Meeting anyone you don't like.

Few of us have the opportunity at Work or Social Meetings to avoid people we don't either like or agree with. You have to go to meetings where you know that Mr Obnoxious from Marketing will be present with all his left/right wing opinions constantly displayed. If you are Leader of a Country can you refuse to meet with the Leader of any other Country whether they be the USA, Russia or Saudi Arabia. As Churchill said 'Jaw-Jaw is better than War-War. Is it moral to snub anyone in life or should you regard it as an opportunity in Life to 'set an example' with your behaviour. I once was with a group of young male ex-offenders who were rude, swearing and totally obnoxious. I treated them (as I do to everyone) as if I was meeting the Queen. Suddenly after 30 mins the most noxious got up, apologised for his rudeness and offered to make me a cup of tea. It was not the best cup I ever had, although in a way it was. The Meeting proceeded with no further rudeness.

Comments

  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    It sounds like you passed their test Wombat. Without cups of tea British society would collapse. I don't like tea but people like making it for visitors so much that I have one anyway. Somehow it makes for a much more relaxed conversation.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    I tried to teach my children the "Kill them with kindness" method for dealing with people we don't like or who don't like us. Many times, it really works to break down barriers!

    It has always puzzled me why rude, obnoxious folks didn't learn that from their parents in the same way.
  • I take it that this thread was inspired by the "news" that Messrs Corbyn and Cable have let it be known that they will not accept an invitation (if one is extended to them) from The Queen to dinner when President Trump is in the UK for a state visit this summer.

    First and foremost rudeness, whether or not an attempt is made to dress it up as principle, is just that - rudeness. For these men to decide (a) that they will be invited, and (b) state in advance that they will refuse such invitation shows gross incivility to the head of state and ignores the fact that it is not The Orange One who is inviting them but the sovereign.

    Second, I doubt that DT knows much, if anything, about either of them and I think it pretty certain that he cares less: so the childish foot-stamping will have no effect whatsoever other than show the general public that, once again, we have people in senior positions in our political parties with an inflated sense of their own importance and precious little else.

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I admire them. It’s crazy to welcome someone as destructive as tRump simply out of politeness. I wish everyone would decline and cause May to think again.
  • The invitation to a state banquet doesn't come from Mrs May: it comes from the monarch.

    As for making Mrs May think again, two things: (1) she may not be PM by the time of the visit; and (2) the invitation was made a long time ago and, once made, cannot be rescinded.

    I agree it is deplorable that the current POTUS has been given the honour of a state visit, but that bus left a long time ago: Messrs Corbyn and Cable grandstanding adds precisely nothing to anything, rather it shows (as if it needed yet another outing) that they are all about appearance and precious little to do with substance.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    With some people, I need something stronger than a cup of tea.
  • I do much better with the overtly rude and insulting. A lurking smile on my lips seems to discomfit them.

    But I don't do well with the oblivious, I think. I would have a very hard time meeting Trump, largely because I know anything I did (up to and including self-immolation) would have No.Freaking.Effect on his self-absorption.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited April 27
    (I realise I'm picking out a comment from you 2 days in a row, Boogie: sorry! It's not personal! 🙂, just interested in exploring what you wrote)
    Boogie wrote: »
    I admire them. It’s crazy to welcome someone as destructive as tRump simply out of politeness. I wish everyone would decline and cause May to think again.

    Sorry if this is getting Purgatorial, but where do you draw the line? I know this may be an unpopular opinion here, but I had little respect for Obama given his increase of dropping weapons from drones on civilians including children. I *am not* comparing him to Trump, but using it as an extreme example of when do you decide someone has gone too far? At what point does a disagreement on behaviour become "the" line? It may surely differ from person to person.

    Frankly, the level of deference to Saudi leaders and other murderers makes my blood boil...but it goes on. If I were a politician I'd be happy to meet Obama but would probably feign illness with Trump...but is that the wrong attitude as I think (apologies if I'm wrong) TheOrganist is saying...can one respect the office while hating the person? Or is that poor form?

    To the original question, friends have friends I find objectionable. They probably dislike me. I always try and be polite and engage in topics they are interested in. I have, once, called out speech I thought was inappropriate: no-one thanked me for my comment and I was told afterwards I should "keep the peace".
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    ... I agree it is deplorable that the current POTUS has been given the honour of a state visit, but that bus left a long time ago: ...
    No it didn't. This state visit has only been announced in the last few days. After the amount of turmoil his previous visit caused, there was, up until that announcement, every good reason why the previous visit should have been regarded as the nearest equivalent there was ever going to be to any higher grade of visit, and the possibility of another one conveniently forgotten or indefinitely postponed.

    And whether the name on the invitation is the Queen's or the PM's, nobody is under any illusion that it is the PM who 'advises' Her Majesty to invite the President and who should be on the invitation list for any banquet.

    After the furore around his previous visit, one could just as well regard this repeat invitation to the President as aptly demonstrating the contempt the present government seems to have for the 57.6% of those who voted in 2017 who did not vote for it.
  • Tomorrow I get to stand next to the guy who pushed me out of my job after a decade of ministry in a misogynist/ageist power play. He'll lead the congregation in praying for me and my husband and thanking us for our ministry. I care deeply about this congregation and don't want to see them hurt by dischord (something he's counting on). So... I'm not sure I'm up to the "killing with kindness" thing but if I manage to bite my inner cheek hard enough I may just manage to get thru the thing with a degree of dignity and grace before heading off for an early, early "happy hour" somewhere. Pray for that cheek to toughen up in the next 12 hours.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    Cliffdweller, I pray for a tough as leather cheek for you tomorrow, to be softened during happy hour!

    Having gone through similar, I know how rough it can be. I'll be beside you in spirit and I suspect there are more of us who will be with you, too!

    Your grace tomorrow will be remembered, as will the guy's ugly behavior when it comes to light.

    I hope when (if) you meet this guy in the future, you can greet him with a bright smile and words of the many blessings you have in your life since not having to work with him anymore!
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    What jedijudy says...that really brings it home. Much love to you and your husband cliffdweller.
  • Thank y'all! I will get thru it one way or 'nother, but I may spend the whole service fantasizing about that big, big, big glass of wine (whine) waiting for me...
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Tomorrow I get to stand next to the guy who pushed me out of my job after a decade of ministry in a misogynist/ageist power play.
    Many, many years ago, the parish church of my youth "took over" a nearby church building, and the congregation occupying that building was forced to move into smaller quarters -- all by decree of the archdiocese. The pastor of the "old" congregation was asked to say a few words at the first mass the "new" congregation held in the building. He said something to the effect that the life of a church community depends not on the people who lead it, but upon God, and his prayer was that God may keep all of us in mind in the coming months.
  • It might help if you can imagine Jesus standing on your other side, and keep your attention there. At least, it helps for me when I'm doing a very very difficult thing for his sake and trying to keep it together. Encouraging and comforting, not to mention distracting from the other guy!
  • balaambalaam Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    With sympathy for cliff dweller.

    However I am always meeting people I don't like. Nearly everyone is someone I don't like, not that I dislike them, there are very few people I dislike, but the vast majority of people in the world are people I have never met, and therefore have not got to like - or dislike - yet.

    Lack of liking does not imply a presence of dislike, does it?
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    After some backstage consultation, Hosts have decided this thread is more likely to go in a Purgatorial than a Heavenly direction, so will be closed here and moved to that board. Enjoy the ride.

    Trudy, Heavenly Host
  • I have heard about killing with kindness, don't exactly know what this means and how to do it. My general strategy is to maintain good eye contact, show minimal face or emotional expression, be very polite and pause before answering or taking. It seems the pausing is the powerful thing. Is the kindness part something else?
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I have heard the expression killing by kindness, and a similar expression in the Bible about heaping hot coals over someone's head - I'm sure Anne of Green Gables uses that expression about Diana's mother when she saves the life of Diana's little sister. But killing by kindness was never something I was taught by my parents.

    I am not sure if I have an overall strategy as such. I've been told I sometimes inadvertently disarm people by not realising they're being nasty or that their questions are sarcastic or hostile, and I answer in an open, honest way, as if it were a regular question. Though equally that can annoy people, because they wanted to hurt me and I wasn't hurt! But when I am aware someone doesn't like me or is hostile towards me, and I need to keep interacting with them, I think I work out a strategy on a case-by-case basis, as everyone is very different. I have become aware that being nice to people is not always the best strategy - a friend of mine had a colleague who was hostile to her, and the nicer and kinder she was to this colleague, the more hostile the colleague became. I suggested being more distant towards her might be more effective, and she tried this, and it was.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Cliffdweller I feel for you. I also think you are probably not like me.

    I find myself seething with suppressed anger, and over the last decade or so I have been unable to restrain myself. This is particularly the case with senior managers or consultants. I have discovered myself berating them for this or that reason. I get angry over work related stuff and what I think are efforts to standardise processes at the expense of the comfort or choices of the people I support. I have never been disciplined for these outbursts of righteous anger, even though they happen in full view of everyone. It is so bad that my colleagues sometimes help me out by kicking me under the table as a sign that I'm going too far.

    I think it helps that I am known to have bi-polar disorder, and that I know how to present an argument forcefully and clearly. Also, I have no need or desire to move up the ranks. I'm hand's on for life, so its hard to come at me sideways. I think its my personality rather than my condition. My Dad used to go off at people, and my Mum still does although more to me about other people than directly.
  • My general strategy is to maintain good eye contact, show minimal face or emotional expression, be very polite and pause before answering or taking. It seems the pausing is the powerful thing.

    That's helpful. I blanked someone the other day in a social context and I was wrong. They were a slippy-desk man at a place I used to work, I mopped up some of their **** for quite a while, and right now I wasn't expecting to see them. They will imagine I blanked them for quite another reason. I'll probably bump into them in this new context again, so I'll have to prepare something. Ho hum.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I do sometimes ask people 'Are you being rude on purpose?' Because I often don't know, and I know people can seem rude unintentionally, and different people have different ideas of rudeness and etiquette. This strategy can have different results. Sometimes it results in a positive conversation, sometimes the person gets defensive, and occasionally people say I am rude to ask that. People rarely say outright they were being rude on purpose though, even if they clearly were.
  • I'm largely faceblind (about 80% of people I meet I can't recognize by face, no matter how long I know them) and this means that some of my er, dearest enemies get shocked when they run into me somewhere and I greet them as if they were complete strangers--as if we had no history whatsoever. If they would only tell me their names I could be suitably nasty, I suppose. As it stands, I walk away from the encounter, someone says to me "You do realize that was X?" and I look back to see X obviously unnerved and trying to figure out what my deep, dark, evil scheme™ is.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Well, I just practiced great self-control. After a glorious morning at church I stopped by a sandwich place, which is in the same shopping center as a grocery store. Who should be pushing his grocery cart across the crosswalk directly in front of me, but my ex-husband whom I haven't seen in many years! (I don't think he knows what my current car looks like, so he doesn't know how close he came to being run down.) Yikes!

  • Oh dear, oh dear! And you restrained yourself. ::bowsdown:: :sweat_smile:
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    edited April 28
    I'm faceblind too, though once a person starts talking, I usually recognise them from voice and face movement. I do sometimes offend people by not recognising them. But I don't think I have any proper enemies of the kind who would be taken aback if I was courteous to them. I wonder if that is a cultural thing - in my experience, Brits are generally polite, externally, even if they strongly dislike someone, and snide comments are usually made in a subtle, passive aggressive way, so they still seem externally polite. I myself can't do this, so if someone is unpleasant, I just am either more distant with them or I challenge them, depending on the situation and the person. But I can't think of anyone who would consider me a proper enemy to the extent they'd expect me to be rude to them if I encountered them. They'd be more likely to be unnerved that I was acting like they were a stranger.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Oh dear, oh dear! And you restrained yourself. ::bowsdown:: :sweat_smile:

    1) I'm very fond of my car and didn't want it besmirched with his guts;

    2) He is SO not worth going to prison for.

  • heh.

    As for enemies, some of it is undoubtedly cultural, but a lot more of it is that these are often "professional" enemies--the kind of enemies you attract if you do ministry (and therefore find yourself rebuking child abusers, MAJOR community backstabbers, people who are defrauding Medicaid, and the like). Surprisingly, these people don't like being told to quit behaving like shits. They even occasionally hold a grudge. Can't imagine why, heh.
  • It might help if you can imagine Jesus standing on your other side, and keep your attention there. At least, it helps for me when I'm doing a very very difficult thing for his sake and trying to keep it together. Encouraging and comforting, not to mention distracting from the other guy!

    Didn't see your post til now-- Not far from the lesson I had with the kids just after the prayer time. In the moment in the service I confess I just focused on getting thru and saying something reasonably appropriate and reflecting what our relationship has been like for the last decade rather than what I'm feeling right now today.

    But hey, got thru the day and now it's past-- so yeah, Jesus was indeed there with me. Got to that big glass of wine I was fantasizing about all day. Now I'm in my pjs early, ready to just hunker down for the night. Tomorrow is another day.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited April 29
    Sleep well!

    Glad to read you got through it and felt the presence of Christ there with you (and got the wine of course!). God bless.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    The Wombat wrote: »
    Is it moral to snub anyone in life or should you regard it as an opportunity in Life to 'set an example' with your behaviour.

    For some reason I'm reminded of the regretfully all too common tales of young people who were abused being forced (largely through social pressure) to either publicly apologize to their abusers (yes, that happens) or accept their abuser's insincere apologies. There are other tales of those who were shunned by their communities when they wouldn't "set an example" by forgiving or socializing with their abusers.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    ...But hey, got thru the day and now it's past-- so yeah, Jesus was indeed there with me. Got to that big glass of wine I was fantasizing about all day. Now I'm in my pjs early, ready to just hunker down for the night. Tomorrow is another day.
    Brava, cliffdweller.

  • The WombatThe Wombat Shipmate
    I am excellent at seeing faults in others that I major in myself.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I definitely think when we find ourselves instinctively disliking someone, it can say more about us than about them - whether it's because they have similar flaws to ours, or different flaws that clash with ours, or because they remind us of someone. I find it can be interesting to think about and analyse why I'm reacting to someone in a certain way. Doesn't necessarily mean I'll stop disliking them, but makes me more mindful of my reactions.

    Similarly, I also observe that people who dislike me seem to have certain traits in common - traits that no doubt clash with mine. I have observed this pattern and can generally identify when I come across someone who fits the pattern. Never know whether the wisest thing is to keep my distance or try to work through the clash - it will depend also on whether and how much I'm required to interact with them.

    But definitely also agree there are situations where it is better to cut people out of your life, either temporarily or permanently - if they have a pattern of being abusive to you, or behaving in a destructive way, then if they are simply continuing that pattern whenever they interact with you, no matter what you say or do to create boundaries, it's not helpful to either of you. You may recognise that the person has problems, and hope and pray they get some professional help, and wish them well, but that doesn't mean the best thing to do is keep spending time with them.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    The Wombat wrote: »
    I am excellent at seeing faults in others that I major in myself.

    I often find very attractive people like George Clooney quite irritating.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    The Wombat wrote: »
    I am excellent at seeing faults in others that I major in myself.

    As someone once said, you know you've created God in your own image when he ends up hating all the same people you do.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    The Wombat wrote: »
    I often find very attractive people like George Clooney quite irritating.
    His Nespresso hawking did it for me. I am a plunger man.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Apologies for whatever happened above...my connection was cutting in and out. Simon Toad said that heresy, not poor Wombat. :wink:
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    I definitely think when we find ourselves instinctively disliking someone, it can say more about us than about them
    Mwah, some people are just shit. There are very few people I dislike. All of them deserve it.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    LeRoc wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    I definitely think when we find ourselves instinctively disliking someone, it can say more about us than about them
    Mwah, some people are just shit. There are very few people I dislike. All of them deserve it.

    That's why I said 'it can say' rather than 'it always says.'

    Though I'd say even your deciding someone is shit says something about your thought processes and values and such. There may be one or two people who don't think the person is shit, and that also says something about their thought processes and values. Same also when we instinctively like someone.

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