One simple truth about bad people, you need to know today

Let’s face it; you don’t know any bond villains! But I’m sure some of us think we do. Today, I want to explore one simple truth about the bad people in your life, and I hope it’ll make a difference to you today. Let’s start from the top. 

Someone out there thinks you’re a bad person.

The other day I was having a conversation with a colleague of mine. I can’t remember exactly what we were talking about, but we were chatting, and there was a moment when she said this: “There was this narrative in the team that you’re difficult to communicate with. But you’re actually easy to understand! You’re pretty transparent!”

If you know me in real life, I hope you’d be surprised to hear that anyone might think I was a difficult person. One time a neighbour to my work even told me I was the rudest person he’d ever met! To be told that wasn’t an awesome feeling, I can tell you!

The unfortunate truth is, not everyone is going to like you. No matter how much you try, there’ll be someone who thinks you’re difficult. It’s funny how we struggle to accept it when people say we’re a challenge, isn’t it? I know I’m more likely to say that I’m misunderstood and hate to think I’m anything like the people I struggle with.

Bad People

What do we mean when we talk about bad people? At the extreme, they might be the people who broke into your home, stopped you from seeing your kids or even physically or mentally hurt you. If the person you thought about above did something like that, I want to assure you I’m not making lite of your experience. The problem is that every human is a complicated mixture of things. Culture, religion, life experiences, relationships, primary personality traits and quirks, likes and dislikes. Not to mention physical and mental challenges. 

Of course, those things would be hard enough to join together, but finding synergy with other people in the simplest of situations is still complicated. 

If life were simple

If life were simple, you would stay with the people you began your journey with. People who knew you before anything bad happened to you. The people who understood your quirks and forgave them while you were young. Those people are typically known as ‘our people’, the safe people we love to spend time with who remind us of when life was simple.

Annoyingly, we move away from these people and go off to find new relationships. Often, this is the time when we begin to discover the ‘bad’ people. Sometimes we even look back to people from our past, only to find we don’t understand them anymore either! 

What’s sad is that the story of a bad person can spread quickly; we hear things we don’t like, and we naturally form opinions. We’re told about bad neighbours, families, managers, groups of people. In turn, those people get a sense that people around them are unfriendly and unwelcoming. At its worst, trust can become a premium product no one thinks they can afford, and relationships break down, making everyone cautious and guarded.

I’m not saying you don’t know people who live in a constant state of anarchy and paranoia. I know one or two myself. But I guarantee you, behind every paranoid attack, there’s someone who was let down. Behind every act of self-sabotage is someone terrified about losing out.

In an ideal world, we would all surround ourselves with people like us. But what does that even mean? Our people are typically just the people we played with as kids. The people we tested boundaries with and learnt to trust. 

Play in the sandpit

This isn’t an easy thing to do, but why not think of the bad or difficult people in your life as people you’ve not learnt to play with yet? It might not be possible to have a meaningful relationship with them, and maybe those people will never share your toys. Perhaps these people already broke something you loved or threw sand in your face?

Whatever the situation, do yourself a favour:

Try not to create a negative narrative about someone else; they probably don’t deserve it.

Work hard to hold your tongue when you hear hate about another person; you may not understand what they’ve been through.

Practice not being cruel or unkind; It will come back to bite you when someone else thinks you’re the difficult one.

Always leave a little space for someone different to become a friend. 

Always leave a little room for someone who let you down to come back. Restoration is probably the best thing in life!

Stay safe, be well, forgive me for suggesting any of this is simple, and have a great day!

Finally, if you’re enjoying this series, do consider buying my book ‘Stuck in the Mud: Stories of hope for when you’re stuck.’ It’s available from all Christian bookshops, Amazon, Waterstones and bookshop.org.

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