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Beware; Bad Relationships Can Be Contagious

The Bible tells us that Christians shouldn’t meddle in other people’s business, but to worry about their own affairs. These Scriptures have nothing to do with correcting someone who is rebelling against God, but the instruction is very clear nonetheless; stop being nosy!

The older I get the less I want to know about a lot of things. I love discovering new places and things and getting to know new people and being up to date with news; be it social, political, sports or whatever. I happily plow through several books, papers or more a week.

What I don’t want or need to know are other people’s nasty little secrets. Though sometimes I cannot help it, generally I avoid getting embroiled in feuds and spats, or listen to nasty gossip or tiring complaints. There is no point to it, and it makes me tired and sad.

All too often, it is the same people over and over who are always involved in “bitter battles” with someone or other. Friends who constantly demand support and loyalty for their private feuds can be costly to your career, friendships, or sanity. As I learn every day, learn to distance yourself and reserve your fighting spirit and support for causes of your own choosing.

Others will constantly besiege you with their turbulent love lives. They choose feckless lovers or pursue unavailable objects of desire. The constant factor is their need for attention. Beware; bad relationships can be contagious. When it comes to love, misery truly does love company and this can never be overemphasized. Spend time too much time with the hopelessly lovelorn and you may soon find fault in your own perfectly happy partnership.

Learn to tell the difference between a good friend going through a rough patch and the chronically discontent. If a friend always sets her sights on unavailable partners, or is so needy that she sends out a stronger signal than the emergency broadcast system, you may need to step back to avoid being drowned by their self-made drama and unhappiness. I used to have one such friend.

Some people actually like to fight. It took me ages to realize this, as I am essentially peace-loving. They need conflict and drama the same way normal people need air and water.

 Dramatic over-the-top friends can seem like fun at first, until they begin bringing their drama to every event. No one needs their beautiful dinner party taken over by a friend on a crying jag, or their book

launch ruined by a slightly drunken emotional drama queen or king.

 I have an old high school acquaintance that is part of my circle, so there is no way to avoid her .She has always been a bit nasty. The last time I saw her she began making unpleasant personal remarks. I simply refused to engage her. She had no choice but to stop her nastiness. Fighting back in this type of situation is a no-win. No one else wants to be caught in the middle of a social spat. They will resent being drawn into your conflict, so don’t ask for anyone else for help, even if you are attacked. Walk away darling, like a lady.  Another old friend occasionally likes to be provocative. She may make a remark about my personality or appearance. She will then repeat it several times in an attempt to get a reaction. I have watched her do this with others. I have learned to ignore it. Otherwise she is very nice. She may enjoy a good argument just for fun, but I do not. When she aggravates me, I find something quick to grab, anything as long as it’s far from her neck.

There are those who like to stir up trouble out of boredom or from a lack of self-esteem. They come out of nowhere and attack.

By nature, most people are self-interested. They like to vent their frustrations. Let them, but never get involved in spats. If you are silly enough to take up the cause of the co-worker who hates her office-mate or supervisor, or if you are reckless or needy enough to be drawn into friend’s rivalries, you will be the loser in the end. Adults need to fight their own battles. If you want to live a happy life, learn to mind your own business.

A lesson to be learnt as 2016 draws to a close, putting your input on matters that don’t concern you only creates more problems. Many people want to know business not to help, but just to know it and have something to gossip about. Steer clear of them and if ever there was an easy commandment to keep in the Bible, it’s this one!

Tumy on Monday



DPP Botswana

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