Ugh! Not that person again?! Really, God? Why am I encountering that personality-type in my face for the 1000th time? Extra grace required? I’m about out of grace with that person…
Now, don’t start judging…you know you have these thoughts, too. You know, when you see that *one* person walking your way and you want to run? Or, you avoid eye contact because you just hope they won’t say, “hey”? We all have those people in our lives. The ones that trigger me and make me work my program. They make me think to myself, “how can I really get past this moment without slapping someone right now?”. Yes, as sweet as I seem on the outside, I’m normal, too. I have those thoughts.
It’s about Growth.
I try my hardest to look at them with a lens of growth. It’s not easy…trust me. Many times, I have really harsh words for them, but I keep smiling and just be sweet…not easy but I pray…a lot!
I’m supposed to pray for my enemies?!?! Yup?! Ah man…that’s hard, too. What if I can’t stand the thought of that person occupying space in my brain?! I have to pray for them anyway.
What if they bring out the worst in me? I have to deal with them anyway and figure out a way to keep the ugly side of me from emerging. I’ve learned I’ve got to look deeper within to find out exactly what it is that’s irritating me.
I ask myself, “What do I see in the mirror when I look at this person?” Tough stuff, huh? I agree. I inspect deep inside…what trait, what habit, what sound, what memory, what sensation does this person bring up for me. Most of the time there is something else that is connected to this situation or personality that is bringing up something deeper. I’ve learned to apply the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time it’s my stuff and 20% of it is how they show up. Both have a part, but my severe irritation is all in my ‘stuff’ and it’s up to me to figure exactly what is triggering me.
Once I identify it and deal with it, I can typically find the truth and process it on my end. Once I do my work, I’m no longer irritated by the mere sight of “said” person.
It really takes putting on the “big girl panties” to deal with such deep work. It’s about rising above the drama and praying hard. It’s about avoiding the urge to pick a fight, smart off to them, be sarcastic, or give in to the temptation to roll my eyes. It’s about welcoming opportunities to be uncomfortable, sitting in it and experiencing it, so I can do my own discovery work.
Irritating People are Healthy for Me
In summary, irritating people are healthy people, for me, because they make me do my work. Irritating people help me stay (or get) healthy because:
1. They remind me to pray for my enemies. (Matthew 5:44)
2. They remind me to work on myself.
3. They remind me to look in the mirror.
4. They remind me that God sees each of us as his own child (flaws and all).
5. They remind me of the true meaning of “grace”.
6. They remind me I’m not perfect.
7. They remind me to face the ‘truth’ behind my ‘stuff’.
8. They remind me to seek out accountability partners who can speak “truth in love” to me.
9. They remind me to be grateful for what I have in my life.
10. They remind me to pray without ceasing.
Whew! None of that is easy. It’s a constant struggle. It’s hard work and some days, I don’t want to do the deep work. Some days, I just want to fight. Some days it feels good to be in the middle of the crud so I can feed my angry soul, but then I’m reminded that if I give in, the Crazy Trish comes out…she’s not pretty. So, I guess I’ll keep working on me. I’ll welcome those irritating people and keep working to learn the deeper lessons until I get it deep down in my heart.
Oh, the joys of working on becoming a healthy-minded person. How do you work through the drama of dealing with difficult personalities in your life?