Have you ever been around a person who loves to just run at the mouth? The people who bring you down are may not always be people who are not deliberately trying to bring you down, but who bring you down because they take advantage of your love for them, and/or because they are miserable. I call this mouth disease and it has become easy to detect. Maybe they are a complete stranger or a friend and they constantly spit out negative impulses without thinking. This is how it works, if someone feels bad about himself or herself, they can notice something bad about you and point it out, and they feel more equal to you, which bring them up a little. The motive sometimes might not always be clear but it could be because of fear, greed or jealousy.
On the other extreme, you have people who are very polite and gracious. And yet, after talking with them, somehow you’re aware of your faults and shortcomings, your limitations, the misery or how bad things are. These people may compliment you and smile and do all the other stuff you associate with a friend, and yet somehow you feel bad after being with him or her. Have you ever felt that?
Once upon a time there was a very powerful man. He was a really nice guy to a lot of people. He was a dutiful son to a very doting mother. He loved children and dogs. He was a vegetarian. He didn’t smoke or drink. His chauffeurs and secretaries loved him. He came to power in a country in the depths of a horrible runaway inflation and turned it around, making his country one of the strongest economic powers in the world. He had done so well, he was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1938. His name was Adolf Hitler. People can be gracious, kind and thoughtful, and still bring you down.
The way to tell whether a person is someone who brings you down or not is to ask yourself a question the moment you disconnect from him. Do you feel inspired and more able to go on and get what you want out of life? Or do you feel doubtful now because maybe your idea is not such a good one after all? Do you feel confused? Have you been convinced your goal will take more of an effort than it’s worth or that your chances are very small? Do you feel in a worse mood because he talked about all the bad news in the paper or his did he talk about his own personal miseries that he somehow won’t do anything to solve?
Right here we will give you some clues about how they do it, so you can recognize it when it’s happening to you. One of the things they do is talk to you about negative things. If you feel less motivated, if you feel worse about yourself, if you’re more aware of your faults, then regardless of how smiley and friendly that person is, he has damaged you and brought you down. That person is miserable and sucks out the life you have for their own strength. I call them VDPs. Very Draining People and I tend to avoid them. Sometimes because I have tried to help or disciple them and they refuse to have a teachable spirit so I move on to prevent myself from being infected with the mouth disease.
Start being aware of how you feel after you’ve been in contact with people.
What are we to do if we have a friend or loved one who habitually says things to put us down? Here are my thoughts on how to respond.
1. You have a choice.
Chances are you can brush off the odd flippant remark or throwaway comment. People sometimes say silly things so don’t take it personally.
What I will say is that if you’re told enough times that you’re not good enough it’s entirely possible that you’ll start to believe it, especially if the someone who’s telling you you’re not good enough is someone you care about or love. In cases like this, where your self-esteem is on the line, leaving things alone and carrying on is definitely the wrong call.
It’s easy to feel powerless in this situation, but you have to recognize that you’re in a position to make a choice. You can choose to be a victim and to take what’s said as the truth, or you can choose to remember who you are and to stand tall.
Always remember that having someone who puts you down doesn’t have to define you. You have a choice about how it affects you. You can choose to have something better.
2. It’s them, not you.
The reasons that someone decides to put you down are many. They might be taking anger or bitterness from one part of their life and venting it onto you, for example, but frequently it’s about making themselves right. By putting you down they’re able to reinforce their own position; by lessening and damaging your position they’re able to achieve personal validation. All of this – and you have to fully acknowledge this – is about them, not you. What they say isn’t truth and their method for achieving validation is just plain wrong.
3. Teach them how to treat you.
If the person putting you down has learned previously that it’s acceptable to do what they’re doing, they’ll keep on doing it. Your responses to others’ behavior teaches them what is and isn’t acceptable. If your response to their behavior is to smooth things over, try to ignore it or accept it, you’re teaching them that their behavior is acceptable; you need to teach them that through your responses. Act like you’re comfortable standing up for yourself, like you’re someone who’s confident enough to ask for respect and consideration.
4. Make the hard choice.
If they continue to put you down when you’ve changed your responses and done your best to teach them how to treat you, then it’s crunch time. Then it is time maybe to get out of the relationship.
You can’t reach into their head and change their behavior or thinking, and it’s not your job to tolerate unacceptable behavior. People either get how things work or they don’t, and there’s no way you should suffer at the hands of someone who just doesn’t get it.
It is the most natural thing in the world to dislike the people in your life who bring you down. We tend to feel angry and frustrated with them. But keep in mind that they aren’t born that way. Children aren’t usually born with genes that make them frustrate and anger other people — it is a learned trait. And it’s usually learned because it happened to them. Either way, people who bring you down are not happy people. When you understand this, you will have some compassion for them. When someone feels good and likes what’s happening in her life, she’s not likely to bring other people down. When you feel good about yourself, you don’t belittle others. It is people who have trouble and misery, people who don’t feel good who bring others down.
So, the next time you hear someone putting down someone else or just running at the mouth, have compassion for them because they just need Jesus in their lives. Pray for them and try ways to boost their confidence and self-esteem. Pray for the mouth disease to be eradicated from their life.
Prayer: Jesus I pray that I will have compassion for those who tend to think negative or wish to feel better about themselves by putting others down. Help me not to choose anger when I see this type of behavior or attitude. Let me respond in how you would respond, with your love and kindness. In Jesus Name. Amen
Matthew 15:11 What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’
2 Corinthians 8:7 Indeed, the more your faith, speech, knowledge, enthusiasm, and love for us increase, the more we want you to be rich in this work of kindness.
Colossians 1:21-22 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.