Friday, March 31, 2017

Social Events and Stressful Folk

One of the newest Catch Phrases these days comes from the idea of having the right to feeling emotionally comfortable around other people. The Catch Phrase is "feel safe".  

To not "feel safe" around someone can have consequences as small as simply avoiding that person as much as possible to as huge as THAT PERSON being fired from a job due only to the belief by administration in YOUR feelings.  Apparently few to no facts at all are required in some instances to confirm the other person is actually not an emotionally safe person for you to be around.  When there is no physical abuse involved, there often doesn't seem to be much to go on for choosing to attack the perceived unsafe person to the point where his or her life or career can be ruined by someone else's emotional whim.  Such decisions are apparently rather arbitrary and very much "of the moment" reactions.  

The whole idea frightens me.

However, not all feelings of being emotionally unsafe result in dire consequences for the perceived offender.  Thankfully!

I am facing soon a group of folk in a social setting that inclues at least three people who for me are, in my and my husband's opinions, unsafe for my emotions.  They are people who I do not relate well to for reasons I don't actually understand.  A choice has been made in how all of them treat me and it isn't a nice way to be treated.  I have to be careful when we approach this upcoming event because my husband will be tempted to let them know what he thinks of their behaviour if he gets even the slightest hint from me that I feel mistreated.  Bless him for wanting to protect his wife, but I see no need to make issue of these things in public.

Each of these people who I do not "feel safe" with are nice enough in most ways.  There is just some kind of problem with me that they are not eager to share with me, don't want to make it right for some reason....perhaps they are just not walking fully on the adult end of the scale. I don't know what it is and to be honest, (and believe me I have tried to talk to all of them about it with no results forthcoming), I am past the point of caring much.  However, it does sometimes make these sorts of occasions uncomfortable on an emotional level. The event is in a rather confined space so avoidance will be difficult.  Perhaps I am being called upon to walk fully myself on the adult end of the scale??

For me the concept of feeling emotionally unsafe with certain people is rather helpful.  "Unsafe":  such a simple word that describes my emotional reaction to these folk so perfectly.  

However, there are degrees of "unsafe".  The only thing in danger at this event will be my own feelings.  AND feelings can be reined in, can be controlled, can be overcome and can be let go of when I turn them over to Jesus who loves me unconditionally.  I can walk into the setting with my head held high, gravitate if possible to the other people there who are good friends and who are indeed "safe" for me.  I can look the people who don't like me in the eye if I can't avoid them and radiate all kinds of love in their direction, whether they are prepared to receive it from me or not.  

In an odd sense, God's love is the best revenge when people make your emotions feel so desperately "unsafe".   There is nothing like having God reach out to you from someone you don't like to throw you off balance.  At least that is what happens to me when people who likely view ME as emotionally "unsafe" for THEM prefer to love me anyway rather than give me "attitude" that I likely deserve more than their love. 

As I face what could be an emotionally uncomfortable time in this mixed crowd of friends and "not sure whats", I am going to call upon the Lord to grant me love like I have not experienced ever before toward these "unsafe" folk.  For my own protection God may limit our contact, or he may open up a very unexpected door that leads eventually to reconcilation and healing.  You just never know what God is going to do for certain, but I do know that he loves me and he loves them and his greatest wish is for us to love each other.  That can happen!  I've seen it before and I hope and pray I can see it again with these particular people.  

Life is never boring, is it?


chris e. said...

Having recently been through my own 'unsafe at any speed' gathering, I have one observation to make: the people who make you feel uneasy or 'unsafe,' those nice-to-everyone-else folk who just don't seem to want to work things out with you? There's a reason for that. Because for them it's working JUST FINE the way it is. You are the designated parking stall for their displaced anger. They can take all those inconvenient emotions generated elsewhere, shove them onto you, and maintain their nice fa├žade with everyone else.
Yes, be a grownup about the whole thing. You'll be the only one there--well, other than your husband. And don't forget, grownups stand tall enough to reach the door handle. Don't be afraid to use it, the doorway either.

Susan said...

Wise words as always my friend! Bless you!

chris e. said...

Ah, the suffering of our fellowship. No wait, that's not quite right, is it?