephew was awarded the role. You refrained from being absent for an entire salary cut-off, only to have your prized money stolen by a complete stranger.
Humans have a natural knack for discerning fairness – it’s basically hardwired to our minds, as per various scientific studies. When you’re dealing with unfairness, your brain’s amygdala puts you into “fight or flight mode” which sparks feelings of anxiety and anger. Because that hateful mode is so intense, it hampers with your ability to think straight and rationally.
Don’t play the victim
When you always have the mindset that you’re pained by an aggressor (which is a completely normal thing), you want to get even. Trying to, however, doesn’t always correct the inequity. It’s completely hazardous to go after the thief, career-threatening to mock your boss or the producer perhaps.
Reverse that by thinking that you’re the more privileged party. Believe that life lets you be pained, cheated, stolen from or lied to at times, because you have abundance (e.g., money, reputation, emotional strength, etc.). If you do this, you’ll feel sorry for that person, not yourself, and you’ll be dealing with unfairness more gracefully.
Open otherwise closed doors
If you were denied a role in an audition unfairly, it can lead you to people that will appreciate and utilize your acting talent more. If you’re trying to make up for stolen money, it can lead you to lucrative side gigs that you were unfamiliar before.
When you’re forced to leave an unappreciative employer, you have the freedom to strike better deals and arrangements with others. The rationale is that when we’re dealing with unfairness, lamenting inequitable, negative experiences from others can serve as a decoy for greater opportunities you’ve longed for.
Ruminate one time, and then move on
I know. It’s easier said than done, but it’s the best route to take. When you cry over spilt milk, you focus on the problem and your emotions, not on solutions to rise stronger from it. It just frustrates you as you feel helpless and deprived.
At the end of the day, you can even blame yourself for your perceived inadequacies (e.g., weak resolve, introversions, etc.) that paved the way for other people to take advantage on you. When this happens, you should have an inner voice commanding yourself to halt it. “This is enough. I’m only punishing myself and I don’t deserve this.”
Be reasonable when contemplating to act up
It’s really hard to suppress the urge of wanting to get even – of dealing the same pain others may have caused us. Majority of the time, it’s better to defer justice to a person of higher being. Your actions may end up giving birth to greater hate and chaos. At the end of the day, it may just backfire on you.
For instance, when you think of smacking in the face the stranger who caused you to drop your hotdog bun on the floor, think of possible consequences first like assault charges or getting hit back. Will it be worth it to show your undesirable side to the public? Think of your image and reputation too. Letting go doesn’t always mean you’re weak.
The next time you feel the urge to be violent and vengeful, remember that it’s the natural response of your brain as a human being, not your soul’s true desire.
Know and remember the extent of your control
You may be educated, well-mannered, and respective of others’ beliefs and emotions. But since all of us are raised in varying social roots, it’s impossible to expect that everyone will treat you in the same manner.
You can’t change someone’s actions and decisions if they’re too indifferent about it. You can only control your reactions and demeanor about it (e.g., forgive, influence, or educate them, etc.). Hate begets hate. We live in a world where people avenge misdeeds cast upon them. However, you have the power to realize the dream of making a real, positive difference.
A very insightful, eye-opening Pinterest quote reads as, “When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”
Shameka Keitt is a blogger and essayist at essayforme.org
She also maintains a personal site on which she shares her insights about women’s empowerment, gender equality, and greener living. Shameka is months away from finally completing her Ph. D. in Communications.