Sometimes I get so tired of defending myself! Why is it that some people always want to think the worst of you? The questions get very wearisome. Did you do this? Why did you do that?
Am I too naive to assume (now, that’s a dangerous word) that people are not always out to ‘get’ others? Oh, those who always look for the worst in people really irritate me and drag me down! What ever happened to trust?
But, I think that what gets me more aggravated than anything is when I get sucked into the downward spiral and start tripping over myself to defend my actions or words. It happened yesterday.
I was questioned about a choice I made. My hope was that everyone involved knows me well enough to know that I had valid and solid reasons for my decision, and I did. It was a fair decision. It’s not that I can’t be questioned, I am always happy to discuss my actions and motives, but when the question comes with a ‘tone’, it hurts.
Someday I hope to be able to simply smile and say, ‘trust me, I made a fair decision’, but instead, I went into a long discourse explaining, clarifying, expounding, and justifying. Now, you may think that my going on and on may make me sound guilty, but it wasn’t so. I was just so hurt that I needed to make this person understand that I am not the ‘evil monster’ that I was perceived as. Why was it so important to me that this person understand? Some people just never will.
Questions will always be asked, accusations will always be made, that I can’t change. What I can alter, however, is my response. If I am truly comfortable and confident with my decisions, I should be able to respond with a simple and straightforward answer. And then, I should turn and walk away, not in an arrogant or smug manner, but one that makes me feel as though I haven’t stumbled all over myself. It’s me that needs to change. Today I will practice my ‘Cheshire Cat’ smile!
Lent isn’t over yet….perhaps this is something to work on.
I do the same thing! You are not alone in this.
True confidence comes from Christ. Imagine if Jesus had explained away to the Pharisees and been insecure about who He was? I love to learn from Jesus…He is the best teacher. I am praying for you, Andie. 🙂 🙂
What a great point Jade! Thanks so much for your understanding and wisdom!!
It sounds like someone really tripped you up in your own decision-making process. I find that when this happens, the person asking the question has their own insecurities and this is how it shows itself. I vote for “owning” our decisions, simply and honestly.
Thanks Joanne, I think that you are totally right!
My prayers for you Andie. It is hard and then we end up feeling defensive or questioning ourselves or just being angry. At least I do.
I was taking care of my sister-in-law who just died, who asked me to be her health care proxy and to walk with her spiritually towards death. Some of my decisions were questioned – seriously – by one of her friends. It was one of the most upsetting elements of the entire already stressful experience. I like considering it through the point Jade makes though – true confidence in Christ.
I do too Fran. And, with your situation the stress involved probably caused emotions to be even greater. Thanks for your support.
I really needed to read this today. I have a similar situation within the family. I know my intentions were in the right place, however, my actions weren’t perceived that way.
I spend to much time defending myself too. I will keep you in prayer.
Thanks for this one Andie.
Daily, we’ll pray for each other. Jesus said, ‘say yes when you mean yes, and no when you mean no’. Great wisdom.
Many of us seem to find ourselves in similar situations, Andie. One of my resolutions for this Lent was to bite my lips when an unfair or harsh comment was made to me.
Being on the defensive is one of the most unpleasant situations I can think of. Wanting to convince someone who will not want to be convinced is another unpleasant situation.
Here is what my reaction to your quandary is at the moment: However justified this person’s reaction or perception of your action may have been, you did the best you could at the time you took the decision. One cannot be expected to do any better than this.
And if the other person is still unhappy with you, s/he can either see his or her chaplain or his or her shrink.
You are entitled to sleep peacefully and let bygones be bygones.
A huge hug to you, Andie (It’s so much easier to pontificate on the topic than to live through it. My heart is with you.)
Oh Claire, such wonderful words, thank you. I agree with your comments!
not taking offense is such a step toward living in peace …
Yes, let us all go forward in that direction!
Thank you Andie for this reflection.
Sometimes not only do I defend myself, at times i defend others.
I am working on letting go of the defending.
Jade’s response about confidence in Christ was helpful.
Me too Carol. It’s good to recognize this because then we can begin the inner (difficult) work.
Oh Andie, do you know this has been a bugbear of mine for over(scarily) 30 years. I made a mistake – I still remember all the details and won’t bore you with them. But there was a ‘comeback’. It was a mistake, an honest to God,if I had known I wouldn’t have done it and if I could take it back i would, but there you go….. And the repercussions went on and on and on and ended up on my works record at the time. My life was a misery.
I promised myself at the time that I would never put anyone through that for any reason – and I don’t think I ever have. Mistakes are to be gotten over; we do not live in hindsight; none of us are perfect. If other people can’t realise that then I do and that can be a very Christian, very forgiving thing to do even when it is you who are forgiving yourself.
I pray that this will pass and that you will be able to release all the pain and injustice so that you can still do what you believe is right when you believe it is needed.
Thank you so much for you kind words and understanding Word. You are so right…..that is what being a Christian is all about.
This is certainly a hard one. I always feel I cannot stand up for myself when I have to defend myself. Thank you for sharing. God is my defender!
So true JBR – God knows our hearts even when our efforts are questioned.
Sometimes when people think the worst of you, it’s really their own opinion of themselves and says more about them than about you…
Oh Andie….feeling that we have to defend ourselves almost seems innate — an autonomic response, yet what I know of you through your sharing of yourself — maybe you don’t ever need to defend yourself.
Awhile back, I made the decision to simply not respond when people place me in the position where they expect and hope for me to attempt to defend myself. It leaves them speechless and usually gives me something to quietly contemplate with the one that loves me unconditionally.
Peace and love, jer…
I’ve arrived late to this post but all the replies say what I want to say – especially the last one by Jerry.
When something like this happens it is very hurtful and maybe you can just say that to the person. If they know they have hurt you it sometimes makes them think !