How to Forget an Insult

Insult is an important social and organizational phenomenon, which causes powerful emotions and enters people’s personal histories. The definition of an insult is to treat someone with gross insensitivity,

insolence, or contemptuous rudeness. It refers to an action which a person perceives as demeaning to his or her status. Insult involves a perpetrator, a target and often, an audience. Insults can be verbal, comprising of invective, negative stereotyping and rudeness or swearing. The intention to insult is not necessary, as some insults are the result of misunderstanding or accident. Even more potent insults result from the defamation or despoiling of idealized objects, persons or ideas. Historically, insults have packed a powerful political, social and cultural punch. They have caused wars, civil disturbance and been central dynamics in great works of literature and art. Beyond their power on the group level, they have devastating power on the individual level. An insult can provoke an extreme reaction in its recipient such as an act of violence, a resulting feud, a suicide, a resignation, etc. On a less extreme level, it can cause anxiety, depression and erode confidence. It is hard to forget when we feel insulted, but unless we can move on we only increase our own suffering. However, there are some ways that can help to forget an insult and get on with life free from bitterness.

The most effective way to forget an insult is to resolve the problem. This approach is based on the assumption that causes must be rooted out and relationship must be patched up. In this process we have to find out the reason behind that incident and who is responsible for that. If the victim is himself responsible for the event, then he can take necessary measures to correct himself. But if he is not found guilty, then he has to find out the reasons from the insulter’s point of view. Psychological and social barriers can be responsible for such kind of coarse behavior. People’s background, perceptions, values, biases, needs and exceptions differ from one another. Childhood experiences may result in negative feelings towards a particular behavior, racial prejudice, and opposite sex. Family and personal problem such as poor health, alcoholism, lack of sleep and emotional strain may be so upsetting that one may not be able to control his manners. Or the person might have done it just out of his jealous. The victim has to find out the exact reason behind the incident and talk to the insulter with a sincere sensitivity towards his emotion. The victim has to make him understand that what he did was wrong and make him feel sorry for that. In some cases the victim may be surprised to see the person who insulted him is also feeling guilty for his act but cannot express it out of fear or shyness. Resolving the problem is thus a great way of forgetting an insult. It is also useful to build a peaceful and healthy relationship in the society.

Another paramount way to forget an insult is to forgive the person who once insulted you. In order for us to forget the person who hurt us, we must clear the resentment and hatred. When we forgive, we clear the air and open new doors so we can move along to new places with new people. Having forgiven the person for past events and actions, we can take all necessary actions to stop us from being harmed in the future. Forgiveness clears the past which is unchangeable and in fact allows us better to take the optimal action in the future. Forgiveness is an act of courage which allows us to move on out of harms way. It is a way of going from the past to the present and then moving on towards the future. The real point of any event is to learn whatever lesson exists in that event and then to move on. When we hold onto negative emotions and memories we end up harming ourselves much more than we could ever hurt or harm the other person. Thus we give the other person huge amount of power over us and we further victimize ourselves. When we forgive, we free ourselves from the other person and our self-esteem immediately gets a boost.

Sometimes it is found that the person who is being insulted is himself responsible for everything. In that case, it is a relatively easy task for that person task to forget the insult and to take corrective action so that such incident never happens in the future. But if the person who is being insulted is not actually responsible for the incident to take place, the complexity begins. In this case, the insulted has to try and find something positive out of that event. In this way he might transform this unpleasant event into a constructive one.

Avoiding the person who insulted you can help a lot to forget the insult. In many cases when he sees the person who insulted him, the victim may feel the need to seek revenge. The victim’s symptoms may be anger, discouragement, and frustration and this may cause harm to him. If he can avoid that person, then he will be able to make himself free from the harmful effects of anger. And without being seen him for a long time the victim can actually forget that insult and the person as well.

Avoiding the place of incident can help us to forgetting an incident. When we go to a place, we try to recall the memories related to that place. This is a natural process of human being. That means if we do not go to place, we need not have to remember the incidents. In this way, if we can avoid the place where the incident took place for a long time, we will be able to forget that incident in the passage of time.

All the procedures mentioned above can help a great deal to forget an insult. But still there are some people to whom these procedures are simply impossible to comply with. They cannot easily forgive or just forget the incident. They always look for revenge and possess the idea that it may satisfy their anger. These people are best suited to the ‘eye- for-an-eye’ approach. The way is easy and simple, yet destructive. First observe the person vigilantly who insulted you, search for his flaws or compel him to make a mistake and then wait for the proper time and opportunity to come. When he will appear amidst a lot of people, insult the person revealing his faults in the way he insulted you. This can help a great deal to forget an insult. In this case, forgetting an insult means not remembering it again in the future rather than obliterating it entirely from mind. But this approach should not be carried out by anyone, at anytime or in any situation. This will only increase hostility and conflict within the society.

It is better not to be violent under such a situation of insult, because violence may create greater chaos that may harm relationships as well as social piece and harmony. We should analyze the incident and take it as the behavioral aspect of a human being who has committed this without having any deeper knowledge on how to behave properly. Therefore, we should try to develop our mental calm and acquire wisdom to look into these types of situations with a sense of forgiveness to create an example of greatness and forgiveness.