Nope, I’m not talking about Vampires Edward and Bella of Twilight Saga. Edward Cullen: gentle yet strong, brave yet calm, loving, highly disciplined, mysterious, phlegmatic, choleric, and the list goes on… His character is so endearing! Okay, enough about Edward Cullen.
Let’s talk about the difficult people in our lives or what Dr. Albert J. Bernstein coined as emotional vampires.
“Not just annoying people, but darkly seductive. Emotional Vampires draw you in with charm, beauty, talent and pulse pounding excitement. Then they drain you – not of blood but of every last drop of emotional energy.”
Like the vampires who cannot see their reflections when they face the mirror, difficult people sometimes don’t realize that they’re being difficult to other people.
Different Types of Vampires
1. Criticizing Vampire – their joy is to criticize people.
2. Controlling Vampire – they want to be in control. They don’t trust the others.
3. Contradicting Vampire – no matter what you say, they’ll always contradict you. You’re always wrong and they’re always right.
4. Complaining Vampire – whining is their hobby.
5. Clinging Vampire – they want to own every bit of time you have. They want your attention on them almost all of the time.
6. Crying Vampire -they cry to get what they want.
7. Coward Vampire –
8. Con Vampire -They will disarm with their charm…in order to get what they want.
Which one are you? Just kidding. 🙂
Bo Sanchez then told the following story…
The Biker and an Old Man: A Short Story
The biker went to the woods until he became very hungry. Alas! He didn’t have any food. He kept on walking and walking and walking.
At last, he saw a house in the middle of the woods! He knocked at the door and an old man let him in.
He invited him to his dining table and gave him a piece of bread. The biker was very happy!
Then the old man said, “If you eat that bread, I will hit you with this stick. If you don’t eat it, I will still hit you with the stick.”
If you were the biker, what would you do? In the short story, the old man was a difficult person. There’s nothing the biker could do to please him. “Damn if you do, damn if you don’t.”
How to Deal with Difficult People
Response #1: Eat the bread and be beaten.
This could be a situation of someone who is under a difficult boss who is always giving you a hard time and who can never be pleased. No matter how difficult that person is, sometimes you just chose to stay because your work is your bread and butter.
Response #2: Walk out and find bread elsewhere.
In relation to number one, instead of staying in that job working with that difficult boss, you could choose to find another work.
Response #3: Protect Your Head and Eat Your Bread
There are times though when walking out is not always feasible. For instance, you’re married to a husband who’s lazy, irresponsible, and has a low self esteem. Of course, you cannot just walk out of that marriage. Thus, you need to wear an “emotional” helmet. Protect yourself and love your husband from a position of stability. Note that this is very different from allowing your husband or the difficult person in your life to hurt you and abuse you.
Response #4: Take His Stick and Break Bread Together
Back to the story of the Biker and the Old Man… Instead of letting the old man beat your head, take the stick from him and invite him to sit down with you and share the bread.
Bo Sanchez emphasized that
“Bad people are broken people. You can’t heal their badness, but you can heal their brokenness.”
It’s natural for us to feel bad and irritated towards the difficult people in our lives. But Jesus calls us to still love the difficult people.
How do we love and transform the difficult people?
We need to understand that behind this difficult person is a child wanting, craving to be loved. And only love can change people.
Are there difficult people in your life right now? Which of the four responses is most applicable to you? Please share in the comments.
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Photos courtesy of The Feast PICC Facebook Team.
P.S. Special Thanks to my friends Chris and Mae for helping me complete my notes.
P.S.S. Do you want to hear Bo Sanchez talk live and learn more about The Happiest Place on Earth? Visit http://thefeastpicc.com/
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