Why do people act and behave as they do?
Oftentimes we notice others because their behavior is different than ours.
“Why can’t people just act like I do?” or “I would never dream of doing what she did.”
And there I go, judging and criticizing someone without “walking a mile in his shoes.”
I spent many years working with and loving people who were homeless and in need. I became aware early on that people have a tendency to live based on their past experiences, and based on what they know.
Don’t we all?
Past abuse, abandonment, failures, injuries, and treatment of others. Love, kindness, compassion, help and healing. These and other past experiences all have a part in how we live our life today.
Some choose to live out those experiences in their own lives, while some do not. Good or bad.
Some only know what they’ve lived, and that’s how they continue to live today. Good or bad.
You and I do the same, don’t we?
For example, when someone is hurting, they often act out of that hurt by hurting others. As many have heard me say…
Hurting people hurt people.
The same goes with the opposite.
Those who feel loved, act out of that love by loving others.
Coming to that realization has helped me see others through different eyes. It has helped me to love others in a way I was unable to before.
Instead of judging someone critically, it’s now easier to accept where he/she is at, realizing the behavior is most likely coming from past experiences.
(Note: I’m not perfect in this, by any means.)
As an example, there was a woman in my life who really irritated me. The things she would say and do were complete opposites of me. I found it hard to like her. She was like sandpaper to me, and would grate on my nerves.
But the more I heard her talk, God began to put the pieces together for me.
She was one hurting soul.
God helped me see her past experiences of hurt and rejection were causing her to behave in a way to try to get people to like her. It wasn’t working.
Instead of continuing to be irritated by her, I was motivated to pray for her.
Amazingly, our relationship changed.
Mostly because my reaction to her changed.
May I encourage you in this today?
The next time someone acts in a way that bugs you, as hard as it may be, don’t react. Begin to pray for this person. Ask God to help you see him/her through different eyes.
They most likely don’t even realize they are behaving this way. They’re just doing what they know.
We may not be able to change the behavior, but we can change the way we react.
When we change the way we react, transformations begin to happen.
It’s Day 18 as we’re working through our 31 Days Of Loving God & Loving Others. (Click on the link to read prior posts.)
It means the world to me that you’re here! God bless you today!
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This is SOO good! So so good. I try to do the same thing. I’ve also noticed how easy it is for me to forget where I’ve come from…or I know in my head that I’ve dealt with something but have to go back and remember exactly what it was like so I can relate to and encourage other people. 🙂
I agree, Erin. It’s easy to forget. I’m thankful God continues to remind us! So glad you stopped by today and shared your thoughts here. You blessed me! Have a great week.
This is so true. And the transformation of your own happiness and satisfaction when you learn to see with new eyes. Such a wonderful reminder.
I’ve been told that we can’t change people or circumstances. The only control we have is over how we react. Powerful truth!
Yes, Barbie. I’ve learned this the hard way. I’m glad God continues to teach us and doesn’t give up on me. You’re a blessing. Thank you for hosting the link, friend!
Love this –> “Those who feel loved, act out of that love by loving others.”
One of the things I was taught in my twenties was to walk in the opposite spirit. So if I wanted to react in anger or frustration, do the opposite. Easier said than done, but like anything, it’s something that eventually becomes a habit.
It’s also something I need to work on again as I’ve gotten out of that habit, especially in my marriage.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Julie! 🙂
“Walk in the opposite spirit.” Love this, Denise! I wish I would have been taught that in my twenties! Great advice. Thank you!