Interpersonal relationships can be hard. We each have different personality temperaments. People have different views on topics such as politics, religion, morality and work. So, should I really try to get along with folks? Or should I just be who I am and not care about how my behavior affects others?
Romans 12:18 – “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” (NLT)
After reading this scripture, it seems to me that we have an obligation to make an effort to relate to other folks. I’ll be writing several blog posts about this subject. I don’t claim to be an expert in this area. I realize I fall short of this goal on many occasions. But, I have learned a few things in my life journey. And I want to share what has helped me with you.
There are some phrases you can utter that will sooth people you are talking to and help you get along with them. I want to talk about three of them in this post:
Before the atmosphere starts to get tense and before the conversation gets heated, do your best to find something on which you agree. Then tell the other person, “You’re right.” They may have been mentally gearing up for an argument. Letting them know you’re on the same page about one thing will help you keep the peace.
Start getting into the habit of doing it in all your conversations. Don’t wait until you face an adversary. Don’t you appreciate it when someone tells you that you’re right? Then give others the same courtesy.
Everyone makes mistakes. That’s a tired cliché, but it’s also true. But can you admit to being wrong? Some people can do it easily. Others would never ever admit they made a mistake. But if you want to live in peace with others, you need to be willing to say you’re sorry. And the sooner the better. Don’t wait until someone points out your error.
If you’ve hurt someone, admit your mistake and say you’re sorry. Don’t give a fake, generic apology and say “I’m sorry if I offended anyone.” Instead, how about taking ownership and saying, “I know what I said yesterday offended many of you and I’m sorry.” “I was wrong to say it and it won’t happen again.”
Another way to be at peace with others is to try to see things from their vantage point. It’s easy to verbally attack someone who has a different opinion from you. But it takes effort to put yourself in their shoes and try to understand why they have a certain opinion or why they did a certain thing. Even if they made a mistake in word or action, if you’ll just acknowledge you understand how they feel it will help you work out your differences.
So, what do you think about these ideas? Will you try them out and let me know if they help?