No matter who you are or your status or role; there will be people who will make it their business to drive you crazy. These people are determined to annoy you. These are people in our neighbourhood, community, church and families whom we have to work and live with.
How can we recognise these people? First, there is the very demanding. These are the little dictators in life - the Napoleons, Saddam Husseins, Gadhafis and Idi Amins, etc. of this world. They are bossy, pushy, controlling and intimidating in every area. They dominate every conversation and turn it into a power struggle. They make unrealistic demands on your life, time and schedule. It is either their way or the highway!
Secondly, there is disapproval. These are the nit-pickers, they are meticulous and highly critical and your best is never enough for them. They always want more and tend to be negative, judgemental, unpleasant, perfectionists and love to point out your mistakes.
Thirdly, there are deafening or loudmouths. A call to them will not be less than fifteen minutes because they just cannot stop talking. They talk you into surrender or into the ground! They are always buying air time because they love to talk.
Fourthly, there are the destructive or those with uncontrolled anger. They can also be referred to as volcanoes. Though they are very easy to spot, you never really know when they are going to erupt; however, they ensure that everybody knows it once they do. They blow up, explode and leave scorching hot lava burning everything in their path. One tends to walk on eggshells most of the time when around them because they do not know when the person will explode.
Fifthly, there are the discontented or those who get their feelings hurt very easily. They are touchy, whine a lot, the crybabies who thrive on having a daily pity party where they invite themselves and moan into sorrow. They are chronic complainers and constantly blame themselves for everything that goes wrong. They are never happy; always down and they need you to continually lift them.
Sixthly, there is the demeaning. These are the smart mouths, rude, insulting, use of corrosive language and abuse. They love to burst your bubble, tear you down and put a wet blanket on people’s dreams. They love to deflate and find particular joy in telling you how you did not measure up. Such people are deceptive and have enormous insecurities.
You can deal with such people in your life by refusing to be offended. Do not take offence no matter what they say or how outrageous their behaviour is or how much they insult you or their actions and reactions. One of the keys to happiness in life is to develop a thick skin and not be offended by meaningless things.
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Do not wait for an apology to forgive them. It may take too long to come if at all it is offered. Be the bigger person by forgiving them for their wrongdoing. Crazy people may never say sorry to you therefore, instead of steaming up and holding resentment over something that they have even forgotten, just let it go. Choose not to hold on to hurts because it will eat you up and resentment is like poison.
Refuse to gossip about them; this is sharing information with someone who is not part of the solution or problem. Gossip in essence is a form of retaliation where you try to get back at them. Do not allow your conversations to be controlled by crazy people. Do not do wrong to repay a wrong (1st Peter 3:9). Refuse to play their game of arguing and unnecessary debates.
No matter how logically and clearly you explain to them your point or opinion, they can never see your point; you cannot talk people out of a behaviour. The Pharisees hunted Jesus and tried to trap him by probing him but Jesus would not play into their games. People will believe what they want to believe about you. Do not waste your time by talking people out of a position they did not arrive at on a logical basis.
Refuse to cave in or give in to their demands. Do not allow them to manipulate your life because love is not giving in to manipulation. Many Christians think the way to behave is to be a doormat however; God does not want or expect you to be a doormat.
God gives us freedom to enjoy life and you cannot please everybody. Choose to always do the right thing whether others are doing it or not. If they are unloving choose to love them or if they are mean to you be kind to them.
When dealing with crazy people, always take the higher ground. You cannot control what people say and think about you but you have control over how you respond to them. Nobody should control your attitude.
Bishop David Muriithi, Founder & Overseer, House of Grace International Ministries