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I’m following the Buddha’s path of compassion but I need advice on how to treat people who treat you unfairly, cold-heartedly or are just evil people? I have been running into a lot of problems with it. I’ve been ignoring people. But I’m starting to feel anger come up & want to tell people to shove it. How to give it back to the evil people in life? I try but cannot be kind in return to harshness.

Thanks for any input & advice.


It’s easy to say that one must be compassionate and kind in return of harshness. It’s very hard to do it without the proper explanation of why one must do so. The mind needs a proper understanding of reality, otherwise one will not be able to implement this.

I think bringing out the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ along with the ‘What’ Is very important, so here goes…

What to do?

Be compassionate in return of harshness.


Because when you think about speaking harshly, your inner environment will go through a series of stages:

Stages 1 – You immediately feel the pinch [of impurity] inside at the thought of being nasty to someone.

Stage 2 – If you don’t stop yourself there, you blurt out nastiness and you feel a big pang inside you, even a punch of impurity.

Stage 3 – It doesn’t stop there, you keep replaying the same nastiness again and again to yourself like a broken record in the mind, this increases your inner impurity. You are punching yourself repeatedly with the same.

Stage 4 – Finally, it comes to a point where the person starts living rent-free in the upper chambers of the mind. There is constant inner-environment pollution for you because of constant remembrance.

Conclusion: In every stage above, YOU are churning more than the other person who you spoke harshly to.

Who is suffering?

You are suffering from all this inner-environment pollution.

Who is responsible?

You are responsible for polluting your own inner environment because of repeated thought, not the other person.

What is the solution?

Simple! You don’t start the drama from your side in the first place. If you care about your inner environment, recognize the first pinch, and bring up Metta [loving-kindness] or Karuna [Compassion] for the person.

How to bring up compassion for the hateful?

By recognizing the truth that one can give only what one has. If one has hatred, that’s what he will give others. If one has love, that’s what he will give.

Secondly, if this person is hateful, he himself is suffering inside. He is going through the inner-environment pollution that I described above.

Ask yourself – is it wise to get angry with the one who is suffering? OR is it wise to have compassion for such a suffering one?

If the above makes sense to you, you imbibe it!



It completely makes sense, but I took everything they said personally.


It’s not personal dear.

You took it personally because you thought that they were hateful towards you. That is an incorrect understanding.

The correct understanding is that, in reality, they are a well full of hatred so that is all that can come out from them at that moment. One can give only what one has.

    • If you throw a bucket into a well full of dirty water, what will you get?
    • On the contrary, if you throw a bucket into a well full of clean, pure, sweet water, what will you get?

Who is responsible for the nature of the water being dirty or pure? The bucket or the well? You were just a bucket dear. 

If it were not thrown at you, it would go out towards another. Thus it has nothing to do with you personally. They are not hateful towards you. They are FULL OF HATE. Period!

So in short, they are suffering from a valley full of hateful emotions swirling inside themselves. They were burning in the fire of their own inner churning before they picked up the burning coals to throw at you. They are fully burnt inside dear. They are suffering inside!

One can only be compassionate towards the ‘suffering one’ by ‘not taking it personally’!

It’s not personal!

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  1. Derya

    But we are working or living with these people how do we protect ourselves from these people and their hsyed?

    • Uma Chopra

      Beautiful explanation.
      Its Not Personal
      They give what they have
      Burning coals from within thrown out at others, usually to closest people.

  2. SK

    Thank you for the advice. Whoever is bothering us, Is it true that we were exactly like him or her in a past lifetime? So we have projected him or her to give it back to us ( circle of karma) in this lifetime ?


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