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. You can read Part 1 here.
Don’t Be a “One-Upper”
This is one of the most prevalent hindrances to getting along with people. I see it and hear it numerous times each week. Many people just have a deep desire to demonstrate their superiority over others. They may not realize what they are doing, but it still has the same effect of showing you are just a cut above the person you’re talking to. Let me give you a couple of examples.
Jennifer tells a story to a few friends about her recent vacation to Disney World. She tells how she and her family stayed for five days at a 3-star resort and had a great time.
Melissa, the “one-upper,” immediately begins to tell about her trip to Disney World. She says “we were there for seven days and stayed at a 4-star resort.
Why couldn’t Melissa just let Jennifer enjoy telling her story and reliving her great experience? Why couldn’t she ask Jennifer questions about what all she enjoyed? Couldn’t she let Jennifer have the spotlight for just a few minutes? Did she really have to let everyone know that her trip was better than Jennifer’s trip?
Here’s another one. Danny tells a group of acquaintances about a funny experience he had on a plane trip.
Justin can’t even wait for people to stop laughing at Danny’s story before he tells a story about his funny trip experience. In Justin’s mind, his story is a whole lot funnier than Danny’s story.
Why couldn’t Justin just let Danny be the center of attention for a few minutes? Couldn’t he just tell Danny, “That was a great story” and save his for another time?
Share The Spotlight
If you want to get along well with other people, let them have their moment in the sun now and then. Find a way to be at peace with others. And don’t be a “one-upper!”
Philippians 2:3-4 – Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (NLT)
So, what do you think about this idea? Will you try it out and let me know if it helped?