Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Walking on Egg Shells

We've all had to do it at one time or another. You have a boss, a friend, a co-worker, or maybe even a family member that you have to watch everything you say or do around them for fear of facing their wrath or hurting their feelings. Walking on eggshells gets tiring doesn't it? Sometimes you would just like to say, "look, this is how I feel or this is what I think", and just let the chips fall. But then what happens? What can they do? Kill you, eat you? I think that's against the law. While we should never be tempted to bring someone to wrath or cause them to stumble (hurt their feelings), we have feelings too. Is that person worth your time? What are the consequences of NOT walking on eggshells? Is it worth your mental well-being? Who suffers the most from you walking on egg shells? I'm not a psychiatrist, however, from personal experience I can tell you that you are the one that suffers the most. In my experience, most of "those" kinds of people have the type of attitude that they can say what they want but if you react in like manner, they get mad or get their feelings hurt, not considering your feelings to start with. (See my earlier blog about narcissistic personalities). In some cases as your boss or co-worker there might be an easier way to deal with the problems if you have time to think before you speak. What happens though when it's family or friends, people you really don't want to lose, people you love and who supposedly love you. They avoid you, they talk to other family or friends about you. Somehow you come out the bad guy. THAT is what causes us to walk on egg shells. Our own fear of repercussions. But now, what do we do about it.

You should always strive to keep peace and harmony but never at the risk of your own mental health and well-being. If you are having to walk on egg shells around someone YOU need to realize that it is THEIR problem. If you crack the shell and say something that does upset them, keep in mind that it is their personality, their problems, their perceptions that caused it. No one should have to walk on egg shells. You should guard the words of your mouth according to the Bible and not deliberately provoke or hurt, but that is different than having to guard every word that comes out of your mouth because of fear. I use fear because it is a fear, it's a fear of making that person mad at you. Generally when you have to walk on egg shells around a particular person it is more because of their temper than hurt feelings.

The Bible says the tongue is a mighty member in James 3:8, "But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison". That is a totally different matter. That applies also to the person you are talking to. The tongue is a two edged sword, it can lift you up or it can tear you down. Don't let it tear you down. Remember having to walk on eggshells is not YOUR choice, it is not because of something you have done, it is because of the person you are dealing with and their problems and perceptions. Which brings me to the next thing I would like to mention.

When you are walking on egg shells, do you have to stray from the truth to please that person? You should never ever have to lie to appease another person. There are times that you can say nothing at all or direct the conversation in another way or even reword what you might want to say so it doesn't sound harsh or cause problems. But again I repeat, you should never have to lie. The Bible says in Proverbs 12:22, "Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight". Don't ever compromise YOUR walk with God no matter who you are dealing with.

I'm probably mostly talking to us women here because most men don't worry about walking on eggshells lol. But I'm going to use a few minor examples: if a friend asks you how you like their hair, if you don't like it, don't tell them its beautiful! Why? Because no matter how small , a lie is a lie. You can, however, still answer that question without hurting their feelings. Example: I really really like it the way you wore it yesterday (if you did of course) or its so flattering on you when you wear it the other way etc etc. You see what I'm getting at. Don't deliberately hurt someone's feelings but don't compromise yourself. I told you it would be a minor example.

Back to walking on eggshells, you should respectfully state your mind, don't be crude or cruel to the person you are talking to but God does not intend us to live in fear of any kind. Walking on egg shells is a sense of walking in fear. Keep God in your heart, then let the words from your mouth come from your heart. Rely on God to take care of the rest. And most of all, pray for the person you are dealing with.