Friday, February 20, 2009

People I Find Hard to Love (Part 1)

I originally was going to entitle this post "People I Dislike," but changed my mind and decided to alter it to match my calling as a Christian and call it "People I Find Hard to Love." Originally this was also going to be one post, but it got very long, so I will do it in parts and finish it later, while I think more

I am not going to mention names or even specific cases in this post, just groups and types of people and I ask that if you read anywhere past here that you read to the end or the "parts," because you will probably have a pretty poor opinion of me from just reading the first half.

Its been a while since my last post, partly because of these people. They are the people that make my life miserable. Whether they should or not I will get to later, but here are a few groups that make life right now just tolerable.

Extreme Extroverts: I like extroverts. Many of my friends are extroverted and I love them. Some of them help me communicate better, others fill in the gaps where I really don't want to talk. Extroverts are great brainstormers for projects, and contribute a lot to small group discussions. I am talking about a different kind of extrovert however. Nearly all extroverts have a small piece of themselves that is introverted. On a scale of 1-10 they may be a 9. These people that I have trouble with are the ones who are a solid 10.
This really isn't a problem, except when you are alone with them, or in a group with them, or around them in any non-class setting. They hate silence. It is if they are incapable of existing in an environment free of talk. They will go out of their way to make conversation with anyone who will stay in the room or within talking range. ANYONE. People who are watching a movie, people with headphones in. People working on homework. People having a conversation with someone else. They will open closed doors and search for people to find this conversation. Now, I could understand if this was from loneliness, and I would stay and talk if I thought there was a need there for anything but empty meaningless talk. But these people have no discretion in their time choices or topics.
These people just won't quit either. You can drop hints, or say directly that you need to get back to work or that you are going somewhere, but to get them to shut up, you typically have to leave yourself on any minor excuse, even to go to the bathroom or something petty.

The second group of people that I have trouble with is the People Who I Feel I Need to Protect My Friends of the Opposite Gender From. This group is the one I find hardest to love. People who are crass. People who use frequent profanity. People who have a bad reputation for womanizing and flirting. People who are insincere, and especially those with girlfriends who meet all of the above descriptions.
I really don't feel an intense need to protect from these people, but it is always a nagging urge to push them away, to avoid them when I am around my female friends. I over-interpret every gesture and word, and fight the tendency to say bad things about them (but only what is true) to make the girls cautious. It worries me even more when these people tag along with me and my best friend just to be with our female friends. There are several people that do this. It is to the point where I will often avoid my friends to keep this kind of people separate from them. This kills me sometimes to do, but I really don't want them getting hurt, especially when they don't know the history and reality of these other people. This is probably my most legitimate dislike, difficult to love set of people.

The third group are The Pretenders. These are the people That go to a Christian College, but have no idea what it means to be a follower of Christ. These people are able to present themselves as spiritual people in group settings and in discussions, but to someone who actually knows them and observes them, it is obvious that they are Pretenders. These are often the people who seem to be the most secure in their faith, who struggle the least, who are the most knowledgeable about history and stuff, and sometimes up on the latest theological issues. But the desire for God isn't there , and the people who don't look cannot see it. The pretenders fool so many people and it is hard to know sometimes if this is a personal dislike for that person because they fall into one of the other categories, or if this is really something I am seeing as lack of commitment to their Christian walk. Can I trust my own perception enough to challenge them to step up? I don't know, right now I am just frustrated that these people are all around me and no one sees but me. (I conclude that no one but me sees them because I try to behave indifferent towards their spirituality while others praise their supposed growth)

To be continued......


Q said...

I don't yet have a poor opinion of you. Your reasoning is sound, and I agree with you.

And as for the second kind, I'm sure your female friends would thank you if they knew what you were doing. I know I would.

Lady Brainsample said...

I'm completely with Q, especially on her point about the people of the second kind.

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