I sometimes find myself in social situations where I almost have to zip my mouth closed and sit on my hands.
It’s not a pleasant confession, particularly for a Christian who is called to love everyone, but that’s how it is.
It’s because, in these scenarios, I get so het up with inane things that are said, or the way certain people behave, that I just have to withdraw.
I have to withdraw because if I didn’t I would explode. I would explode verbally and would want to lash out physically.
Let me emphasise that these are isolated incidents. I don’t spend my whole life tightly coiled like a wound spring….
But there are some people I have no choice but to encounter because it’s expected of me. These people really grate on me and bring out the worst in me. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh and mean but that’s how it is. I’m not nice all the time. I can’t possibly be. I can’t sustain it.
I wrote a post recently titled “always be kinder than you feel”. I constantly feel convicted by that. I do try to live by that mantra but I frequently fall short.
I think it’s OK to withdraw sometimes. I think it’s OK to minimise your contact with negative people who drain you and constantly put you down and make snide remarks and always seek to undermine you. It’s healthy for your own esteem.
The actual conscious act of limiting time I have to spend with these people means that when I really do have to interact with them it’s a little easier to bear. I can outwardly be kind and a gracious host even though inwardly my teeth might be set on edge.
It is selfish. I’m very aware of that but it’s also self preservation and occasionally I get to think of what I want and do you know what? That’s OK.
🙂 Image from Pinterest