Hi again, dear ones.
I thought that today I’d write about something unpleasant. You know, because I so enjoy doing that to you lovely people! 😉
today I’m writing about accusations.
oh, you know the kind… when out of the blue some other human is like “you are terrible, and here’s five hundred and twenty three point nine reasons why!”
and you’re just left standing there, your heart stinging like it’s just been slapped, wondering “where did that even come from?” and “holy what the what now?”
and you’re like “man, I’m so sorry… I had no idea…”
and for some reason their fury is unrelenting…
yeah. that’s happened.
yeah. that’s rough.
and sometimes it’s because I was stupid, and sometimes I was a total jerk and had no idea, and sometimes it was because of something I hadn’t realized was a big deal to the other person, and sometimes it was the accidental way I phrased something that just didn’t get across like I intended…
and sometimes the other person is just way sensitive or defensive or crazy or immature and looking for drama.
in which case… help!
no matter the situation, there are six things you should always, always do before responding to your accuser:
1. step back // yep, just pause. don’t you dare say any of the first seven things that come into your head. they will be angry or over-emotional or misconstrued or make no sense. or maybe all of those things. just step back and breathe for a sec.
2. assess the accuser// is this a person who is often known for blowing up over nonsense? do they like drama? do they always seem to be mad at somebody? or are they generally even-tempered? is this person a peace-maker? is this someone who doesn’t generally make mountains from molehills? if this person is a fellow Jesus-follower, are they attempting to call you out on some sin they see in your life?
3. assess the situation // do you remember doing what they claim you have done? what was the day like for you? were you upset with this person beforehand? had you been in a bad mood? was it a public or private interaction?
4. assess yourself // think long, and pray hard. is there any way that what they are saying is true? if not all of it, is there a part of it? was what you said to them just fine, but your tone was rude? really spend some time on this one. get rid of the pride that’s saying “this sucks! they’re a jerk! that was a really nasty thing of them to say!” and put on humility, which is all like “grace has been poured over me. I need to pour out grace on them. Jesus loves them just as much as he loves me. could they be right in saying this is a legitimate issue I have caused?”
5. ask one close friend // ask someone who knows you well if they possibly noticed anything you didn’t. did they think you had an attitude towards this person?
6. reply to the accuser // apologize. even if you did nothing wrong, they need to know that you did not intend for this to hurt their feelings, make them feel judged, invaded, hurt, bossed around, or otherwise. then very politely explain what you thought happened. go over your response several times before sending it or saying it. if they don’t accept it, their loss. or, perhaps, if they bring up a new matter… head back to step one 😉
dealing with accusations is never fun.
unfortunately, it’s something we all have to deal with at some point in our lives
(unless you’re literally living under a rock. in which case, if you and the rock get along, then you’re good to go!)
as a total people-pleaser and confrontation-hater, and someone who considers her one strength as her being non-judgemental, accusations are, in fact, the worst.
but, they are survivable, especially when you strip off your pride, search fervently for humility, and put both their feelings and the truth above your own preference.
go be awesome peace-makers, friends!