Pray for Your "Enemies"
The way you treat others says a lot about what kind of person you are. The way you talk about others says a lot about you as well. It also shows that part of you that lacks love and needs healing. When someone is speaking badly about someone else's appearance, I look at that person (even if they are beautiful on the outside) and see nothing but the ugliness on the inside. It's a huge indication their own self-image isn't the best. Even when I'm having a bad day with my own self-image---because let's face it, we all get insecure from time to time---how is downing another person's outward appearance going to make you feel or look any better? No matter who you're talking to, that person is already judging your character. Watch your opinions, especially around people you respect.
Hurt People Hurt People
Treating people poorly also can show how hurt you've been in the past. Hurt people hurt people. If you have a reputation of being mean, unfair, extremely controlling or abrasive (yes I'm talking about adult bullies)---your line of destruction speaks volumes any time you open your mouth. You're like a tornado visiting every house on the block. Everyone has been affected by your wrath. You have zero credibility if you're known to be an adult bully. There are ways to handle a negative situation, where you don't need to verbally or (sometimes physically) attack people. If your "attack mode" is your go-to method, trust me that your name has been forever tarnished, especially if you are never accountable for the damage you've created. As they say, everything comes out in the wash.
Dealing with people like this---don't even bother matching their energy. Disengage. Do not respond.
Bully or Narcissist?
Many "bullies" try to create a false persona of themselves, and parade around as a "good person." But eventually, their true colors come out with just a little time. They like to play victim to gain your sympathy, and to ultimately make another person look bad, especially around mutual acquaintances. They need to make others look bad in order not to be outed as a bully. But what they really end up doing is making themselves look like fools. They compulsively lie and embellish stories---and they're good at it! But what they don't realize is, their reputation speaks louder than their own words. When you screw people long enough, it's time to get out of Dodge and find a new supply of people who will actually believe your crazy drivel. Playing victim long enough gives people the idea that you may be weak-minded and incapable of handling life, especially when it's mostly fabricated.
A Good Reputation Always Wins
On the flip side, you have people who are genuinely good folks. For instance, just recently, our community in our neighborhood just lost a wonderful and highly respected woman. Even when someone would speak negatively about someone else or a situation regarding the community, she opted for solutions and didn't get into the senseless drama. She had integrity and class. Many people had the upmost respect for her. Her funeral was so crowded---it was shoulder-to-shoulder standing room. I didn't expect anything less. This was a woman who was loved beyond loved. This was a woman whose reputation spoke volumes. What a tragic loss.
That's what a reputation will do---it will have people talking about you well after you have left this earth. When you think about your own funeral, do you see many people? You should if you treat people well.
In Proverbs 22:1-16 it states, "Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold."
I'm not saying you have to be Mother Theresa or try to gain perfection---because we're all human and we make mistakes. But even if you're the type to make numerous mistakes, as I do from time to time, own up to your mess. Accountability goes a long way when your reputation is at stake. Genuinely owning up to something you did shows you have a heart and a conscience. We are all a work in progress.
I know many will call this type of behavior narcissistic, but sometimes it's not even about narcissistic personality disorder---it's about people just being downright crappy. I think the term "narcissist" gets tossed around way too much. Call a spade a spade---a bad egg a bad egg. Sometimes there's hope for these kinds of people. If they gain a better insight on how they're treating others and what that feels like--maybe they'll try harder to acknowledge it. Maybe they'll try harder to achieve "the golden rule."
So here's my point: be a good person, or just try your best. You don't have to be perfect, but you also don't have to treat people so poorly in order to gain the illusion that you're better than everyone else.
And be thankful for all the rude and obnoxious people you meet in life. They serve as an important reminder of how NOT to be. For myself personally, I pray for those people who hurt me. I sincerely sit and take the time out to pray. Prayer and good intentions are so very powerful.
"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." --Matthew 5:44
For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook. Check out her cooking blog at DebsCucina.com for some of her famous recipes and check out her Instagram full of food videos!