Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can speak about the impact of negative emotions like anger and jealousy at your next business event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of the above video is included below.


Full Video Transcript:

Hi and welcome to another edition of Strategic Business Insights. Today we’re going to talk about negative emotions, negative emotions like anger and jealousy and rage and envy. These are all very negative emotions and there’s some fascinating research about this.

So it turns out that when you have a negative emotion towards someone else or even something else, that same emotion is actually directed more accurately at yourself. So if you’re angry at someone, if you think you’re angry at someone in your life, you’re actually angry at yourself for being in a situation where whatever they did made you so upset. So just as a simple example, just recently I wanted to go to an event in San Francisco, and I was trying to get a friend of mine to come with me because I didn’t want to go to it by myself, and so I was encouraging him to go. And he just never took action, he never followed through, and it’s something that he actually is like that a lot and I found myself getting really angry at him for just not ever taking action and following through on the things I wanted him to follow through on. But the truth of the matter is I was angry at myself for not having other friends that I could go to this event with. So in other words the anger that I was projecting onto him was actually anger at myself for being in a situation where I was essentially relying on him coming with me for me to have a good time. I should have other people that I could have gone to that same event with.

And there was another example not too long ago—so actually it’s a little bit of a while ago now—that when a friend of mine, they purchased a house together. She and her husband, together they purchased a house. And at the time I found myself being kind of bothered by her. I was angry about it, and it was jealousy. It was jealousy and envy because I didn’t have a house at the time myself. At the time I couldn’t afford a house myself, and so that jealousy and anger that I had at their situation could have just as easily been pointed right back at me.

And when you think about if someone did something mean to you or maybe made fun of you—like I’ve had this happen to me when I was in high school. I mean, I had friends and stuff—I was never like the reject kid or anything—but there were people who made fun of me. I got teased in high school like many of us did. Well, the truth of the matter is, although I was angry at that person for making fun of me for something, the reality is I was angry at myself for having the quality that they made fun of. Or maybe they pushed me around because I wasn’t as big as some of the others or as athletic as some of the others. Well, I was angry at them for being mean to me, but the truth of the matter is I was angry at myself for being too weak at the time or not strong enough to defend myself in that particular situation.

So anytime you have a negative emotion in your life, that same emotion can be turned right back around like a mirror to yourself. So what’s the implication of that? The implication is pretty simple. When you are angry at somebody, try to keep this in mind and forgive. I mean, not forgive, but just let it go and realize that you’re reacting to your own situation, and then you can start to take action. You can start to take action and fix whatever it is.

I remember when I was in high school, and I certainly didn’t think about things in the same way then as I do now, but I remember when I got pushed around a little bit in grade eight and grade nine, or here in the United States…in Canada they say grade eight, grade nine, but here they say eighth grade or ninth grade. But anyway, what did I do? I started going to the gym. That’s when I started going to the gym and exercising, and it helped me to feel competitive as a man, I mean as a boy. But growing into a man at the time I had to be in shape, and I wasn’t doing a lot of sports because I never really did that when I was—my parents didn’t like it and I never really got into a whole lot of sports. But I started going to the gym a lot and getting in shape and putting some muscle on my body. So I started to take action to stop the situation that was causing me pain by being teased, and sure enough by grade eleven/grade twelve, you know, I was never a huge guy but I was strong enough to kind of defend myself, and so some of that went away.

So these things happen in your life all the time where something happens and it makes you angry, it makes you upset or jealous or envious or whatever it might be. Look at it very specifically and ask yourself, “Am I really just angry at myself for being in this situation?” And if so—the research says that this is almost always true—so if it’s true in that situation, let it go for the other person. Forgive them effectively and look at yourself and start taking action and making changes, which will change the situation and alleviate that from happening again in the future.

My name is Patrick, reminding you as always to think bigger about your business, think bigger about your life.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a keynote speaker who has spoken at business conferences in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.