“If any have offended thee…second, consider what kind of men they are at table, in bed, and so forth: and particularly, under what compulsions in respect of opinions they are; and as to their acts, consider with what pride they do what they do.” Marcus Aurelius Book 11
Nobody’s perfect. Some are less perfect than others. Again, my goal as a Stoic is to be above the fray. Some people may act inconsiderate often enough that you would say they are rude people. Others may be just plain bad. Very few people around me are saints (As well, I am certainly not a saint). However, I may consider the character of the people who offend me. I may consider the character of those who do not think highly of me as well. I should examine why they do what they do, and measure what motivates their actions.
If that person is someone I respect, then it will bother me more that my relationship with them has been damaged. I would make more effort to find the causes of why they have offended me, or even if I have wronged them. Even those we respect, though, are human. They have moments of impatience, anger, rudeness, or maybe even just a plain misunderstanding of a situation. If I keep our “humanness,” that is our flaws, in perspective, then this will increase my equanimity. Rationally examining the nature of the people who have offended me, helps me make good decisions about whether they were just being driven by their own flawed nature. And helps me stay “above the fray.”
If, on the whole, someone offends me over and over, then I might consider that we may be incompatible. Maybe this person is just not worth getting upset over. Have they done violence to me? If not, then their opinion of me may mean little, or their rudeness should not affect me.
The point is, I should examine what compelled someone to offend me. As Marcus reminds himself, we have to consider others’ acts, compulsions, and what kind of people they are. Possibly, we may have deserved another’s scorn. Even if we don’t, those around us are entitled to their opinion, good or bad.