Recently stayed at a farm-stay accommodation complex in the NSW country. Ostensibly I was there to help around the farm, serve customers and related tasks. I was of mind not to offer any advice, just observe.
What transpired was (for me) very interesting. I noticed one particular person (part of this farm's management team) had an unfortunate habit of making others (and myself) wrong in order for her to feel good. She would introduce all sorts of reasoning to show the 'rightness' of her views. The only problem was that all her reasoning was predicated on requiring others to be wrong, and that any situation that wasn't to her liking, was the fault of others. Basically, this person did not believe they were 'responsible' for what occurred in their reality.
Now, this at first didn't much bother me. I maintained a chirpy demeanor, but (now, a few weeks later and having left the farm) I've come to appreciate just how much such behaviours can adversely affect our mood. My lack-of-ease crept up on me, perhaps like the proverbial frog in increasing hot water. I found that I was more and more becoming abrupt and dismissive, all of which became clear to the young workers (wwoofers) who were also on the farm as volunteers. I wasn't a pleasant fellow towards the end of my stay.
What is interesting is the extent to which I allowed this person to negatively affect me. It's a salutary lesson, of how we must be quite clear about our boundaries, of what we will and won't accept and of the consequences of non-action, when we don't speak up and correct matters.
The whole experience was instructive, in that it takes commitment and resolve to remain in a state of ease and peace. It's the "discipline" part of the art and discipline of happiness.
I've found that to maintain a state of peace and ease requires easy but energetic, emphatic and forceful action (which includes 'speaking out' when required).
As I remarked to a friend today, it's not where you are, but how you are that counts.