The last several years have been difficult for me in regards to trusting people and handling nosy or abrasive individuals. I know that we are all sinners and as a Christian, I need to forgive people who harm me. I'm thinking about people who pry into someone's personal life and feel that they can ask impertinent questions and expect answers. The other type of people are individuals who are easily upset and immediately phone someone and leave a hateful message on their answering machine or a nasty email or tell lies about someone to make themselves appear "better."
Last night was another sleepless night as I tried to rethink my responses to see if there was something I should have done differently. Am I required to answer the prying question about my financial position, the price of our home and possible mortgage payment? Is it necessary for me to continue to invite this prying individual into my home for social gatherings? The individual has a kind heart, but is nosy. Ideally, I should have stated that I didn't ask personal questions and don't answer them either. Instead, the questions blindside me and I either answer the question (wanting to kick myself immediately) or I evade the question, because I don't like confrontations.
The other type of individuals make snap assumptions and get angry. In their anger, they respond immediately and abrasively. The instant means of communication in our society provide too many opportunities for people to react in the heat of the moment. Yesterday, I responded almost immediately to an aggressive phone call and email. After listening to the message that demanded my returning the phone call immediately and reading the email, I typed up my response. My oldest daughter read my response and said that I wasn't forceful enough. So I called a fiend and read her the original email messages and my response. In my response, I explained the background to the misunderstanding and asked that she not leave rude messages on my answering machine. My friend said that the original writer had written in anger; my response appeared more calm.
My normal response to abrasive behavior is to keep my mouth shut (so I don't speak without thought) and let the other person express their anger. This response only fosters resentment on my part. At some point, I need to learn to stand up for myself without causing more friction. It would be easier and far less stressful to become a recluse. Mmmmmmm.