Stop Letting Other People Take Up Your Mental Real Estate

Susan Brumbaugh
5 min readMar 7, 2021

Loving-kindness meditation can help you let go of negativity.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

There are people (or types of people) in this world who make us miserable. Maybe the word “hate” even enters our minds. The negativity we feel toward them can be consuming. And doomscrolling only makes it worse.

Instead, using a guided meditation, we can bring these difficult people to mind, explore how that makes us feel, recognize the unhelpfulness of harboring resentment, and move toward not allowing these folks to take up so much real estate in our hearts and minds. This meditation uses phrases of loving-kindness to help us recognize the common humanity we share with others and come to a stable place from which we can take effective action. It’s not easy, but a regular practice of loving-kindness has been shown to bring great benefits. Give it a try (with an open mind and heart)!

I’m a licensed mental health counselor who enjoys sharing mindful meditations and information about mindfulness. Below is a transcript of a meditation I led on this topic, and at the end of the article, you’ll find a link to the meditation video. What we’re doing is exploring what happens within us when we feed into negativity and hate and a strategy that we can use to open ourselves up and not be so consumed and miserable by the way other people make us feel. So let’s get started.

Meditation Transcript

All right. So, let’s get started by moving our way into a meditative posture. It’s helpful to have both feet on the floor so you have that sense of the ground beneath you. If you’re sitting, if there’s some other posture that you like to take — lying down or standing even is fine — you don’t have to be totally still. You can move in whatever ways would be helpful to your practice. Just be intentional about your movement rather than reactive.

I’ll invite you to close your eyes if that’s comfortable for you. You can also lightly gaze in front of you.

When we sit down to meditate we often bring with us lots of thoughts. Memories and resentments. Plans and fears.

And we don’t have to make those go away to be able to meditate. We can just allow those to gently move to the background while we focus on…

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Susan Brumbaugh

Susan Brumbaugh is a criminal justice researcher who telecommutes, a licensed counselor, a mindfulness meditation practitioner, and a perpetual learner.