With the world population approaching almost eight billion, our diverse and complex societies make getting along with everybody impossible.
Even more inevitable is that that some of these people will make us angry and frustrated, bringing out the worst in us.
To help cope with such moods, Robert Betz wrote, "It's My Fault Again?" to not only help readers manage difficult situations, but also turn them into learning experiences. Betz is one of Germany's most popular psychologists and has helped over 250,000 people face their internal struggles over the past decade. To date, he has written 10 books. "It's My Fault Again?" was recently translated into Korean by Seo Yu-ri.
|"It's My Fault Again?" by Robert Betz|
"Anger is a direct reflection of yourself," says Betz. When we only see fault in others without recognizing our own inner demons, we relinquish any potential control over a situation. Although we cannot change the actions of other people, we can at least change the way we perceive an outcome. In doing so, we become more mature, self-aware, and grow out of the helpless victim mindset.
Betz also emphasizes that "it is not people who make us angry, but rather, our attitudes and thoughts towards their actions that make us upset," implying that our anger derives from something deeper than just the actions of another person.
He attributes our irritability to past traumatic experiences and the human nature to seek validation. Instead of hating individuals who bring out our negative emotions, we can shift our attitude by recognizing their role in helping us confront our innermost thoughts.
By refocusing our negative energy towards others, to analyzing our own shortcomings, we capitalize on the opportunity for self-development. In particular, Betz hopes that readers will improve their self-love. There is a high chance that the way we express anger is a projection of our own self-hatred. Acknowledging the correlation of anger to our self-perception will improve our relationships with others and with ourselves.
The author also challenges readers avoid the expectation of a "give and take" relationship. When we place our expectations on friends, family, and co-workers, we inherently are waiting for something that may never come, only leading to disappointment and conflict. As an alternative, Betz proposes that we give ourselves the love and attention we expect from external factors and depend less on others for happiness and satisfaction.
The last portion of the book is dedicated to building confidence. No matter the cause, we must forgive others to achieve inner peace. Forgiveness is not something we do for others, Betz mentions, but for ourselves. Reducing negative energy will make way for career and personal pursuits and leave less room for regret. By giving meaning to all of our obstacles, we empower our struggles to become stimulus for a better future.
"It's never to late to realize this truth," says Betz, who hopes he can help all of us live a more fulfilling life.
Jin Yu-young is a Korea Times intern.