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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

You Can't Make Them Like You

You may have bought your loved ones gifts, offered a helping hand, stayed on the phone listening to their every problem, and told them a million times, "I love you,"  but despite all your efforts, you learn from other relatives that they don't like you much.

Why is it that some relatives think that you will never learn the truth about what they really think about you?  There is a lot said in flippant comments, the family member who thinks that you are "...nothing but a...." is going to pretend like they honestly care about you, at least in front of your face, but behind your back, well that is a different story!  "Well, I wish she would get her life together...he is too old behaving like that...I never really liked either of them...Sometimes I have to pray they don't call me or come around." the critical relative might say.

Observers will ask, "Why do you bother?  Why go out of your way?  You know he/she doesn't like you?"  Most good-hearted people will reason/defend/excuse/ignore the negativity that they are being given.  "I know what my Bible says...What goes around, comes back around...I do what I do, because I love him/her."  But the concerned relative will retort, "But he/she is USING you!  Don't you get it!?  Do you really want to know what this person thinks about you?"

The unfavored ones, who were never considered the favorite ones by parents, will work real hard to prove themselves.  They will do what they can to win favor with family members.  They will use their actions to scream out loud, "Don't forget about me!  I love you!"  But the reality is, that no matter how many Thinking of You cards you send them, how much money/gifts you put in the mail, and family events you attend to show support, some people are simply mean-spirited.  Some believers will even ignore their Heavenly Creator's admonition to, "Keep away...don't call...don't come around for a time."  There is a season for all things when it comes to reaching out to family; therefore, one must know when his or her season is over for giving and being available to extended relatives.  Sometimes how someone feels about you has nothing to do with taking a time out from him or her (although it might be necessary), but the time-out has everything to do with readjusting your focus on keeping the peace in your household, dealing with personal issues on the home front and troubles elsewhere in your life.  Extended relatives must be placed on the back-burner when personal problems begin to mount.  But what some will do is attempt to feel good about their lives, by doing for others so that they don't have to deal with issues on the home front--this type of thinking is unwise and will lead to much heartache in one's personal and/or professional life. 

Think of the many relationships that have been destroyed because a partner's mindset was all about getting someone in their family circle to like them.  The individual totes children, partner, gift bags, and food over to a house that isn't very inviting even loved ones will comment, "They don't like us, why do we come over here?"  The host puts on a fake smile while whispering some negative remarks to other family members.  When confronted about his or her behavior, the response goes something like this, "You didn't have to do this...I didn't really invite you...Why do you bother calling or coming around?"  Wow, what a reality check!  However, most family members don't want to look like a spit-fire demon, so they will put on an act, "Glad you came...Oh, this is for me?  You shouldn't have."

When you know that people have proven over and over again that they just don't like you for any number of reasons that might make sense or might not, guard your heart and your wallet!  Consider what people are telling you about some of your relatives and avoid the temptation to defend the users and abusers.

Nicholl McGuire

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