Don’t use others to feel better about yourself, learn from others how to become better

When we are distressed, we often need someone to unburden ourselves to. While that is an understandable and even essential human need, it can become a dependence, and a debilitating dependence at that. We may start using, and abusing, others to feel better about ourselves.  

If we look around us, we probably know some people who start complaining, blaming and lamenting as soon as we meet them. We may want to be understanding with them, empathizing with all that they have gone through or are going through. Still, their unrelenting negativity dries out all our empathy. We become tense when we are about to meet them and heave a sigh of relief when the meeting ends. 

Rarely do we realize that we ourselves may be becoming like them when we wallow in the negativities of our life. We find their company exhausting; if we become like them, won’t others find our company exhausting? More damagingly, won’t we find our own company exhausting? Why should we let ourselves become someone whose company we would want to avoid? 

Do we have an alternative? Yes, certainly. We can’t change all the negativity around us, but we can change the negativity within us. If we look around us, we probably know some people who remain steady and cheerful even amid great difficulties. Being with them can inspire us, increasing our faith in the resilience of the human spirit. If we could become like them, we could constantly have the company of someone inspiring. Wouldn’t that be empowering? 

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (03.21) invites us to act in a way that becomes exemplary for others. And to become thus exemplary, Gita wisdom stands ready to help us discover the enormous reserves of spiritual strength that lie untapped at our core. 


Think it over:

  • How may we become someone whose company we dread?
  • How may we become someone whose company we cherish?
  • How can Gita wisdom help us become better?



03.21 Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

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