Recently, I was asked what is my biggest pet peeve. In the past, I would have answered that dishonesty or lying is my pet peeve. And even though I really don't like people who are not honest, I recently have found a peeve that is intolerable for me...people who are so self focused that they can't see beyond thier own interests or problems to be aware of the interests of others. Pride.
In recent months, meeting new people has been a major priority in my life. After relocating to Texas, my desire has been to build a network of friends here. This has allowed me opportunity to evaluate friends that I have held dear in the past, what made them a good friend, and even if they really are good friends. I have tried to take what I have learned from my conclusions and look for people who are good friends, healthy friends, and people who I think will be good for me and me for them.
I have noticed how many people, women, especially, will talk on and on about themselves and never ask a question about the life of the person they are talking to. It amazes me. Do they really care more about telling that other person all about them? Is that how they get to know others? I guess it doesn't occur to these type of people that to get to know someone, you should find out about them, not tell them about you. (exclusively) It should be a conversation that goes both ways, shouldn't it? These people really turn me off.
There are a few of my new friends who I have talked to quite a bit in the last few months, some of them about things that are important to me. I rejoice when I hear back from these friends with questions like, "How was your retreat?" "How do you feel about Adam's girlfriend coming to visit?", and last night, "How are YOU in all this?" I cannot express my gratitude for people who care about others. I pray that I am as interested and attentive to the things in thier lives. I try to follow up with things that they have shared with me....test results, job interviews, illnesses, family situations, and even hair appointments.
In my quest for healthy relationships, caring is a major priority in my list of characteristics for friends. I have done a little house cleaning as I have discovered that I have wasted some time in past relationships with people who can't see past themselves. (I am NOT talking about you, Ru...you are not like this) I have tried to figure out why these people have been attractive to me in the past. Maybe because I have taken this behaviour as openness. It might be, but if it is not reciprocal, then it is pride.
So, I have a new pet peeve. Well, I guess a new criteria. The friends that I am making with this in mind are a step above the average friend. They are warm and caring and fun and Christ-like. How blessed I am to have people like this in my life.
Romans 12:15, God tells us to, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."
It is impossible to do this if you don't pay attention to the interests and needs of others. Amen!