Is it you or is it me?

Hi there!

I’ve got an interesting question.

When there’s disagreement or frustration, how do you figure out a way forward? How do you find out the best way to proceed?

In other words: When there’s an interpersonal problem, how do you find out if it’s you or if it’s them?

It’s probably very context sensitive, and a lot of times the correct answer will be “both”

I always assume both people are being sinful to each other to some degree. I try to listen to the other person and figure out what I was doing that was wrong, and I try to pass on what was bothering me in an attempt to help them. Sometimes the other person doesn’t want to listen, or refuses to think they did anything wrong - when that happens, I accept their ability to do that and let it go, even though it hurts

If the other person is willing to admit they aren’t perfect and try to work on the problem, then I say that’s a success! Even if they fail me seventy times seven+ more times, I’ll forgive them and keep working with them. Since that’s what God does with me

However, if they seem uninterested in working on the problem, I stay friendly but am a lot more careful with how I engage with them

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I think it’s good to try to look at it from both sides: What are they doing wrong, and what are you doing wrong? It’s sometimes both. And then try to ask why they might be doing what they’re doing. Sometimes, you’ll realize that they didn’t do something wrong at all. Other times, you’ll realize they did, and have better insight into how to address it. And always put yourself up to more scrutiny than them, because we have a natural habit to do the opposite.

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First, apologize if necessary, without any strings attached.

Take time to listen and learn more about the other person. It’s likely that their views were shaped by past experiences that you can only hope to understand if they share.

Once you’ve learned more about the situation, then you can decide if it makes sense to state your position respectfully and thoughtfully. Depending on the person and situation, they may not be in a place where they’re ready to hear about it. In those cases, it’s best to give them some space, and maybe approach the topic later at a different time.

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