Updated: Nov 13
why are you so pushy?
Do you know someone that walks around telling everyone else how they should be living their life? This pushy “friend” or “family member” lectures you about everything from what you should or shouldn’t be eating to how you should address a problem with a coworker at work, to which flowers you should be planting in your garden. And when they are not preaching at you about how to live your life, they are making cynical remarks, “I would cook that too for breakfast if I wanted to die of a heart attack by lunch”. This type of person has all the answers, but their life is a mess.
she claims to be a Christian
Last week my best friend called me to vent about a lady that is helping her around her house. She said, “Delisa, I am not gossiping; I know how you feel about that. I just need to vent and possibly get some direction”. She explained to me that this Christian woman, we’ll call Kathy, was driving her crazy with all of her aggressive, bitter advice and even talking about revengeful type advice she is giving to other people. On this day, my friend was explaining about how Kathy was “helping” people by putting them back in their place, meaning setting them straight on a few things. She even quotes scripture! Kathy was now planning on airing some dirty laundry at an upcoming funeral and setting several people straight at one time. My friend was mortified and wondered what her responsibility was to stop the dramatic chaos.
coming from a place of insecurity
What can we do when these so-called, Christian people insert themselves in our lives thinking they are God’s personal assistants? It almost seems they want to ensure a type of order in the world that did not come from God himself. It seems to come from their angry interpretations and insecure heart. Maybe you have been this type of person handing out ill-fated advice on others. I know I have been. You realize they are not coming from a place of love and kindness but of making things even or getting revenge. They seem to come from an insecure place of needing to be controlling or be right. Honestly, sometimes it is just weird trying to figure out what they are thinking. Most of the time you disagree with their opinion but then how do you respond without being rude or causing an unnecessary debate yourself?
“But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. …that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we command you.” – I THESSALONIANS 4: 9 & 11
Keep your attention focused entirely on what is truly your own concern and be clear that what belongs to others is their business and none of yours.” – EPICTETUS
use love to counteract their pushy ways
You are the only person you can control. You are the only person you can change. With that said, if someone gives you feedback in a loving or caring manner, then think about it and decide if, or how much, of this advice you can use. If someone is barking at you in a tense or nagging attitude, I would not even consider any advice they are throwing your way. That doesn’t mean that you are ugly to them. God teaches us to love and respect one another. Much of the time that includes these pushy people. Just listen and smile not engaging in a conversation with them. Of course, there are people who border verbal abuse and those people you may want to distance yourself from because it can be stressful and may even begin to damage your self-love or passion for a goal.
feel compassion for pushy people
Dealing with pushy or nosey people can be tricky. Remind yourself that this person is not a know-it-all. Keep yourself calm and look at them knowing they are hurting or have some unhealthy sense of self-worth rather than with frustration. Feel compassion for them but don’t let your compassion change your perspective on the situation. Decide if you can just let them go on talking, taking what they say with a grain of salt or do you try to help them understand that their advice is not solicited. Please remember that when you seem to be taking their unwelcomed advice, these people will feel they are making a difference with you. Next time, it will be harder and more uncomfortable to stop their unsolicited warnings. Right up front, you can say, “I am not comfortable talking about this, could we please change the subject”.
“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye, and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite!” – MATTHEW 7:3-4
“Don’t worry about what I’m doing. Worry about why you’re worried about what I’m doing.” – AUTHOR UNKNOWN
show them how to love
Most people want to feel love toward others including pushy people. Many times, they do not know how to show love. Rather than being frustrated at their unwanted directives, find ways to teach them how to compliment people and practice acts of love. I have seen extremely selfish people give of their hearts; of course, they usually want quite a bit of credit and notoriety for doing it but, hey, it’s a start. Teach them how to be a good finder in others rather than a nitpicker. Be an example to them. While at lunch with them, pay for someone else’s lunch, especially a veteran or policeman. They will probably freak out, but you are planting a seed and showing them how God wants us to love each other. I have seen more people change for the good by being a loving example than I have from nagging or lecturing.
when we do have to go there
If we are overwhelmingly pulled to get into someone’s business and talk to them about the speck in their eye, first ask yourself if you have a plank in your eye. Sometimes we need to talk to others about something personal especially if it is something that is hurting you or someone you love. Talk to them with love and respect. I went through something like this with my mom a couple of years ago. After much prayer and reflection, I ended up writing a letter to my mom which I turned into a video. You can watch it here. Love is a powerful thing. If we give up our pride and guard our self-worth, we can use love in amazing ways to communicate effectively with people that find it hard to mind their own business.
Many years my friend, many years....