A reader asked a question that I think should become a blog post because so many highly sensitive people struggle with this one. I have asked permission to post this blog and have italicized my responses.
The question was whether
“highly sensitive people are meant to be Nature’s ‘Nice Guys?'” Just reading the question made me break out in a rash! Sometimes the most loving thing we can do is pull the one we love up by the
shorts. Or deliver a little shock therapy! Nice guy, to me, equates to being a door
mat, not responding with anything other than a smile, and NO ONE should be a door mat other than the actual mat!
She went on to say, “When we are insulted by people, out of the blue, it throws us off completely. Oh, yes and then you freeze up with shock like a deer in the headlights and don’t respond! Only later to think
of what you “should” have said. Arrrgh, I hate that one!
Based on Christ’s example in scripture of not replying when rudely insulted, how do we recover quickly from the insult? The Lord has shown me that what people are most often insulting is Him in
us—it’s like satan in them snarling at Jesus in me. Realizing it is more about Him than me helps with that deer in the headlights freeze reaction. So I ask Him what He thinks
about what so-and-so said. Then I ask Him what if anything He wants to do about
it. If He would like me to respond to it, what does He want me to
say? Of course, you then need to say what He tells you to say…
Then, I think you need to look in the
larger context of Christ’s years on earth—sometimes He did have things to say.
When the Pharisees came at Him, He didn’t always “just take it.” He didn’t do
it rudely, but He silenced them with truth. Sometimes the truth wrapped in grace will silence the Pharisee!
My husband taught us as a family
to “find your truth and stand on it.” This is a defense against door to door
salesmen but it also works for social bullies, Christian or otherwise—find your (biblical) truth and just repeat it.
When they come at you a different way, repeat your truth. They finally realize
you are going to only speak your truth; they are not going to get anywhere and they break off and leave you alone. In the case of the salesman, it might be “I have decided
not to buy today.” When they come at it from another angle, repeat “I have
decided not to buy today.” Just keep doing that no matter what they say and they
will finally stop.
Another thing you could do is ask Jesus to help you think through a few truth statements that you could memorize and tuck away to pull out in emergency situations. Truth spoken
with grace, not rudely for that would be to respond in kind and you want to
respond in the opposite spirit, will often silence the rudeness. Additionally,
it will protect you from feeling stupid or like a door mat because you will have
made a response—and truthfully so, whereas insults are often untruth or half
truth wrapped in innuendo!
If you use any of these ideas I’d appreciate hearing what happened!