Sometimes People “Enjoy” the Misery

I have friends, very dear to me, who continually fuss at each other. In fact, they do more than fuss; they are extraordinarily sensitive to every irritation they experience from each other, and sometimes they even seem to look for ways to add to the irritation.

It makes me want to avoid them altogether, and certainly to hide when we all are together.

I know what it can be like . . . . . this business of letting someone get under your skin. I have wasted my life at times, thinking how much I am being injured by someone else, and how good I could be, what marvelous things I could do, if it were not for others.

Over the years, I have come to understand that it is only when I realize that someone else can hurt me only if I let them–and I choose to stop being, or playing, the victim–that I can rise above the fog of focusing only on my grievances. And I say this even when the grievance is not petty. Sometimes people really do hurtful things. Still, if all I do is nurse the hurt, the hurt is all I get.

Gunilla Norris says, “I’m always wanting my own weather.” What she means is that we can refuse to see situations for what they really are and instead spend time complaining about how they could be so much better. Capable people, strong people, can actually discern the good qualities in each other, and stop taking offense at every wrong, real or imagined. They also can stop complaining about things they cannot change–namely other people.

But only if they want to do that. Sometimes people actually get something out of misery.

I pray it isn’t so with my friends. They mean so much to me. But I cannot force them to change. None of us can force another person to change. I just pray they will want to find a better way. They surely deserve it.

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