I feel like I can get along with most people, and I rarely find myself avoiding people or categorically rejecting them. Of course, there are some people I find toxic and avoid; there are always exceptions. Setting boundaries is healthy.
And then there are those people that I find that I like or enjoy and yet still seem to avoid coming too close. I am grateful for a new awareness around that.
Sometimes these people might confide in me how they feel about someone else. How they don't want to sit with them, or be in the room with them, and they don't like them; they are described with "Yuck."
Of course we all have opinions. Yet I find that the collaterole damage to my relationship with this person is that I avoid them. Sure, they seem to "like" me right now, but what would happen if I fell into that "Yuck" category? What if I said something that they found unfavorable?
At that point I begin to avoid them. And then a phrase occurred to me, because I saw that I knew if this person would talk about someone derisively, someone that I thought was OK, then perhaps there is little distinction between the "yuck" person and I:
- What you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me.
Now this sentence becomes personal when I speak it as my own.
Whether the words are directed at me or someone else, I can see that there is little difference in the negative comments' effect on me, my friends, and the world.
And a great opportunity to notice my own language. As much as I like to think I can separate them into categories, whatever I say about anyone, I do to all my friends.