I’m turning the reigns over to my daughter for this post. She’s gifted. I’m mom. But she’s really gifted by God to see things at such a young age that many adults don’t. I’m proud that she wants to share that gift. ❤️
She’s written this to her younger generation, but honestly I’ve seen
some many adults doing this. I’m so thankful I have this great blogging community. You all will get this. Because you are real. Really real.
Join me in reading her blessed words?
It happens all the time. Jane posts that she is so tired of her work and she deserves so much better than this junk-of-a-job. Jane then has fifty people like her post and twenty others comment to tell her that they understand and that she deserves so much better and so do they. At the same time, Bill posts that he is having health issues that are weighing him down, but that he will not give up hope and that he is thankful for all of his friends’ support. Bill gets two likes and no comments. Jane and Bill have the same friends and they post at the same time.
Why does Jane get more support than Bill? You might naturally assume that Bill will receive more feedback because his post is much more positive and others-focused while Jane’s is much more cynical and self-focused. This however is not the case a lot of the time. Through observation and much consideration, I feel that there are three main reasons as to why this happens.
While the characters are fictional, the scenarios are quite real and common. I’m not saying that Jane’s friends should not be kind to her and encourage her. I’m not even saying that Jane and her friends don’t deserve better jobs. I am merely pointing out a part of our “me” sides that has taken hold of our everyday conversations. It’s the way that it’s been said.
You see, in our natural state as humans, we can be sort of bothered by others who can find peace and joy in difficult situations. It’s not our natural reaction. I’m not sure that it’s anyone’s natural reaction. Whenever we go through difficulties of any kind, our instinct is to complain about it. We know that our bad attitudes are really getting us nowhere, but we are strangely comforted by our less than positive responses. It takes a lot of effort to move past that initial reaction, and when we don’t, we become easily annoyed by those who do chose to do so.
When we see others being positive about the obstacles in their lives, we become uncomfortable because we know that we should be positive as well. We should want to do something about it and move forward, but we get stuck in our complaining ruts. Those ruts are hard to get out of if you’ve already dug a pretty deep hole.
Then there is also the desire to connect to others. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can keep you in that rut as well if you aren’t careful. Sometimes we are drawn to relate to others because we want to know that we are not alone, but sometimes we are really just looking for a way to justify our actions or feelings that we actually know are wrong. The latter is a dangerous place to sit.
The last reason that I think people stay away from seemingly positive people is because they are used to seeing self-deprecating insincerity from the world – aka patronizing. The “Don’t feel bad, even I have problems once in a while (but most of the time I’m perfect *cough cough*)” attitude is unfortunately not just an exaggeration seen in movies about mean girls and guys. Some people really chose to be like that, and it’s seemed to have rubbed everyone else the wrong way to our social detriment. I think people have become so soured from these people and their societal blunders that they have forgotten what’s real and what isn’t. I think now it’s become a common assumption that this is the motivation of everyone, even those who don’t mean it to be.
I know it’s hard to convey and understand tone when we are writing and reading, but let’s try to not insert our own ideas of how the other person is into what they are saying. Let’s try to really read the words on the page, and then assess whether or not it is coming across in a good way and how we should react to it. Sometimes I think we are so caught up in the fact that we “know” exactly how a person is or how they would say something (based on our previous experiences) that we pre-judge them. Yes it’s good to be discerning and to recognize the fruit that others are producing with their actions, but we shouldn’t assume that we know everything about them.
Just because that’s how they’ve always been doesn’t mean that’s how they are always going to be… or that our first assessment of them was even a correct one! But, even if we were correct in our first assessment of them, we need to remember that we are all human. We all have hidden reasons for why we are the way we are. Maybe they seem indifferent because they have a hard time trusting people, or maybe they seem pushy because they have been ignored their whole lives and they just want to be heard. We can’t know it all, so we shouldn’t try to act like we do. We have to be careful about our preconceived notions and how they affect our relationships. They can make or break them.
So let’s try to be real and to really listen to what others are saying without inserting our own thoughts into it. Let’s not assume that everyone is the same. Let’s be careful not to identify with others just for the sake of justifying where we are now when we know we need to change. And let’s be encouraging without becoming enablers. Loving someone doesn’t mean that you need to do everything for them… it means that you help them to see and do the right things for themselves. Please do keep encouraging people, but remember to encourage them in a productive way.
They need you to help them see the light in their dark places, not for you to sit in the dark with them forever.
Let’s all work together to make this world better than it seems. Let’s change the way we communicate and build relationships. Let’s be real.