- Written by Lucy Shaw
LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE: Dear Lucy: I was at a professional party recently and met up with an acquaintance who has just gotten a man in her life and told me all about him and how happy she was. She quizzed me about my love life and my guy wanting and expecting me to tell her as much as she told me. She was downright insisting that I give her details about who he is, how we met, what kind of work he does. I never asked her these questions. I don't get it. She caught me off guard and I tried to answer her only to be mad at myself later. How do you handle that? – Ticked Off
Dear Ticked Off:
That is routine middle class drama. Some people have homegrown manners and ask how you are doing. Others ask what, when, why, how, where you are doing. Some ask out of profound and heartfelt interest in your welfare and happiness. Others ask because they are nosey and want to be sure you have not gotten ahead of them.
That brings me to point number one. No matter what we are talking to people about, motivation is everything. It is really useful sometimes to sweetly and gently ask people "why?" when they begin to ask questions that don't feel right to you. Some people don't know any better. Some people do know better and just want to see what they can get away with.
People rarely expect you to answer a question with a question. Nosey people really do depend upon your having enough manners and good will to just answer whatever they ask. We are justified in our motives. When our motives are pure, so are the vibrations of our questions. This lady made you uncomfortable. The vibe wasn't working for you and that was a warning to gently ask her why or to get away from her.
Some folk have no sense of boundaries. Boundaries are the hedge or fence that we construct around ourselves. I believe that the Lord certainly puts a fence around us, but we are called to learn how to make some fences of our own and be firm about them.
There are some things that simply are not the business of others; and some things that you are not obligated to discuss with others. My mother used to say that wisdom is knowing what you need to simply take to the grave with you because sharing it with others will serve no worthwhile purpose.
It also sounds like a lot of personal uncertainty on the part of your acquaintance. Sometimes people tell something just to grease the tracks so that you will tell something too. And then there is the one who just wants to be sure that he/she is doing better than you.
Other than being in a state of shock, I imagine that you didn't ask all about her man because a) it was not polite; b) you didn't have to because she volunteered and c) you didn't care.
I would choose "c,", not caring. Not because I am not happy for her or wish her well. It is because whomever any of us choose to be with is our business and if you like it, then I love it! She did not need your approval to continue with her man and you were not seeking hers.
Sometimes we go around telling our business because we are not secure or comfortable with that business. We keep telling it in the hopes that some wise person will confirm what we already know and don't want to face.
You asked. I answered. Better luck next time!
(For help with the feelings that get in the way of prayer and peace of mind, get Lucy's new book, "BE NOT ANXIOUS." Order it directly from her at 901-907-0260 or go to her web site www.heartworks4u.com.)