Remember the last time someone offended you, you brushed it off and forgave them immediately?
Yea, I don’t recall either! Because it rarely happens.
What happened to that innocent and child like mindset where we all assumed the best of everyone? Think about it. When we were kids, 98% of us were just ‘happy-go-lucky’ all of the time. People could offend you, get on your nerves, or be flat out rude, but we still found it in our heart to forgive that person and simply move on being a child.
I miss that.
Now when people do any of the above, I have to bite my tongue and fight with every ounce of energy in my body not to be bitter and offended. Granted, it takes a lot for me to get to that point, but I am no where as free and loving as when I was a kid. I am sure the majority of you can relate. It just isn’t the same.
Everyone is selfish to a certain degree. But, the hard part is to analyze, process and find balance between different people with different personalities and lifestyles.
What are you supposed to do when you have a co-worker that isn’t doing their job right, or your best friends are being distant, or your family won’t talk to you, or your kids won’t listen, or your spouse is getting on your nerves, etc. This list of people and situations we have to deal with is quite extensive.
While there is no perfect way to handle these situations, as they are all different, I have found a balance that works for me among the chaotic ups and downs of relationships.
First things first – everyone is selfish. To some extend we all have our self centered tendencies; some of them we are aware of and others are just habitual patterns passed down via our parents. And that is okay, to a certain extent.
Now, when I say everyone is selfish, I simply mean that we all are independent and have our own thoughts, goals, likes, dislikes, dreams and aspirations in life. All of which we focus on quite a bit before anything or anyone else.
When we enter into a relationship with someone, each person has their own set of expectations for the other individual within the relationship. These expectations are often let down by the others “selfish tendencies,” which causes us to think they have hidden agendas . But, before I talk about that, remember this – if you keep in mind that people are independent and have their own ways of living life (from the beginning of your relationship,) you are much less likely to put unrealistic expectations on that relationship.
That being said, being aware of peoples selfishness also makes you aware that they don’t really have all of these hidden agendas that we think they have – they are simply living life and trying to accomplish their purpose day in and day out. Most people don’t try to offend others intentionally, therefore there ‘master plan’ that you think they have really doesn’t exist.
I have experienced so many situations in my life where I think that the other person I am in relation with has some blueprinted hidden agenda because they aren’t meeting my expectations within that relationship. When you let this thought marinate in your mind, it gives root to bitterness and confusion, to which we often act out of that bitterness and confusion causing more issues.
Why am I talking about all of this?
So many people around me have many of the same issues: they don’t know how to deal with their mom, dad, brother, sister, friend, boss, co-worker, pastor, kids, coach, teammate, girlfriend, wife, and so on. And when I hear people complain about these relationships, I can’t even fathom the unrealistic expectations they have put on that relationship because they dis-regarded the fact that everyone is selfish. Which leaves them thinking the person has a hidden plan and is out to make the miserable.
Save yourself the headache and let other people have their own visions, dreams, aspirations, and life goals. If you truly want to have great relationships, then don’t interfere with that. Support them, encourage them, unconditionally love them, and don’t ever assume they have a hidden agenda. Eventually (if not right away,) they will see how selfLESS you are within the relationship, which encourages them to operate in the same way.
Relationships are meant to guide us through life, to grow us and ultimately allow us to carry out our purpose on earth. Don’t life a life full of unforgiveness, bitterness and ultimately loneliness.
Yes people are selfish, but that doesn’t mean they have hidden agendas.