What to Do When Someone is Mad At You (Mug-spiration Monday)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Last week, someone I love dearly called me to ask me about something they had given me and trusted me with. I had been hoping this conversation would never happen. I didn't want to admit that I could not find it. Perhaps it had gotten stored in a random box when we moved last August? I don't know. But one thing's for sure- there wasn't enough coffee in the world to soothe me after that phone call.

Though the item was mine, the person who gave it to me trusted me with something valuable. They trusted me to be responsible and I messed up. And being the people-pleaser that I am, I felt a sense of doom come upon me after talking to this person.

"I let them down. Now they won't trust me with any real responsibility. They won't think I am capable anymore. They won't be proud of me."

These were the thoughts that filled my mind as I sobbed with shame.

Understanding My Role

After my initial, overly-dramatic meltdown, I was rational enough (thanks to the hubs) to realize that all I had done was make a mistake. It was an unfortunate mistake, but nothing more. I realized that though, yes, I was at fault, there was nothing more I could do. I had admitted my mistake, asked forgiveness, and decided in my mind I would be more responsible from then on.

I could tell my loved-one was still mad at me, and was not going to let it go immediately. But again, I couldn't change that. They were angry. But I had done my part. The forgiveness and grace part was up to them.


Give Yourself Grace

It can be very discouraging when those we love are angry at us. I find it extremely hard to let that go. But just as I am learning that I cannot live by the expectations of others, I am also learning that I cannot let someone else's anger control me.

I messed up. It wasn't their mistake- it was mine. But once I had asked forgiveness and committed to doing a better job, I was free. It didn't erase my mistake, but at that point, I could not control their anger. I could not control whether or not they forgave me. I could only do my part.

Have you ever struggled with giving yourself grace once you've done all you can? Do you struggle to remember that their anger doesn't define you?
Today, let's strive to know that someone else's anger doesn't make us into a lesser person. If they stay mad, that doesn't mean we have less worth. Don't live based on other people's emotions about you. Do your part and move on.

20 comments

  1. This is such a hard lesson to learn. It's not easy to give yourself grace. It's not easy to forgive yourself when you hurt someone. Thanks for the reminder that we are all human.

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    1. So true, Christina! Glad to give that reminder to myself and others.

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  2. love that "do your part and move on" - we can only control our actions, not others responses.

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    1. Thank you, Rachel! It's hard to remember, but true!

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  3. Thanks for this. My brother is so mad at me right now over something that was basically a misunderstanding. I apologized but at this point there's nothing else I can do. It's hard to accept that sometimes.

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    1. I'm sorry, Becky. That's no fun at all. I hope it resolves soon, and I hope you will be able to have peace about your part of it.

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  4. Kristin, it is so difficult to have that grace sometimes, but you are right. What's done is done and the best you can do is move on and hopefully, learn from that. Thank for sharing this wonderful post.

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    1. Thank you, Kayla! I appreciate it!

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  5. This is such a great post. It's so easy to beat ourselves up about these things. But you're right, once we admit we're wrong, ask for forgiveness, and resolve to do better in the future, there's nothing more we can do.

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    1. Thank you so much, Charlene. It really is much easier to beat ourselves up sometimes than to let things go, but we have to learn to let go anyway.

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  6. Relationships are such a challenge. I noticed that you mentioned that the item was yours. Many people have never learned to truly give without strings attached. I have some antique glassware as a wedding gift to a friend who collected that glassware, and it was never acknowledged with any type of thank you. I realized that it was no longer mine. When I wrapped it up and put a card on it, I lost all ownership, including acknowledgments. The strain with the relationship was over - it was all mine.

    I pray that you don't beat yourself up any more about this, and that the relationship is fully restored.

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    1. Thank you, Marjorie! I appreciate that.
      Unfortunately, it was a VERY important item, and me losing it actually did affect the other person even though it was mine. But it will all be fine. Live, learn, and move on. haha. Such is life.
      I appreciate your kind encouragement!

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  7. This is a really great post. I love your way of thinking and I completely agree.

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  8. Ugh. Hate this so much. I don't sleep when this happens. But I have come to learn if I have made the effort to reconcile and I have asked for sincere forgiveness and the person cannot let go it is no longer my problem. This was a very thought provoking piece.

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    1. It really is so tough. I am actually seeing that person today, and we haven't talked very much since it happened, so I'm nervous. But I have to remember that I've done my part and all I need to do now is love them and let go of any hurt.

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  9. Great tips! I definitely hate when someone I care about is mad at me for something that I did. I'm one of those who immediately wants to run and apologize and ensure that everything is okay, and it really bothers me if someone is mad at me. Well-written post!

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    1. Thanks, Cara!
      I'm exactly the same way. And if they don't accept my apology the first time, I feel like I need to ask again. It's something that is really difficult for me to let go of, but I definitely believe letting go is important!

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  10. Excellent post. Thanks for sharing this experience.

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