The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to have people in your corner that are genuinely happy for you in life. Life and all the choices that come with it are hard enough to maneuver, especially without the love and support from your inner circle.
Does this mean everyone has to agree with every decision you make? Heavens, no! But when you are sharing amazingly positive news i.e. a new job, a big move, pregnancy, engagement etc. and are met with initial hesitation or worse yet negative words from the party you are sharing your big announcement with, be forewarned you may be dealing with a Moody Judy or a Bitter Betty. Perhaps it’s a Self-Centered Susan where EVERYTHING revolves around them and they take little to no real interest in your life. (This does not include if you are making a hasty decision – you got engaged after a 10 day romantic whirlwind- and are met with concern. That sounds like someone who is genuinely looking out for you. Good for them!)
Most of my close friends are females hence the female nicknames but these folks can also be male. Previously I’ve been a hardcore people pleaser, thriving on words and praise from others. This was detrimental for me since joy was hinged on the satisfaction I brought to others. Fast forward through a 7 year marriage and almost two kids later (one is still cooking), I’ve learned that I don’t have time or energy to keep up that unhealthy habit and the person who is hurt most by this behavior is myself.
I’m about halfway through this pregnancy and when my husband and I initially shared our #2 baby joy with friends, we were greeted with lots of love and encouraging words in return. However, there were some reactions that were a little lackluster. Whether it was silence – one person just stared and didn’t say ANYTHING – or dead words – you know when someone’s mouth says something positive but their body language and tone in their voice SCREAM the opposite – we experienced some less than ideal reactions to, “We’re having another baby”.
Now I know there are sometimes that people are going through their own struggles and have a hard time rejoicing with you in your “moment”. For example, if your friend gets a promotion and you’ve been looking for a new job for 6 months or one of your friends is moving away for a great job opportunity and you’ve been stuck at the same monotonous job with no advancement in sight. I’ve had flairs of envy myself but true friends move past their issues in order to celebrate the accomplishments of others. That’s the kind of friend that I strive to be.
So if you have people like this in your life – don’t we all – don’t let their issues or lack of support rain on your parade. I’m still working through it but I find it best to let go of those instances that didn’t receive my dream reaction to the new baby news – elation. If I hold on to their lack of or negative reaction, I become a Bitter Betty myself and are no better than they.
Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) : Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Do you know a Bitter Betty, Moody Judy or Self-Centered Susan? How do you deal with their reactions to your positive news? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!