Monday, March 31, 2008

How can someone be so messed up and not know?

I just got off the phone with a woman from church. This woman has been complaining and causing trouble for at least two months now. She criticizes everything and just about everyone and it is getting out of hand. The branch president has had to speak to her a couple of times, but it doesn't look like that is working. Unfortunately, she is targeting a Primary teacher, which means I have to hear about it and try to help fix things.

Anyway, I cannot possibly even begin to explain the whole sticky mess as it involves many people and a whole lot of half-truths. The point of this post, though, is that I am amazed that there are people out there like this woman who are so extremely messed up, but have no clue. They think it is everyone else's problem. For example, this woman said to me that she feels like her son's teacher is on a power trip and is into control (which couldn't be further from the truth). Then she said, "I am so not like that at all, which is why I guess it bothers me." (Unfortunately, this could also not be any further from the truth.)

Over the years, I have occasionally met people like this who are very unaware of themselves and how their actions affect others. People who have perceptions of themselves that are just plain wrong. You know the type: a woman who thinks she is the best friend around, but who never listens or validates....Or a man who thinks he is extremely selfless, but who really is very, very selfish, but doesn't see it.

What worries me is what if I am like them, but just don't know it? I mean, that's the whole point, right? The people don't realize how controlling, manipulative, self-centered or just plain annoying they really are. How do we really know if we are facing our flaws as they truly are?

I suppose there are clues. As in the case of this woman, she might be alerted to the problem if she realized that she is the only one who is complaining about everything. Everyone else is getting along well and helping each other out. As Dr. Phil put it so eloquently once, you are the common denominator in all your relationships. If you continue to have relationship problems, it is probably your fault in some way.

It isn't hard to be blind to one's faults; I do this all the time. Like last night, when Bil took me to task for being so crabby and mean to him. At first, I just wanted to lash out at him and find fault with him and justify myself. But, when I really stopped and heard him, I had to admit he was right. I have been so irritable to him this week and if I were him, I would not be speaking to myself right now.

I guess I just hope close friends and family will continue to give me reality checks, and I hope I will continue to listen. I am lucky that I have friends who will tell me when I am overreacting. And of course, my mom and sister are very honest with me, sometimes brutally so! I just don't want to become so blind that I think everyone else has a problem but me.

I wish I could help this woman see how she is damaging everyone she comes into contact with. But for right now, I am going to avoid her, because if there is one flaw I KNOW I have, it is a fuse that is short when I have been pushed too much. Someday, I could truly see myself completely exploding at her......

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