Imagine you’re a restaurant manager and you’re getting yelled at by a customer because her steak is slightly overcooked, and her drinks took 20 minutes (probably only 5) to hit the table. Your first reaction is likely to feel attacked and therefore hold resentment and immediately think that this is just a shitty person. This isn’t the first time you’ve dealt with an irate customer, and you’ve seen hundreds of steaks go out cold throughout your career, so you understand that it’s not that big of a deal. But it is difficult to communicate this to somebody who is furious.
Somebody who doesn’t have their ego in check would likely take this personally and retaliate with something along the lines of “It’s just a fucking steak! Chill out!” But somebody who has control of their ego would feel empathy towards the customer and understand that for the customer, this is a special night out, and she’s probably entertaining guests and wants to impress them. By taking this vantage point it is easy to keep yourself calm in the moment and deal with the situation accordingly. The fact that this lady is living an unhappy life to the point that she yells at strangers shouldn’t affect you at all.
“Those who have subdued their ego understand that it doesn’t degrade you when others treat you poorly; it degrades them.” -Ryan Holiday (pg.63)