8. “Goats” have a negative versus positive attitude. Their glass is half empty.
From the old TV program Hee Haw:
Gloom despair and agony on me deep dark depression excessive misery. If weren’t for bad luck I would have no luck at all.
Gloom despair and agony on me. The theme song for some people’s lives. They have allowed this tape to play over and over again in their head until it’s all they see or believe. They desperately need you to manage their lives, to make them happy, to fix their problems, to be miserable when they are miserable—-they need you, without qualification or reservation—- over and over again. Sensing their need and not wanting them to be miserable, we rush to their side. We cannot fail to be influenced, whether for better or worse, by the people we choose to be a part of our lives. If constant drama and trauma and pain are a part of a friend’s life, and they expect you to experience each one with them without seeking a way to break the pattern, you will become exhausted and your own attitude and spiritual well-being will be affected.
Good company builds up our hearts.
Good company encourages us to step outside the box.
Good company is not threatened by our success.
In reality, healthy individuals help us to progress toward Christlikeness.
As you spend time with individuals, deciding whether or not the relationship will be good for you, you have to remember it takes time, objectiveness, seeking counsel from your friends who are spiritually grounded, to determine the health of a relationship. Sometimes it even means you may lose the relationship.
Take inventory of your relationships:
- Am I more loving since entering into this relationship or becoming more detached from family and friends?
- Am I more honest, or am I becoming compliant?
- Am I more forgiving or more idealistic, overlooking faults and concerns?
- Am I maturing or regressing?
- Whose needs are being met?
9. Unsafe people gossip instead of protecting your confidentiality.
There is nothing more painful or hurtful than having our most trusted information betrayed by someone to whom we had entrusted ourselves. In my counseling practice I have seen individuals who are incredibly wounded because someone violated their confidentiality or trust. The wounds are deep, often leaving permanent scars.
“A gadabout gossip cannot be trusted with a secret, but someone of integrity will not violate a confidence.” Proverbs 11:13, MSG
“Mean people spread mean gossip, their words smart and burn.” Proverbs 16:28, MSG
10.Unhealthy people are highly self-centered and self-obsessed.
They have an “ I versus We” perspective on life.
They see or hear no one else.
They are bad listeners and give little no consideration to what others have to say.
They are inconsiderate and have little compassion.
They will cut off conversations and bring the focus back on themselves.
It becomes their earnest desire to be seen and heard more than anyone else, making them oblivious to the opinions, suggestions, and advice of others.
Any conversation they participate in either pertains to them or eventually turns back to them.
They view others as a means to get what they want.
They have a tunnel vision which starts from and leads back to them.
They are driven by the fear of losing control.
Last, they tend to be moody and unpredictable.
They may be nice one minute and the next minute explosive.
The ten characteristics described in the previous posts are just a few of the unhealthy types of people we encounter on a daily basis. Whether or not we choose to enter into, or continue in, relationships with people who live within these patterns is a determining factor in our own mental, spiritual, and even physical health. In our next post, we will look at why healthy boundaries in relationships are so important to our own health.
I agree without the strength and health to attend to the sheep or harvest it’s basically impossible.
The big debate is what can you do if you are married to that? Yes it is damaging to your self and your spiritual life. The demand is constant to worship that person and not God. So what are you supposed to do when you did not recognize your husband to be a goat until after the ceremony?
Great question. Hard question. I’ve seen women handle it many different ways. The wisest I have seen are those who study the Word and seek counsel from those who study relationships specifically. Gaining an understanding of a biblical definition of suffering and submission is key. Recognizing the difference between a “difficult” husband and an abusive husband has been a struggle for women I have counseled as well.
That’s a question that has to be soaked in prayer. Not necessarily to seek a “should I stay or should I go” answer from God so much, but to seek clarity for your own heart. The more I study about marriage and how God uses it as an illustration of his love and commitment to us, the more I see the beauty of marriage, even difficult ones.
I’ll be praying for much wisdom and growth for you in this area and would be happy to exchange e-mails with you further about this if you’re interested!