How To Deal With Toxic Relationships in Church

By Subodh / January 6, 2014

As a church member, you are supposed to love everyone and treat everyone equally. The closer you are to God, the better human being you become. But sometimes things are not really easy to handle, even for someone as good as you are. Sometimes there are people in the church who become hostile and unkind and that is the time when your patience is put to test. No matter how kind you are, they may drag you the edge of your kindness and test it. But you are not the way they are. You are different. You believe in love and patience. Therefore, you cannot bring yourself down to their level and treat them the way they are treating you. Instead, if you are a true believer in church, you will find a way out to deal with them and perhaps reform them as a person. Even if you are not able to reform them, you will find out a way to cordially get rid of either them or the situation. As a church goer, virtue of kindness and patience is expected of you. It is imperative that you live up to this expectation because you are the one who is setting the example for others to follow.

Try And Understand The Reason For Their Behavior

Toxic RelationshipsPeople’s behavior is a result of certain stimulus in their life. In fact, behavior is a response to the stimulus. We are too quick to judge people as good as bad without even realizing that we are being judged too all the time. When someone is judging you, you would not like to be labeled as someone who is bad. Instead, you would justify your actions and behavior. In the same way you should give a fair chance to others to justify themselves. Sometimes the justification by them will not be explicit. For instance, after behaving in a toxic way with you in the church, they will not come and justify why they did what they did. But you, as a truest believer in the church philosophies, must remember that it is only up to God to decide whether the deeds of a man are right or wrong. You should try and find out what could be the reason why someone is behaving in a certain way. Maybe there is something undesirable is happening in their personal life. As a church member, you should first figure out the root cause of the problem and then try to find out the solution.

Is His Behavior Rooted In Superiority?

There are many people who get so involved in church that they start seeing themselves as the only person of faith. They start believing that the others are not as good a believer as they are. This could be a psychological problem with those people who have never had any attention from anyone in their life. They could finally find a place of haven in church. They devote themselves to the religion and after a while create an image of themselves as superior to all. They start believing so much in their new image that they totally forget their reality. Since they have never had any attention in their life before, their subconscious starts behaving in a way that seeks attention from others. To deal with such a person, when he is behaving inappropriately with you, stay calm and listen to all he has to say. Once they get the audience, perhaps their lifelong urge for attention will get satisfied and after some time it will completely go away. It might help them change completely. But for this to happen, you will have to be the one at the receiving end. Patience and kindness will be expected of you.

Figure Out If It Is You Who Is The Cause Of The Problem

Some people behave appropriately with others but may behave inappropriately with you. There could be several reasons for this toxic relationship between you and the other person. Perhaps the other person is jealous of you and wants to be like you. Perhaps the other person does not like your behavior but is not able to tell you about it and he is manifesting his feelings by being toxic. Whatever if the reason, first try and understand what is the cause of the problem. Maybe you will need to internalize and see whether everything you are doing is appropriate or if there is something which may not really be kind and right. If you are able to figure that problem out, perhaps you will be able to improve the relationship which has gone toxic.

Talk It Out With The Other Person

When the other person is angry, it may not be the right time to strike a conversation to figure out the problem. When he is shouting at you or behaving inappropriately, stay calm and do not react to it. Wait for his anger to subside and then propose to have a conversation to sort out the differences. In most of the cases, the other person will agree for a conversation. During the conversation ask him upfront what makes him behave the way he does. Ask him if there is anything that he doesn’t like about you and if you could change it. When he will see that you are willing to listen and cooperate, in most likelihood it will improve your relationship with him. Remember that love and kindness can solve many problems that hatred cannot.