Do you know people who are impossible to please, folks who always make you feel like you’re walking on “eggshells” or a tightrope (or down a plank)? Are your energies and emotions often wasted trying to appease and please those who take constant issue, who see everything wrong in what you say to them, who look for any reason to be piqued, to find insult?
There is only one way to deal with people like that, and it’s with quiet indifference (underscored with love). For you will never satisfy those who resist your spirit. It was a “word” received of late. You know what we mean: No matter how much time you spend with certain folks, or what you say, or how you say it — what you lavish upon them, words or otherwise — it’s never enough. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times you make an attempt to compliment or visit or reconcile: If there has been a fancied wrong, no effort (or apology) ever suffices. They just want to be disturbed with you!
These are people who operate under the “spirit of umbrage.” They nearly want to be insulted! Often, they are members of your family. And just as often, the roots of their umbrage are pride, envy, possessiveness, and insecurity. Often, those who find constant reason for resentment have narcissistic personalities. In our arrogant times, this is far more of a problem than most realize: narcissistic personality disorder, those whose worlds revolve around their “selves” (egos), who take issue with anything less than worship, who constantly clamor to be the focus of all notice, who want everyone to be in orbit around them.
You’re not calling enough. You’re not talking enough. You’re not saying the right thing. You’re not paying enough attention. Attention, attention, attention.
Often it is haughtiness that generates umbrage and when it does it’s a subversion of free will. The answer? Ignore it. Let it pass. Decide — once and for all — that you don’t care what such a person thinks; you care about what God thinks. This will settle it! To keep a boat straight one must use two oars: free will with God’s Will (not the will of others).
The only counterbalance to pride and jealousy (and anything evil) is humility with love.
With humility, you not only negate negative feelings but are also far less concerned about what they think of you.
Don’t let absurdity and misperceptions affect your life. Brush that off! Walk past. Shake the dust from your feet. Stop worrying about how you talk and act and think around them. Be yourself. If you can’t please them, ignore it. Look at the definition for “umbrage”; it also means “shadow.” Those who take umbrage walk under a shadow and want you there in their dark. The spirit of umbrage is often the spirit of control, which can sting like witchcraft.
Is your life defined at times by others — or at least, do others make that attempt? And when you balk, or outright refuse to act as they would like, do they take umbrage? Are there those in your life who make you feel like you’re inconsiderate, unloving, and hard-hearted, when you are going on your own path (listening to the Holy Spirit instead of them) — in His orbit, not theirs?
Pray to God for illumination and correct in yourself what needs to be corrected (for sure) but don’t always assume you’re wrong. Listen for Jesus. The antidote is humility. This negates haughtiness (as well as anger).
And it brings the truth.
The truth sets us free.
Don’t let others define you.
To thine own self be true.
When you’re attacked, find solace in humbleness. It is why Christ said to turn the other cheek. Only in humility will you find peace. It is the casting out of pride that often must precede healing, protection, and a heart filled with love. When faced with a person filled with umbrage: Turn the other cheek and you are also turning a deaf ear. Let it pass. Let it be. Let others think what they want. Seek humility. That way, you need never second- guess yourself.
[resources: A Life of Blessings]
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