Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dealing with People

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.


Melinda said...

but being a recluse is so lonely! You handled it well Karen so don't sweat it okay. Your letter was unemotional and to the point. The other person is a hothead I think and sometimes a hothead regrets their out bursts in anger. So trust in yourself. Your letter didn't attack, so you are good. Let it go for now.... and don't become a recluse because I enjoy hanging out with you!

Your friend that sweats these things also!

Bikermom said...

Well......I think I am finding there IS a balance of still socializing but perhaps not as much with all the kiddos. Revel in your kiddos. That is what I have pretty much decided to do as sometimes the energy that is vested in weirdness, detracts from what I am first given to do with my family. Now a days I try to more carefully plan our outings. We have been perhaps socializing too much. It was fun while it lasted but my house, children and family pay the price.

What is that saying? What others think of you is none of your business? I am not sure that is it but there are times when I wonder what goes through other people's heads and it can hurt but on the other hand, I know better since I am pretty much me and they are not........sooooo.......I care less about it. Forgive. Love them even more perhaps with compassion for their weaknesses and continue to be wonderful you too.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

From my point of view, I would suggest a book dealing with establishing boundaries. Unfortunately, I don't have a recommendation for you. :)