Monday, September 14, 2015

Getting Along with People

Q. I lead a normal life and I’m generally happy, but other people bother me. I have a hard time with friends and family members who are critical and controlling. I get upset by this and often give in. They never seem to understand my point of view. How can I handle this so I don’t get upset? Should I just give in to everyone? What do you suggest?

A. People are complex. We need to learn to get along with all kinds of people without compromising our own individuality. Some people are angry, some are pushy or controlling, some are critical. Some are bossy. Some are negative or pessimistic. Some are laid back or passive. Any of these traits can rub us the wrong way. Some of these traits will anger, hurt or disappoint us.
People meddle with our plans and try to control our behavior. Giving is different than giving in. We some times bend to the other person, selling ourselves short. We some times avoid or ignore the other person, but some people can be persistent. We try a variety of ways to explain ourselves to others but nothing works. Here are some suggestions for getting along with others.
1. Don’t let others control you or make your decisions for you. You will never have everyone’s approval for the things you do. Stop taking their words or actions personally. If they pressure you and try to run your life they probably do this with everyone. It’s their life style. Some times we get angry at the person we view as controlling us, but we allow it. Learn to set your own boundaries.
2. Don’t look at others as all bad or wrong. They are human beings with many good as well as not so good qualities. When we view others as bad or wrong we become judgmental and angry. Give grace to all.
3. Don’t expect to understand others. We are each different. We are each unique. We each have personality quirks. Some of these differences are inborn. For example, you may be laid back while another person is very goal directed. Assume the best about everyone and enjoy the differences.
4. Don’t try to be like everyone else. Accept your own strengths and weaknesses and accept who you are. Work on your weaknesses in your own way and as God leads you, not as others expect or demand. Don’t change yourself to suit someone else.
5. Don’t expect others to understand you. Most of us have trouble just understanding ourselves, much less understanding someone else. While it’s comforting to have someone else sympathize with a struggle or difficulty we’re in, don’t expect this. All of us experience the pain of being misunderstood. Learn to let go of this.
6. Meet your own needs and let others meet theirs. Don’t try to change others. Stay out of other’s business unless they ask for help. Then, be careful not to rescue someone from a difficulty they can handle on their own.
7. Believe the best about everyone. We don’t know or understand what has made them the way they are. Focus on their positive qualities. There are always reasons for the way they are. One of the major mistakes we make with people is adjusting to them rather than learning to be true to ourselves and to God’s unique purpose and plan for us.

“If you let people treat you like a doormat you’ll be quite forgotten in the end.” Proverbs 29:21 The Message

Blessings, Dottie

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