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Dealing with Unfriendly/Extremely Cold People

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by cirrus999, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. cirrus999

    cirrus999 Newbie

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    I've had this issue on my mind for a long while now, and I thought I could help myself by seeking the perspective of other believers.

    I find myself extremely bothered and confused about how to deal with people who are unfriendly/aloof. I'm 99% sure I haven't done anything wrong to this person, but they simply ignore me when I say hi in the hallways, all the while being super friendly to the people they know.

    Worldly wisdom would simply dictate to ignore the person, I know that Jesus calls us to love all people and pray for our enemies. Problem is, continually being friendly to this person is extremely difficult when they just keep being cold. And yet, to ignore them and treat them coldly isn't probably what Jesus meant by being loving.

    So, I'm confused, and could use your advice as to what the Christian thing would be to do so that I could have a clear conscience. Many thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  2. Girder of Loins

    Girder of Loins Future Math Teacher

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    You have to love them. Jesus wasn't just ignored, He was hated. We care called to love everyone equally, so just keep on persevering! You will be rewarded in life or in Heaven!
     
  3. ChrisHolland619

    ChrisHolland619 Newbie

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    "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering.." Galatians 5:22a

    Do you know what the word "Long-suffering" means?

    Long-suffering - deciding to be a living reflection of the grace of God with your own life. It is taking no account or record of others wrongdoing. It is taking no thought of vengeance or revenge in the midst of personal attack. It is showing others the love of Christ, regardless of how YOU are being treated.

    The Bible says that long-suffering is a fruit of the Spirit. If we walk in the Spirit, we will have all of those attributes. Notice the grammar used by Paul in this letter, it says "But the FRUIT (singular) of the Spirit IS (singular)". That means you can't pick and choose what fruit to have, if you are truly abiding in Christ, and walking in His Spirit, these things WILL be added unto you.

    So how do we react towards someone being cold to us? How do we act when someone persecutes us for seemingly no reason? We react with Christ. Our reply should be love. Show them grace, no matter what, because our standard is Christ Jesus, God, not our situation or their behavior.
     
  4. quietpraiyze

    quietpraiyze In The Secret Place

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    Okaaaay...I’m going to say something a little different here because of my life experience. I understand what the other posters are saying about showing love and patience etc. yeah and that’s all good until it puts you in a snare. It’s like the enemy knows how to use the Word against us and guilt/shame us into stuff. So I had to learn how to not allow that to happen. Part of the way I learned to do that was to RELEASE people to God and ask God to move them out of my emotions. So whatever they did it didn’t matter. God always honored that request What I came to understand is that if they were people that “chose” (because they are choosing) to not speak to me or be friendly, I would honor that and stay away from them. I would pray for them and RELEASE.

    There are people in this life who aren’t going to like you (it’s especially painful when it’s fellow Christians). Many times it doesn’t have anything to do with you. So follow peace with all men and holiness but don’t get caught up into other people’s stuff. Pray (as the Lord leads you), bless, & release people to God allowing Him to do what he does best. You're the one who's free in Christ...stay that way. :)
     
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  5. Dragnog

    Dragnog Junior Member

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    Would you consider yourself a people-pleaser? Have you spoken to this persons friend in regards to it?
     
  6. cirrus999

    cirrus999 Newbie

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    Thank you to everyone who responded, super appreciated.

    I think I have that inner tendency yes. I haven't spoken to people who know this person yet because well... - it'll probably come off as gossipy and probably not good for the office environment to ask personal questions about coworkers.

    With the highest due respect to the other posters, this strikes me as the most realistic approach to the problem.

    If someone rejects you, what's the point of continuing to befriend them, thus coming off as annoying? Perhaps "to love" in this case really does mean respecting their decision and moving on... but I'm not 100% sure if that's in line with one popular Biblical image of love being a bit more saccharine, with all due respect. It does, however, sound very much like a good way to show grace to that person.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
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  7. Ark100

    Ark100 The Lord is my Refuge

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    You have to apply wisdom to everything you do. Even when witnessing to people, if they start to become angry, cold and unyielding, you dust your feet and move on. The Bible says so.

    We should not cast our pearls to dogs lest they trample on it. Anything you are doing that starts to affect you emotionally and disturbs you should be avoided or let be for a while. You cannot say because we are called to love, then you allow yourself be run down emotionally and have your self affected.


    Step back, know that you can love someone by still being distant from them. Keeping your distance or your cool or simply not saying anything to them does NOT mean you hate them, you are merely avoiding issues for yourself and maybe for the other person.

    Remember whilst loving others, you gotta love yourself too which includes looking after you and making sure you are happy and contented.

    I'd let that person be. There are many other people who would be happy to see you say hi to them. Jesus did not say we will be everyone's friends. As long as you do not hate anyone or harbour malice or envy and bitterness towards them.

    Goodluck.
     
  8. ChrisHolland619

    ChrisHolland619 Newbie

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    But, that's not what the Bible says to do. The Bible says to always show love, to be long suffering, and be a reflection of God's grace in the face of persecution.

    Sure, you can always do what is easy and what seems "right", however:

    "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 16:25

    Anything you can do that isn't a reflection of the grace of God is self centered and in error. That's Bible for you.
     
  9. Dragnog

    Dragnog Junior Member

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    I think that it would depend on how you do it. It sounds like a difficult situation to be in, especially if you recognize in yourself a people-pleaser tenancy. You probably feel thoroughly confused.
    If you feel that you are still called to continue be-friending this person then you should stick to your convictions. I know for a friend of mine who went into a totally hostile environment to Christians it was a little daunting, but he found that the best way was to be genuine in your faith and actions and people will respect your consistency. You may never be-friend this person but follow what you feel God is calling you to.
     
  10. TheyCallMeDave

    TheyCallMeDave At your service....

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    God would have us first pray for this person who is more or less an enemy by behaviour toward you, not to act the same way back, and to (as the Bible says) 'to heap coals of love on his head' in hopes that eventually he can be brought around to ending this resentment toward you. More than likely, some kind of gossip has been told him regarding yourself and he has formed a presumptuous demeanor toward you . In time if you keep living for CHrist and like Christ, it should lesson and get to the point where he admits to himself that he was wrong about you.

    So, i would try to act reasonable toward him by saying hi or giving him a nod as you walk past him. I wouldnt ignore him as you go past him. This...coupled with praying for him, will eventually bring about some degree of healing on his part .
     
  11. BFine

    BFine Seed Planter Supporter

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    Is this unfriendly person female or male?
     
  12. quietpraiyze

    quietpraiyze In The Secret Place

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    OP when you get an opportunity read Mark 5:1-20. I’m always fascinated by this whole scenario. Jesus does something phenomenal, some of the people see the evidence of it, then they ask Jesus to leave, and He does. HE HONORS THEIR REQUEST. He doesn’t go against their will. He doesn’t start talking about love, the beatitudes, or grace. He doesn’t try to change their minds. He just simply gets back into the boat and gives instructions to the man he healed & delivered and then moves on.

    I think Jesus loved those people. I think He had great compassion for them. I also believe He would have healed and delivered every single one of them if there were a need but they asked him to leave and so He did. There is nowhere in the Word that says we can force people to like us or accept us. We can’t make people like us or accept us anymore than Jesus could at Gadarenes. If they don’t like you it’s okay... respect it Jesus did. If you continue to read the entire chapter of Mark 5 you’ll see that Jesus moved on and continued to heal and deliver others...Amen! Look around you and see who else may need a smile or some encouragement! :)
     
  13. Eloy

    Eloy Light

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    People choose who they socialize with and who they are not socialble with. If that person gives you a cold shoulder then seek others to socialize with. There could be any number of reasons why the person does not want to be amicable with you, perhaps your appearance reminds that person of someone that hurt them. I wouldn't take it personal, there are many fish in the ocean, swim with others, and let that one swim with whomever they want to swim together with.
     
  14. LilLamb219

    LilLamb219 The Lamb is gone. Supporter

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    Have you tried saying anything else beyond Hello? Do you know this person's name (don't tell us, I'm just asking because I don't know if you've been properly introduced yet?)?

    I met a person like that who would ignore me as she walked (using a cane because she was very heavy) down the halls...but then once we actually were introduced she was super sweet to me.
     
  15. If Not For Grace

    If Not For Grace Legend-but then so's Keith Richards

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    I might try complimenting them in some way, but if I had made repeated efforts-I might just say Good Morning, nod and go on.

    Not everyone is going to like you, they may be what I call "pre-judgers" May have labeled your friendly nature as "fake" in their mind or they may have listened to some idle gossiper who has influcened them. They just might have a "I'm better than you" attitude.

    We do not have to be buddy-buddy with everyone we meet for our light to shine. Why is this person so important to you? Do you have mutual friends? I agree with Quietprailyze-some people just have to be released to the care of God and prayed for. I would not get bent out of shape over it. It's their loss.
     
  16. Tnmusicman

    Tnmusicman Sinner Saved By Grace

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    You ever notice how easy it is to love someone that loves you? What's difficult is loving the guy that greets you with a " **** you "

    What i think Jesus taught is to treat others the way you want to be treated. If they are snotty to you ....meh.......maybe they're having a bad day, maybe the stress of a test or possibly the aren't a very nice person. Matters not. We're supposed to be loving toward them as it illuminates your personality. Maybe that person will be expecting you to be rude to them and when you're nice maybe they will ask themselves "why is this person so different?"
    Bingo......Yahtzee
    Perfect time to tell them why you are so different.
     
  17. cirrus999

    cirrus999 Newbie

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    Thanks again everyone for their responses, it's been really encouraging to get other perspectives.

    This person in question is a female who is a few years older than me. I remember in the first week of meeting her that I tried saying hello and asking questions about the office, just to break the ice, but she gave me very curt, one word answers. I found it odd that she'd already written me off within the first 72 hours of meeting me, and five months later, things haven't changed.

    I agree that we have to show love and grace to this person, but I doubt that love looks like hugging them and being extremely affectionate. I have no problem continuing to be courteous and civil around her, but I think continual prayer and releasing this person to God is a good idea. Reading Mark 5:1-20 also illuminated that for me as well.
     
  18. BFine

    BFine Seed Planter Supporter

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    How many others in the office have noticed this person being
    unfriendly/curt with you?
     
  19. cirrus999

    cirrus999 Newbie

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    Well, I've slightly brought up the issue with two very close friends of mine who are also co-workers.

    They haven't directly seen her being unfriendly/curt to me but they both have mentioned that she came off as standoffish and cold, and in one's case, she also treated him extremely coldly in a similar way she's treated me. Yet, I know of maybe half a dozen people she's extremely friendly and kind to, so it just boggles me.
     
  20. Emmy

    Emmy Senior Veteran

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    Dear cirrus999. Jesus told us to treat them as we would love to be treated.
    I would advise just a smile and friendly Hello, everytime you see them. In time they would notice the difference, and might become a bit more friendly.
    I say this with love. Greetings from Emmy, your sister in Christ.