A reader asked a question that I think should become a blog post because so many highly sensitive people struggle with this problem. I have asked permission to post this blog and I have italicized my responses.
The question is whether "highly sensitive people are meant to be Nature's 'Nice Guys?'"
Just reading the question made me break out in a rash! Sometimes the most loving thing we can do is pull the one we love up by the shorts. Or deliver a little shock therapy! Nice guy, to me, equates to being a door mat, not responding with anything other than a smile, and NO ONE should be a door mat other than the actual mat! There are rules of dysfunction: Do not see what is happening. Do not hear. Do not trust or feel. Do not speak (about any of it). Nice guys go by the rules. A child of God who lives by those rules (the nice guy) will live in oppression.
Oh, yes and then you freeze up with shock like a deer in the headlights and don’t respond! Only later to think of what you “should” have said. Arrrgh, I hate that one! Image courtesy of Microsoft
Based on Christ's example in scripture of not replying when rudely insulted, how do we recover quickly from the insult?
"Quick" recovery? Quick is going to be different for each of us. Not being able to have a reply may be the Lord's protection so that you don't say something you really don't want to say! Ask the Lord how He sees your response time. Ask Him if that needs to change--would it be better to have a quick answer?
The Lord has shown me that what people are most often insulting is Him in us—it’s like satan in them snarling at Jesus in me. Realizing it is more about Him than me helps with that deer in the headlights freeze reaction. I ask Him what He thinks about what so-and-so said. Then I ask Him what if anything He wants to do about it. Would He like me to respond to it, what does He want me to say? Of course, you then need to say what He tells you to say...
Then, I think you need to look in the larger context of Christ’s years on earth—sometimes He did have things to say. When the Pharisees came at Him, He often cut them off at the knees. He didn’t do it rudely, He merely silenced them with truth. My husband taught us as a family to “find your truth and stand on it.” This is a defense against door to door salesmen but it also works for social bullies, Christian or otherwise—find your (biblical) truth and just repeat it. When they come at you a different way, repeat your truth. They finally realize you are going to only speak your truth; they are not going to get anywhere and they break off and leave you alone. In the case of the salesman, it might be “I have decided not to buy today.” When they come at it from another angle, repeat “I have decided not to buy today.” Just keep doing that no matter what they say and they will finally stop.
Another thing you could do is ask Jesus to help you think through several truth statements that you could memorize and tuck away to pull out in emergency situations. Sometimes the truth wrapped in grace will silence the Pharisee! Truth spoken with grace, not rudely for that would be to respond in kind and you want to respond in the opposite spirit, will often silence the rudeness. Additionally, it will protect you from feeling stupid or like a door mat because you will have made a response—and truthfully so, whereas insults are often untruth or half truth wrapped in innuendo!
Hope that helps!
Let me know if these ideas were helpful! Or perhaps some of you readers may have suggestions? I'd like to hear from you. What has helped you?
Blessings, Carol...making it plain