“People come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” — anonymous
You know, sometimes people can be difficult? What? That’s not a shock to you? Well, how about this: sometimes YOU can be difficult. I bet that one was more of a surprise, but not really. We all have human failings that cause difficulties in our communications with others and with God. Sometimes, the struggle to deal with difficult people (or people who are difficult in a specific situation) can bring up a few difficulties in one’s self. It often brings out the ick in us as we struggle with the issue.
Ick # 1: Depression.
Depression, or the pity party, hits some of us when we face difficulties, and especially difficult people. Some of you do not struggle with this, but some of you, like me, do. I don’t like confrontation. I use it when necessary, but I don’t like it. This struggle often brings me to a mood dip. My mood dip can be a shallow dip or a great big gorge, depending on the situation. I have learned over the years that the depth of the dip depends on me and my attitude. If I deal with it, the moment passes quickly. If I dwell on it, I can find myself in over my head.
Ick # 2: Anger
The Bible says to ‘be angry and sin not’ (Ephesians 4:26), implying that anger is not the main issue. Anger is a feeling. Feeding anger leads to sin. Anger has to be dealt with quickly. The definition of quickly depends on the person and the situation, but un-dealt-with anger is a raging fire that burns the angry person and anyone in his or her path. In the case of sinful anger, the root is often pride. How dare that person say that to me/do that to me/treat me that way! I don’t deserve this! We tend to magnify the other person’s offense and minimize our own actions (like how we often do the same to others). The only solution is to recognize the truth about the situation and then forgive.
Ick # 3: Pay Back
Have you ever wanted to do to someone what they did to you? You think they should feel the pain you feel, often with the thought that they would then apologize profusely and not do it again. This is revenge, and revenge is not sweet! This tendency to want to hurt when we are hurt. This tendency just perpetuates the cycle and does not open up the doors of communication; it slams them shut!
I’m sure there’s more ick, but we’ll settle on these three for now. I have been dealing with all of these issues – internally – and figuring out how to deal with it in a healthy way. My human nature’s instincts are not of God, and they cannot bring reconciliation and open communication to the situation(s). It’s funny how we can walk around with this festering sore inside us, while the other people have no clue there’s even a problem.
Are you self-aware? Have you ever had the ‘ick’ies? Have ow do you deal with difficult people? How do you respond when you realize you are being difficult to others?
God loves us perfectly, imperfections and all! How far along are you on the journey to do likewise? I have a ways to go, but understanding God’s view helps.
- Feeling Guilty Versus Feeling Angry – Who Can Tell the Difference? (psychologicalscience.org)