On my last post part of Jeanz response said this: "...then there are the ones who act one way toward a certain person for a day and then turn around and act very different(viciously so) the next. Sometimes this is through provocation(in some cases then, it is justified), but when it isn't, it can be very straining on their "victom"... But how do I (or you) deal with those kind of people?..."
This is another one of those types that I have had trouble with myself actually, but I did not mention it because for me it is resolved, or we are just going through a particularly long period where the dislike and attitude are suppressed. I think in my response to this, I will use an example and share about the experience.
Most of you probably know that I am a cheerleader here at college (yes, I am male). Well, on the squad is a girl who is very much a cheerleader. I mean in the way she talks, acts, hangs out with people, etc... I have no problem with this person really, but for some reason this person took a very intense dislike to me immediately after tryouts. I noticed that she disliked me pretty quickly, since she is not the type to hide feelings and live on. Of course seeing as the person is one of the reasons life on the cheer squad has been difficult and trying for me, I didn't hang out with her off the floor.
Then stuff happened and we were kinda forced to bond as a team, and suddenly any feelings of dislike towards me were gone and we were "friends." That lasted for maybe a month to a month and a half, during which time I tried to take and interest in her as a person, not just someone I was forced to work with, and she seemed to respond pretty well. Then something (I have no clue what) happened and suddenly we were worse off than ever before. I used the term "one way hate street" to describe it. And then suddenly things changed again, and we were working together. We weren't friends, but I was able to be friendly without here snapping back, or trying to undermine my place on the team. That's basically where we are right now.
Now, as to how I deal with it. How did I deal with it? I started by ignoring anything hurtful that they did or said and concentrated on "living above reproach"; making sure that I did nothing that would provoke. This didn't mean doing whatever they wanted to stay in their good graces, just fulfilling the expectations laid down by the coach as best I could and trying to cooperate when reasonable. I also avoided the person whenever I did not need to be around them. Kind of difficult sometimes with frequent practices, but I managed pretty well. I don't know if this is a good idea, because if the person gets the idea that you really don't like them for some reason, then they may tend to respond worse than they have been. I don't know if trying to talk to them and be friends with them was a good idea, considering the touchiness of the person. We were friendly for a bit, so I thought it might help, but I don't know if it would have continued if I had just left well enough alone, or if talking to them made things turn around. I just don't know on that one.
I do know that prayer has been absolutely necessary for my continued sanity over the last year as I deal with this person and all the other types. If you are dealing with a person like this, here's what I would say:
1)Be nice, and don't provoke, but avoid being a "suck up" at all costs. Don't let them control you and your emotions.
2)Pray for them and their attitude.
3) If 1 and 2 fail (prayer never fails though, and should be continued every day whether it seems to be working or not), maybe speak to them and ask them why they are treating you like this. I hate confrontation so this one would be really hard for me to do, and I never got to this point. I figured I could just deal with it for as long as I had to rather than risk making things worse.
4)If it is a friend that is being attacked, come alongside them and encourage them. If they are being put down by the attacker, then tell them the truth about how they are doing. Malicious attacks like I have experienced are usually lies, and even if we know it, it is helpful for others to tell us we are doing well. THANKS JENNA and STEPH!!!
5)Find characteristics in the person that are good. My cheerleader can inspire the team to do better and work to potential, and is amazing at doing her job on the team. She is able to help us all do our jobs better when she takes the time to tell us how to do it right and not just telling people they are no good. It is easier to love someone when you can look at the good in them and realize that they are a brother or sister, made in the image of God and that God put them there for a reason. Maybe some of the attitude could be something happening in their own lives and they really need a friend, or encouragement. Sometimes people who are snappy or hurtful are that way because they are going through a really tough time and need to make themselves feel better by putting others down.
That's what I got. I don't know how sound it is, but that's what I've been going through right now with these kind of people. Thanks everyone for your input and comments!
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