May 25, 2010

Those People


As a child, I didn't understand the concept of an "enemy." I mean, there couldn't possibly be someone with whom I would not able to get along. As I grew up, I continued to not abide the idea that someone might dislike me or, even hate me, or that I could do the same. I burned no bridges and buried all the hatchets thrust into my hands.

But as my interaction with a diverse set of individuals increases (high school, college, study abroad, the workplace), I realized that it's not always possible to be "BFFs," as they say, with the whole world. Even the Dalai Lama has a tough time (although to be fair, China has it coming).

And now, I realize that there are people we encounter who challenge our character, intentionally and unintentionally. I say "challenge" with the hope to maintain my composure and general goodwill in dealing with them.

Lately, however, I have not been very successful in that challenge.

I have encountered a few of "those people," some more frequently than others these past few months. I just ran into an old roommate. And I didn't linger to hear her life update. Upon seeing her, I merely smiled and said hello, asking quickly how she is - all while walking steadily out the door. I had no desire to hear her history.

And yet as I walked down the street, I became riddled with guilt. The swiftness of my departure did not represent the best part of my character. Perhaps I should have stood there with a fake smile to hear about all her "news."

Then I remembered all the bad experiences I had with her as my roommate. And seeing her reminded me of a difficult time in my life. She represented a weak side of myself and I couldn't handle it. But I should have risen above this challenge. Hence the fact that my lack of grace has spilled over into a reflective blog post.

No one makes you feel inferior without your consent. You said it, Eleanor.

But the preaching is so different from the practicing. As I well know.

Friends, how do you fare with people who test your character?

Image found here.

4 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, I just try to fake nice. I'm starting to realize that too much of that can be really unhealthy and frustrating. If you don't want to talk to her, you shouldn't. That's about how I feel right now. Debbie Downer?

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  2. SO true - and perfect picture to illustrate it :) xx, jane

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  3. whenever i'd get upset about a boy or girl who i wanted to be friends with when i was younger my mom would simply tell me "what's not to like?"
    i take that to heart now that i'm adult. i can't be bothered with people who test my patience, so i don't let them!

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