Some days I feel like I am not a people person. Humans can start to irritate me after awhile and then I don’t want to be around them any longer (which is probably the reason why the thought of marriage kinda freaks me out—to be with the same person day after day for the rest of my life, ahhh). I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember and I’ve wondered if something was wrong with me because most young folks need friends around them every second of the day. I, on the other hand have always enjoyed my alone time. I can spend days without human contact and be in peaceful bliss. But now as I’m slowly creeping away from my youthful years, I am attempting to learn to deal with people that rub me the wrong way. The people that talk too much or too loudly, ask me too many questions, don’t know when it’s time to go home, or just look at me the wrong way.
I know you all are like, “She is crazy,” but it really has been (and still is) a process for me to be around people that I just find annoying. Over the past few days I have been presented with the message of loving others, even those I don’t understand and it really hit home. I found that my irritation with people was a form of judgment. I judged the fact that they were different from me. This is the reason why I find it hard to be around any one person too often because everyone is going to be different than me. So here I am, thinking that I am loving all of God’s children regardless of their beliefs, lifestyle, or culture and I am judging people for not doing what I think they should.
I can find something I dislike in anyone. If you spend enough time with a person, their mannerisms, behavior, or even the way they talk can make you want to throw a brick straight at their forehead. But learning to accept people for who they are and not criticize their uniqueness to you is a part of growing up. You can choose to limit your interaction with people that you clash with, but a sign of maturity is being able to deal with your polar opposite as well as your behavioral twin.
I think that is why so many relationships become dry and stale. After being around a person so often, you will find little things about them that make you want to wring their neck. Those things start to outweigh whatever drew you to the person. The smile that was once so cute doesn’t turn you on anymore, that joke that once made you laugh is now the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard. You have to tap into a special place in your heart to find love for people in the midst of their irritating gestures.
I am learning that I cannot make people my little puppets doing what and reacting the way that I want them to. I have to be loving and patient. I also have to be bold enough to address issues that make me uncomfortable. I can write someone off because of their behavior and they not even know that what they did was a problem for me. If I confront the issue they may see how it affected me and change their conduct if it doesn’t conflict with who they are as a person. A simple, loving conversation is all that it takes.
It is not intended for us to be friends with everybody. There are some personalities that just don’t mix. But if we are in a situation where we have to work with someone we don’t like or have family members that make our skin crawl, we should be mature enough to suck it up and deal. And we should learn to love others despite of how unique they may be. This is the way that we exemplify Christ on earth, by loving even when we’d rather dismiss. Choose your associates wisely; I believe that small circles are the smartest circles, but don’t be a hermit crab with no ability to interact with civilization. Come out for air and say hello.
-Renée Nicole Gibson Twitter: disclosednative IG: ms_disclosednative