It’s Not About Them, It’s About You: Embracing Inner Peace in Challenging Situations


In this episode, we explore the importance of maintaining inner peace when faced with difficult people or situations. We share stories of Nelson Mandela’s ultimate act of forgiveness, the power of meditation and mindfulness, and the impact our words have on our overall well-being. We also delve into our own struggles with anger and seeking revenge and offer tips on how to reframe situations and respond with compassion.

1. Dealing with difficult people and situations

– Advising the speaker’s daughter on how to reply to friends

– The Dalai Lama’s daily meditation practice to maintain calm and compassionate nature

– Importance of finding ways to cope and maintain inner peace

– Nelson Mandela’s understanding of the danger of holding onto anger and bitterness

– Overall message of moving past bitterness and hatred to achieve unity and progress

2. Importance of mindful words and being true to oneself

– Suggesting compassionate words are cheaper than angry/revengeful ones

– Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote on not allowing others to bring you down

– Importance of recognizing our actions and avoiding actions we dislike in others

– Striving to show up as compassionate, caring, and wise

3. Self-reflection and choosing a different response

– Acknowledging the potential escalation of situations and the temptation to seek validation from others on social media

– Swearing and using anger towards people is expensive to inner peace

– Nelson Mandela’s power of forgiveness and moving forward without seeking revenge

– Recognizing the trigger of anger may lead to a desire for vengeance

– Importance of being mindful of reactions when triggered by challenging people or situations

4. Experiences and mistakes

– Incident of someone intentionally trying to make the speaker late while driving

– Speaker’s mistakes while driving a wheelchair, including almost running over someone’s toes and reversing into people.

Timestamped overview

[00:02:59] Be yourself and don’t let others bring you down; avoid retaliating and mimicking negative behavior and instead embrace your true self.

[00:04:10] Father advises daughter on how to handle heated discussion with friends.

[00:06:00] Choose compassion over revenge when triggered by difficult people.

[00:07:01] Taking responsibility for anger choices.

[00:11:47] Striving to show up as compassionate, caring and wise, although triggers can still arise in the heat of the moment.

[00:12:40] Narrator tells a story about a person who deliberately made them late while driving, but the narrator sometimes makes mistakes while driving without realizing it.

[00:14:19] Words have a currency and some are more expensive to our inner peace than others.

[00:15:13] Choose kindness and compassion over anger; Nelson Mandela exemplifies forgiveness after imprisonment and the power of non-revenge.

[00:16:07] Letting go of bitterness leads to freedom, as demonstrated by Nelson Mandela inviting his former prison guard to his presidential inauguration.

[00:18:38] Dalai Lama meditates for 4 hours and believes everyone should have their downtime to deal with everyday problems.


Steven Webb [00:00:02]:

Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Martin Luther King. Hello, and welcome to another episode of Stillness in the Storms, the podcast that helps you to find a little inner peace and some inner strength during challenging times. I'm your host, Stephen Webb, and I'm so grateful to a number of you that sport me a coffee this week. And it really does make a difference. It helps me to in actual fact, I've purchased a little bit of software that will help me to edit the podcast and help me to break them down a little better. And that's thanks to you guys for donating the coffees. So let's go through and have a look who's donated the coffees this week.

Steven Webb [00:00:48]:

So, first of all, to Senga Senga, you support me all the time. Just a big hug and a big thank you. Thank you to Holly. Thank you. To Stephen Webb, my namesake. I originally found you in Googling. Your name, I've Googled my name. I do confess I've Googled my own name.

Steven Webb [00:01:09]:

But he's got Steven Webb. He donated three coffees to me, but he's got his own website,, and he has some awesome poems on there that he writes. I just wanted to give him a bit of a shout out. And we've got a couple of anonymous people that have bought me a coffee. So thank you very much to them. I won't say your names on here. Trish Murphy, thank you very much. And someone called Blackwell JK.

Steven Webb [00:01:34]:

Just thank you guys. It makes a huge difference. And if you head over to you can do the same if you want. I don't have no sponsors for the podcast or anything like that, but what I have, I've added something on my wish list over there. I do confess it's rather expensive. In actual fact, it's crazy expensive, but it's an Insta 360 camera. And I added to my wish list because I had an older one years ago and I sold it because it wouldn't go live and it wouldn't do a few things I wanted to do. But this camera I can attach to my wheelchair, I can put it recording, and I can record all around me and everything I do, and I can come home and edit the video and upload it.

Steven Webb [00:02:22]:

So if I have a moment of inspiration, if I just suddenly think, oh, that's a good thing to think, and I want to share it, I can do it without having to drag my phone out and record it. It kind of kills the moment, doesn't it? Nothing worse than having to do all that if you're like, feeling in the mood. But yeah. So over there on the page, thank you,, where you can buy me a coffee. I've also got a wish list, and I do apologize. Capitalism, and it is quite expensive, but it's a pretty awesome bit of kit and yeah. So anyway, let's move on to today's podcast. That's more important.

Steven Webb [00:02:59]:

That's why you're here. Don't we hate long introductions? Today I want to share some thoughts on being yourself and not allowing others to drag you down. We've all been in situations where we felt the need to retaliate or perhaps even begin passive aggressive and mimicking the behavior of those struggling with as we'll explore today, it's not who they are that's important, it's who you are. And I started today's episode with a quote, and I just think it perfectly fits the theme for today let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Martin Luther King when we encounter challenging people or situations, it's natural to want to defend ourselves I get it. Even seek revenge. However, when we do this, we're essentially just allowing them to define who we are instead of embracing our true selves. It's crucial that we recognize our actions and it's crucial that we don't end up doing the one thing we don't like them doing.

Steven Webb [00:04:10]:

And I always remember I sat in the back of the van and my daughter was there, and my daughter was in a quite a heated discussion with her friends on text. I don't know quite where. It's about teenagers, things like that. She's about 22 at the time, something like that. She asked me the question. She asked me, what would you do in this situation? What would you reply? What would you do? And I just sat there and I thought about it. I just said, well, who are you? What do you want to say? If you were to speak from the heart, how would you approach a situation? How would you like them to approach it if it was the other way around and she was quite angry, she said, yeah, but they've been mean. They're doing all these things and all that.

Steven Webb [00:04:53]:

I said, yeah, but it's you are that's important. And I think this is so important. When someone slams a door on us, when someone huffs and puffs or we've been treated quite unfairly and we do want to take revenge, we do want to have a go with them, we're triggered by it. And fair enough, if I'm screamed at or shouted at, some people just have a different way of communicating. They've learned that screaming is shouting. They've learned they've just been rude and just saying it. I've spoke to people and they just go, well, I'm just not like because I speak my mind. Well, fair enough, that's what you do.

Steven Webb [00:05:37]:

But I'm not like that. I'm a people pleaser. I like to keep people happy. And I'm trying to get 7 billion people in the world to have a little more inner peace, try to be a little more happier. Join the fight with me. I can't do this alone. Now, I'm only checking all you guys that share this podcast and all that. You're doing a brilliant job, but just bringing it back.

Steven Webb [00:06:00]:

The point is who are you in all these situations? When they arise, when we're triggered by narcissist or somebody that's just struggling and we almost want to do the same as them, we want to take revenge, we want to shout back and the last thing we want to do is be nice and compassionate and kind. Well, the thing is, perhaps they need that. Perhaps they need to be shown a different way. Perhaps. And if you do end up being like them, how does it make you feel? Does it make you feel better? Do you feel joyous of the fact normally you sit back 2 hours later thinking, I wish I hadn't said that. I was so mean, I couldn't believe it. I wouldn't do it normally, but I was so angry at the time, you wouldn't believe how angry they made me jumpo. My amazing teacher, one of my amazing teacher asked the brilliant question in part of his Mondo Zen.

Steven Webb [00:07:01]:

He looks up and says, has anybody ever made you angry? And most of the time, yeah, loads of people. It's like, okay, I'll ask you again, has anybody ever made you angry? And the hands are like because you know he's asking a question, then you know you're probably not on the right track, but you half stick up your hand. Well, yeah. No, I'm serious. Has anybody ever made you angry? And then you start to step back and you go, wait a minute, what is he really asking? Has anybody ever made me angry? Okay, so when I've been angry, did they make me angry? And then you come to the conclusion, no, I've chose anger. Albeit it might be so quick at the time, we may not even recognize it. We're triggered and boom, it just happens. Someone says something nasty, we sideswipe back, we get so triggered and we wanted all these vengeance.

Steven Webb [00:08:00]:

We spend most of our lives trying to hopefully karma sorts them out. I've spent most of my life thinking karma was a load of, I don't know, animals with billions of typewriters somewhere in the universe keeping score, but in some kind of score sheet on people that upset me. Like as if the universe really cares whether anybody upsets poor Stevie or not. But yeah, I've thought it for ages. Karma is some kind of this brilliant mechanism that's going to get anybody that's ever a bit rude to me, really. Karma is right there, right then. Your karma is how they treat you in that moment. Your karma is how you treat them.

Steven Webb [00:08:49]:

Not what they did, it's what you do. That's the karma, instantly. Now then, if you are a kind hearted, compassionate, loving, genuine, authentic person and you don't want to go around screaming and being nasty at people, be that person. So no matter what life throws at you, be that person. And that's why I say it's more important who you are and in your actions than it is them. But how do we do it? Pause and take a breath. When faced with conflict, take a moment to pause. Let them finish, let them happen, let whatever is going on in their head, let them spew it out.

Steven Webb [00:09:40]:

You don't have to fight back immediately. In actual fact, it probably won't help because it just escalates and pours more fuel on the fire. And cultivate compassion. Remember that everyone is dealing with their own challenges and struggles. By cultivating more compassion for others, you're less likely to be drawn into their negativity. You can avoid negativity. You can't go your whole life just come in encounter with happy people. They don't exist.

Steven Webb [00:10:14]:

Nobody's happy all the time. I talk about it quite often in my podcast, all this well, let's just avoid negative people. Let's kick negative people out of our lives. Or sometimes the negative people are us. Sometimes a negative person is a family member. I love my daughter deeply, but sometimes she's negative, sometimes she's struggling. I'm not going to cast her out. At that point she needs me more than ever to sit with her and to pour over the negativity, maybe just be with it.

Steven Webb [00:10:49]:

And of course, I've done. Podcasts on negativity isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes we have to focus on the negative bias in order to survive. I use the example all the time and I don't know why I use this example, but I use the example of two bears running towards us. One with machete and one with doughnuts. You better off. Concentrate on the one with the machete, not the one with donuts. Because you'll never get the donuts if you don't take notice of the one with the machete.

Steven Webb [00:11:21]:

That can just have an image. I don't know why I use it. I always go back to that example. It's never happened anywhere, ever. But you never know. So really it's about focusing on your values. What are your values? Stay true to your principles. If I asked you now to list your three main principles, what would they be? Three main things.

Steven Webb [00:11:47]:

What do I show up as? Compassionate, caring and wise. I like to show up as those three things. Do I always know? Do I struggle with it all the time? Do I get triggered by people? Yeah, all the time. All the time. I'm triggered less. But what it is is that little gap that well, wait a minute, if I step back, if I'm driving down the street and somebody pulls out in front of me and all that, it makes me want to be angry with them, makes me want to lash out with them. And very often they might flip a bird to me and they'll shout at me or something like that, because they'll blame me. I then want to do the same back to them and it ends up and then I want to phone everybody and post it on Facebook and phone everybody.

Steven Webb [00:12:40]:

You can't won't believe what happened to me today when I was driving in my car, this person left home deliberately to make me late. And it was all planned. And the universe had him ready for me at that corner just at the right time. We tell the story, don't we? We go down this hilarious long story. Yeah, it's funny. It's funny when we see it from the outside, but when we're in it, it's not so funny. But if I pull that in front of someone, or if I make a mistake in the wheelchair and all that, and I almost run over someone's toes and all that, and I do it sometimes, and sometimes I don't even realize the amount of times anybody's ever spent some time with me driving around. The amount of times I reverse into people.

Steven Webb [00:13:29]:

I'll be there looking at the shelf or something like that, and I just reverse. And someone's with me, no, don't go back, don't go back. And by then, I've already drove over someone. So luckily, most people are quite polite and goes, no, don't worry about it's. Fine. And I'm like feeling like pants. Don't like this. I didn't mean to run you over it.

Steven Webb [00:13:50]:

Sorry, but it happens. Well, I don't want them to return with the same thing. Well, I'm going to run you over it now. No, I want them to be understanding and compassionate so when people make mistakes, we can show them there's a way of handling the mistakes. It's fine. And the other thing is, choose your battles wisely. That's the other thing. Not every conflict is worth engaging in.

Steven Webb [00:14:19]:

Is it really worth your time? Is it worth your blood pressure? And I've often thought this. Imagine if every single word you had to pay a penny or pay a cent for. Would you have all those arguments? Would you argue back with people? Okay, you might flip them the bird, but what if that was a whole pound or a dollar and certain words, depending on if you are more compassionate, that was cheaper words, and you were more angry and revengeful. They were more expensive words because they are really to our inner peace and our inner karma. The words we use have a sense of currency. I'm thinking about this on the fly. I'm coming up with a metaphor on the fly here. But if you think about it, it's true.

Steven Webb [00:15:13]:

The stronger the words, if you're swearing and you're shouting and you're using anger towards people, that's expensive to your inner peace. But if you use kind, compassionate and most of the time, no words, maybe that's even the best currency. Nelson Mandela is the perfect story for illustrating this. The way he was imprisoned for trying to end apartheid and all that. Then it's controversial. The way before he went to prison and all that, was he a terrorist? Was he the depends on the perspective you take. But whichever way his story after the 25 years of imprisonment is the real what we really learned, instead of coming out and seeking revenge. Because bear in mind, when he come out, he had a lot of power.

Steven Webb [00:16:07]:

He had the media, he had the emphasis on his side. He ended up becoming president, but when he come out, he said, as I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison. And you think about that. It's true. If we allow other people their anger and their thoughts and their actions and all that to control our actions, we're not free at all. We've been controlled by them, completely controlled by them. Natal Mandela understood that if he held onto this anger, it would serve to drag him down and prevent him from achieving his goal of a united South Africa. One famous example was when he was invited his former prison guard to his presidential inauguration as a guest of honor.

Steven Webb [00:17:09]:

Think about that. Could you do that? And there's a story of a woman that had a child murdered, and yet she went to meet the guy that murdered her child when he come out of prison, and she hugged him and he said, well, why do you want to hug me? He said, well, one person died that day. I didn't want two people to die. God, that's powerful, isn't it? So it's about who you are, and that's what's really important. And that's what I wanted to share today. So if someone's annoying you, if someone pisses you off in the moment or anything like that, remember who you are. And yet it is easy to get caught up. It's easy to make mistakes and jump on it.

Steven Webb [00:17:58]:

Don't worry, move on. Accept that we're human. Except that being human is quite difficult at times. It's quite a struggle, and we're all working at it. Anybody that says they're sorted, anybody that says, I'm all done, I'm all at peace, I'm enlightened, and like that, yeah, look closely. I know Zen Masters, I know some incredible teachers and people that are probably the most enlightened people on the planet. And they're struggling too. They have to fight with it every single day.

Steven Webb [00:18:38]:

The Dalai Lama meditates for 4 hours every single morning. When someone said, well, why do you meditate? You're one of the colmest, compassionate people on the planet, he said, well, must be because I meditate. There's a lot of people out there that push my buttons. I've got to cheer, I've got to have my downtime, I've got to reframe things. And I'm not saying you got to go and meditate like the Dalai Lama. You haven't got the shit to deal with, he has to deal with. But in your life, you've got what you've got to deal with. And we'll come across these people that will push our buttons, that will annoy us, that are wrapped up in their own world wrapped up in their own problems, just don't end up being like them.

Steven Webb [00:19:30]:

So if you remember one phrase from today's podcast, remember this one. It's not important who they are and what did they do. It's important of who you are. Make sure your actions are from your heart and where you are. If your actions are constantly from there, then you've got nothing to worry about. Because I know by listening, you listening to this podcast. I have emails from so many of you. I've met many of you and things like that.

Steven Webb [00:20:06]:

And I know what a compassionate, caring, loving community we are. That's why I can say at the end of the podcast, I love you. Because I know I do. I accept you for what you are. And that's what love is. Acceptance. We're all struggling. We all make mistakes, come back again and again and try again and be less hard on yourself, but show up as you are.

Steven Webb [00:20:35]:

That's the thing. Who am I? How would the genuine, loving, caring person an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind? I hear you all. You all went Gandhi because you all know that quote, but so real in it. It's true. There's a quote tick nahan, says another quote, when another person makes you suffer, it's because he suffers deeply within himself and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment. He needs help. So we don't have to do the same as what they're doing.

Steven Webb [00:21:20]:

And I'm going to end with one quote by the Buddha holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. That's brilliant. That really cuts through all that. I should have just done a podcast and just said that one quote and said, that's your lesson for today. Focus on your values. Choose your vows wisely, cultivate compassion, and you won't go far wrong. Recognize your triggers. Recognize your triggers before they happen.

Steven Webb [00:21:57]:

Pause and take a breath. I'm Stephen Webb and this is Stillness in the Storms. And if I do help you to think differently in some way, drop me an email, head over to thank you, You can download my little small book, five Simple Practices for Inner Peace. You could treat me to a coffee, but you can also email me. I email nearly everybody back. If I forget, email me again in a few days. I do that magic thing of replying in my head and then realize when I go back to it, I haven't done it.

Steven Webb [00:22:34]:

That's. Thank you, Take care. I love you.