Stability

by Tom Swift

If someone treats you disrespectfully or speaks unkindly about you, remember that he or she does so from their impression that it is right to do so.

It is unrealistic to expect that this person sees you as you see yourself. If another person reaches conclusions based on false impressions, he or she is the one hurt rather than you, because it is that person who is misguided. When someone interprets a true proposition as a false one, the proposition itself isn’t hurt; only the person who holds the wrong view is deceived, and thus damaged. Once you clearly understand this, you will be less likely to feel affronted by others, even if they revile you. You can say to yourself, “it seemed so to that person, but that is only their impression.”

-Epictetus, Manual for Living (1994, Sharon Lebell translation)