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Living in Peace With People Who Drive You Crazy

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
November 24, 2020 5:00 am

Living in Peace With People Who Drive You Crazy

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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November 24, 2020 5:00 am

Dr. Mike Bechtle explains how we can stop allowing difficult people to control our emotions, and how we can set healthy boundaries and extend the love of God to them. (Original airdate: Nov. 22, 2017)

Get Dr. Bechtle's book "People Can't Drive You Crazy if You Don't Give Them the Keys" for your donation of any amount:

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The early years and when I can connect Lord and he he and his family were so again that they actually advised him to divorce me. Joyce spent many lonely years trying to trust God and love her husband well. Thankfully, she found the support and encouragement she needed. I think that guy just really family ministry will and prepare me like my heart lived out in front of my head know what it means to follow Christ and the best news of all was the Joyce husband also became a follower of Jesus, I'm Jim Daly when we work together we can strengthen more marriages like joys and give families hope, please call 800.

The A in the word family or your gift will be double drives me crazy when you're in a conversation with someone you can tell they're not paying attention within your saying they're just thinking of the next thing my mother likes to accuse people of taking things when she just tries me crazy when my cousin understand that I have a short attention that she has the worst life. I personally can't think of anything because I think of her was something that really drove me nuts about the person I would be friends with will move you can relate to that. We all seem to have one or two. Maybe more challenging people in our lives. Dealing with them can really just increase your blood pressure and upset your schedule, you ruin your day but don't despair today on Focus on the Family. Working to help you explore some ways to manage those relationships better and help you find peace in the midst of chaos. Your hostess focus president and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, Jon.

I don't know about you, I struggled to think of somebody that really sets me off the drives me crazy you know they're there, but I tend to have such a low-key approach to someplace I just kind of move out of the way that it kinda goes away for me. I don't know that that's the healthiest way to approach it. I know for you. You know, folks often talk about the holidays and the crazy relatives this coming when that person drives me nuts. And we get that and actually we want to talk about that today in order to equip you to do a better job of understanding how to live and work and deal with folks that push your buttons. Yet this is the time of year when we often rub shoulders with people we don't see a lot and we get together and there can be some friction. We know right there. Romans 1218 says, if possible, so far as it depends on you. I love live peaceably with all and as Christians we are told to love one another, and sometimes really hard. I mean even to love our enemies. That kind of service and sacrifice only comes from an indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And that's what we want to try to do today is open. Those floodgates for the Lord to work through our guest is Dr. Mike Bechtel and he's an author or speaker, corporate consultant and a ministry coach today will hear more about his book, people can't drive you crazy if you don't give them the key Mike welcome back to Focus on the Family. No thanks. It's always a pretty looking for to get it work to come up with that one. I have no idea appeared on the page.

I thought, that's not bad we cannot all identify with. But when you correct the pages open.

I love the story you shared their course were talking about, you know people that drive us crazy. We talked about crazy people, but you talk about a tuba I thought that I would use that tonight with my boys. My teenage boys because I think this is a great framing tool and for all the folks who play tuba.

This is not intended for you, but the tuba kinda overwhelms everybody that's the point, and you apply that in this word picture like I think it's true with an orchestra.

We love hearing an orchestra because of so many different instruments and come together and when they blend their sound. You get a sound you can't any other way. It's the uniqueness of the instruments together. But if you have the tuba in the middle of the concert it goes off and does his own thing. It cannot change the whole dynamic.

You can't really hear the violin.

You can hear the violin and you don't know what to do with the tuba tube is gone wild word.

We go with this. So when you apply that are you talking the tuba represents those people in our lives that are just off key and just overwhelming. The whole room yet. You not sure what to do and a lot of times it's because her family is a lot in our lives than do that, but especially around the holidays.

We do see people we don't see all the time and sometimes it's family members and they can change the whole dynamic when they come in and you got a tuba player. Let's play it safe.

Let's end with family discussions will talk about strangers for the outer ring you had a story in your book. That was hilarious about airport observation somebody that was in getting the service they felt they deserved tells what happened there. Well, it's goes back to the whole idea of what you can control what you can't control and the things you can't control like the stock market like late delayed flights and that's what happened here.

I chemical brought runs exactly and we can get really upset even though we can't do anything about it now. It was years ago I was sitting in the gate area and the flight was delayed and this man was at the counter and he was just berating at the top of his lungs.

He was yelling at the gate agent and he must have special privileges and he was going after it was pretty embarrassing for everybody. And finally just said do you know who I am and then he repeated.

Do you know who I am as she got on the microphone very calmly and just as ladies and gentlemen, we have someone at the counter who doesn't know who he is recognizing please come up and I love you Ray, I just got a big round of apply.

I think that's a funny way to handle it. What did he do with observing this. What did when she said that what was his reaction. He just turned around and I think it was a little sheepish because he been caught. He was so angry and when everybody started applauding. He was the center of attention and he just sort of disappeared. Well let me let me go there because what creates in us that specialness that we feel we need to be treated differently than nobody else.

Don't you know who I am Mike Kaman.

Well, I think we all have a certain comfort zone. I caught a set point is kind of like a thermostat, something were nobody's bugging us and are not messing with our lives and we feel comfortable and that's where we like to be and when somebody comes in and messes with our lives. It takes away from the set point.

It's like changing the thermostat.

We want to keep it a certain way because were comfortable and then they come in and they change a thermostat for us and we feel like we know this is about me, and we tend to focus on what all the other people are doing and in some way we feel little untitled because there messing with us. Why are they driving me crazy.

You know, I'm just as you're saying this. It's interesting that Jesus of course who is our model. For those of us who claim faith in Christ.

He had every opportunity say hey don't you know who I am, yeah, in front of Pontius Pilate there any of the rulers of the day and our wonderful leader, the son of God never chose to approach a person that way. How can we do any different, right, it's so interesting because he is our model for that and he didn't go around trying to fix people.

He got involved with people and took them where they needed to go. Everything every situation was different.

That is so good.

Explain this quote from your book you said we love to watch crazy people as long as we don't have to interact with them personally and again we talk about crazy people were talking about those that are just driving us crabby ways, like being on vacation. You don't come home from vacation.

Tell stories about reading the newspaper on the lanai in Hawaii, you talk about the storms and the close calls that you had. We love drama when it's past tense and when it's third person and with these types of events to be able to to watch other people. That's why we do it on TV. There's always a villain or there's somebody in the reality shows you thinking they are just crazy and we we like watching it from the security of our living room with our chinos to actually be there and have that conversation.

How do you confront somebody like that. It's uncomfortable, it really is. You had experience with your son that I thought was really insightful. Your and I think trying on ski goggles yeah describe what happened there in terms of our ability to understand reality. I think we tend to see things for our own lenses and we assume that were right because that's what we see.

I mean if I really believe that I'm right. Like want your opinion and so we went in the sporting goods store.

My son was probably about 10. We tried on ski goggles.

I tried on a pair that had blue lenses. He tried on a pair that had red lenses and I saw jacket hanging across the room and he said to him what colors at jacket and he said well it's blue. I said no it's red and he looked at me like I lost my mind. He said it is not. It's blue and said that what's written we went back and forth. I couldn't convince him because he was seeing one color I was seeing the other color. It's what we saw.

So we assume were right. We took off our lenses and the jacket was white so we didn't see the jacket the way it was, we saw through our perspective. It's a great simple illustration of how to do that make it more complicated though interpersonal experiences. That way, how do we create lenses that give us a false impression of what's real and I think we look at what other people do we see their behaviors and we think if I was doing what they're doing.

This would be my motive. This is what I was thinking so we assume that there thinking the same thing. We project our lenses on them when they may be thinking something totally different. In fact, they usually are. And so we to be able to approach that and look at them from their lenses.

Knowing there thinking differently so we can't make those assumptions we need to explore and actually talk to them.

In fact, you mentioned in the book a relational of the coworker that had a relationship problem with just about everybody. She came in the contact with and that probably is one the most practical illustrations you can provide all of us what happened in that case, I remember there's several of us were talking about this one coworker and it was starting to get down to the point of gossip and it was someone who was arrogant someone who was narcissistic and just seem to have it in for everyone.

Everyone looked at her behavior and then one of the women in the group said I wonder what happened to what you mean, Jesus. That's not normal behavior is not a normal way of relating something had to have happened to her when she was growing up. Just her environment or whatever that is caused her to handle life this way and it really threw us all back a little bit and thought, okay, we all are a product of everything that's happened to us in the past.

The choices we've made, the things we've learned and we don't know why someone has the behavior that they do.

But there are reasons that got them there. Mike, in fact, we struggle at times to apply Scripture to our modern-day lives. You know, I think these are ancient people living with ancient customs, but this area of how we interrelate with one another how human beings treat each other is as relevant today as it was 2000 4000 years ago when the Scriptures were being written right at what are some of those applications of Scripture, the Bible does give us practical advice for everyday living. And that's why we can take versus especially out of the Proverbs. Things like Proverbs 18. Seven. The talks about hearing both sides.

One side sounds good until you hear the other perspective and to be able to not assume that we know what somebody's thinking. Proverbs 1019 about talking less and listening more somebody said God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason, thinking before you respond. Proverbs 1528 and then just being careful with what we say.

Proverbs 2123 I like this from Proverbs 1019, just think of this, all of you listening. Think of this and how to place your life when words are many transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains is… Prudent. That's a a you know maybe the language seems antiquated but that's a way of saying sometimes the wisest person in the room is the one who's talking the least. It's so true it's true I think that there's and I don't have diverse in front of me.

I think it's in Proverbs 24 that we thought about putting on her guest room wall. It says something like I don't stay too long in your neighbor's house less they grow to hate you. That would be a great plaque on the wall when people say with you they love it. Every neighbors understand that exactly Philippians 24 is another one and again this is applying it to your everyday life. It says there let each of you look not only to his own interests, which we all do, but also to the interests of others. I mean that's the directly applying to what you're talking about.

I think that's kind of the key to the whole thing is that it's so easy to look at everything through our lenses for our perspective and saying why are these people not doing it the way they should, and really one of the most important things we can do from all these verses is a stop and listen and just to look through their lenses, not to agree with them just to understand what like that friend that coworker that pulled you all back for a moment to say something else to happen to this person because they're behaving oddly, there's gotta be some damage emotionally.

That was done that drives him or her in that direction. That perception that you talk about versus reality. I find it intriguing like that when Jesus was in front of Pontius Pilate.

I've mentioned this many times.

For the faithful listeners and you're going to hear it again but I'm intrigued by the fact that when Pontius Pilate was pushing Jesus to answer his questions, particularly in the gospel account of John that's were the most robust areas.

Jesus responses that I've come to testify to the truth you know if you think about it is a faithful follower of Christ. What would you expect him to have said. I came to testify, the righteousness, that's one I came to testify to his grace and be another Jesus said I came to testify to the truth that covers all those and so good. It is good because it's a great illustration for us. We need to know the truth as best as we can, even in our human foibles right what happens anytime we have what we call crazy people in our lives that basing it on our assumptions, our expectations, but not truth and the way to deal with all of this is to go to truth you're listening to Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and Mike Bechtel is our guest today talking about his book, people can't drive you crazy if you don't give them the keys and get your copy just checked the episode notes for more and Mike the title so aptly describes this next question, you know, if you don't give people the keys to your emotional heart and I can drive you off a cliff, basically. But we can't really change anybody.

We can even change necessarily external circumstances, we can influence those.

But the only thing we can truly change their own attitude toward something and that's where the key factor come sit control the keys, meaning your attitude and you cannot control your emotional stability and those over to somebody else.

Many get upset at somebody. Somebody pushes your button maybe your kids okay let's get closer to that. Maybe your spouse who has this ability to just push the right button at the wrong moment in their ER into an argument describe for us from a Christian perspective. What is it handing over the keys and what how do we keep the keys and keep control. I think it's what you just said at the beginning, the realization that we can't fix somebody else and that we really can't change. Another person we can influence them. There's things we can do. But if my happiness in my security depends on what you do. I'm probably going to be disappointed because I can't change another person the only person I really am responsible for is myself and making choices myself, why for a lifetime.

I mean somebody who's in their 50s like mere 60s and 70s struggle a whole life at that and somehow it's like banging your head up against the wall. We constantly just give the keys over what can you practically do to say okay I heard that program on focus today. I'm not going to hand my emotional keys over. I'm not can let the person drive me crazy. Now what I things like playing tennis that you stay on your side of the court. I can serve but I can't be responsible for how they return it.

Jesus triggers to help you stay in that lane and that side of the court and I think it's something as simple as going back to truth. It's like I don't know what the truth is, and when they respond to certain way, I can say they need to change their messing up my lives there ruining everything especially like you said if it's a family member yeah Mike, I'm thinking of parents who are saying but I have to train my child. And so where's the room for that in this equation yeah I think it's a training the child is part of our responsibility and we are guiding them the same time, the real people and your aunt is not your child.

That's right that's right were preparing them to be adults. Where were giving the tools they need and part of that is going to be the process of helping them understand what is it mean to operate from truth. Do I talk to my child and say hey you're really driving me crazy here, or do I just let them have some space I can do that. I think it's fair to say no when you're doing this I am feeling just crazy here if you like your driving me crazy, but then we go back to truth of what's really happening when you do this your better than that and I want to help you get to where you going to go. It's driving me crazy but I love you no matter what and I think it's that unconditional love.

When we have a wayward teenager it's making a lot of bad choices to separate the behavior from the person must do to say that they are there value comes from who they are not from what they do and sent for them to know that there unconditionally loved could be the thing that brings them back.

That's so critical, so my parents are going through that.

In fact, I think you experience that is apparent right you had to demonstrate it, which always brings a greater credibility is a microphone here, so could you explain any example that you might've had with your own kids sure my son was making some of the teenage choices you don't want him to make for a few years and was choosing a path that really wasn't where we had time to go.

We dropped him off at college and is driving you crazy.

That's the trying to be nice but that he was driving us crazy and then we drop them off at college and it terrified me because I thought okay now I'm not there to talk to him to guide him to make those kind of choices control him. What I can't fix them. At least I have a chance when he's in my home but I can now and I remember looking in the rearview mirror and seeing him walk back said he didn't look look back and at that time I felt like God said okay I love him more than you do. You can't be here, but I can't stay with in mind and to be working with them constantly year your job is to pray for and it's hard and brass. It is, but I think it is best truth.

Everything goes back to truth. It's like we're responsible for the choices we make staying in our side of the court, as it were. Also Mike you know quote in the book. I want you to explain which said this, we will spend every hour that we have. I was looking for the next word. But that's it.

We will spend every hour that we have if we don't determine where were going to spend it than someone else will decide for us, who deserves the best of your time today and that is convicting if I had $100 bill, it has no value in itself.

It's a piece of paper with ink on it, he gains value when I do something with it. I take her to a restaurant has the value of food.

Take it to the theater. It has a value of entertainment time is the same way a minute really doesn't have value by itself.

It's what we do with that minute. Whatever I choose to do that minute.

Whoever I spend it with whatever choices I make.

That's the value that minute hats, but the difference between time and money is that money you can choose not to spend. You can save it. You can invest it can do that with time time just use it with this man every minute and that's why if you don't decide intentionally make a choice about what do I do that minute, then someone else is making the choice for you.

That's just a good life reminder of what's most valuable in this life and I was able to hold a moon rock. A friend of mine had in the moon rock from one of the astronauts. First of all, it's amazingly light. It's like foam but he said to me, you know, this is the most precious material on earth. I thought that's really interesting more precious than diamonds. The things that the earth is created because it's outside of the earth. It's a moon rock and there's only a you know a few dozen of them in the world and that you think about that, but in the same way that value for time.

It's amazing that we negate or we discount the most valuable commodity that were given in life. It's not money it's time and what we do with our time. I love that calling it out to that one hour how you can spend it and that's what goes back to how do you deal with your crazy people.

If I can spend an hour listening to them that if a net spending hours trying to fix them. That's an investment that will pay off bullets move in that direction, you know, one of the key things is holidays are always present. We said and promised we'd end with the family side there might be one or two people to push your buttons and pad area and you host a Christmas dinner and 25 people coming over, but that one person.

When she gets on the silverware and tells me how tarnished my silverware is, or how the plates are just right or how dry the turkey is to share a name with no I'm just guessing that if I have a friend, but that is really the point and it just does something to get under your skin and you're saying why do we go through this every holiday were we invite that relative over what's a different way to approach it to its with family. It's like swimming with sharks are all under what is it because everybody so comfortable with each other than not wanting to behave well I think there's patterns we develop for so long and that it's the way we've always done it. So if they've always had Christmas dinner at your house, you have the biggest house is the most central, everyone expects that and you expected to so suddenly you're saying our rights and have Christmas dinner, but that that person is coming over. They complained about the silverware. Uncle Joe doesn't like turkey so I have to make a ham every here are a yoke of what is it tofu told Toki something like a turkey, tofu turkey and the other guy knows all right I'll pronounce it better next time and nobody complained. I mean everybody complains about how many raisins are are in the dressing and there's nobody helps clean up the set up for disaster. As in so you credit you want to be with those people because you care about them, but what you do in that situation I think one thing is to call it back to say okay what choices can I make and sometimes it might be asking uncle Joe to bring his own ham and maybe saying you know I just did, announcing, saying, this year I'm not can have it at my house. But wherever you have it.

I'll help ordinate or I'll reserve a room at a restaurant. I'll send out an invitation.

How much is going to cost or I could take a Caribbean cruise that weaker or have the house tented for termites. There sets a drastic move, but it's in the repertoire could be effective now to its extreme, but it's the idea that makes sense and make some choices I don't have to say it has to way it's always been.

I can make some simple choices to get other people involved, I can hire a cleaning person to come in after hey Mike, how do you differentiate between that line of what's real and then the admonition Scripture not to be a gossiper. What if you could tell me where that line is I deeply appreciated. It's really hard. You have to find it in the moment. I think where, because when you're with family and you've got that crazy relative that everybody knows about. There has to be some discussion about how are we going to handle this. What we do with this person, but when it drops into were telling stories about how bad it was.

That's when it's gotten into gossip so it's a matter of how do we talk about survival or boundaries without going into that area and that is good Mike here's the kicker question the whole have far been talking. I'm thinking what if I'm the crazy person and another person. So how do we know truth that will say oh, I've got something I got to do to change one for that person. I think we are the assumption that because so if what you write because everybody else might be crazy to us and they say if you join a group and there's nobody crazy than it has to be but in this context to be able to recognize it to someone else we're moving there set point to the degree that I do that that makes me the crazy person for them.

That's so good it's been so great having you here Focus on the Family thank you thank you.

It's always a privilege telephone conversation with Dr. Mike Bechtel about his book, people can't drive you crazy. If you don't give them the keys, John.

I know Mike's message has resonated with many of our listeners as were entering the holiday season with Thanksgiving and then Christmas, there's probably troubling family member who comes to mind. Or maybe it's a neighbor or a coworker. Whoever it is, Mike's book is a great resource for you here Focus on the Family we want to put that tool in your toolbox so that you can do a better job of living in the fruit of the spirit and that's our goal today, so if you can send a gift of any amount of focus and will say thank you by sending you this great book and I guarantee you'll find lots of good advice in this great resource and will make your life a little more peaceful than it is right now are numbers 800 the letter a in the word family 800-232-6459 or donate and get the book by clicking the link in the episode show notes and let me remind you that some good friends to the ministry have provided us with a matching gift which means any donation you make today will be doubled and as a result, more marriages can be strengthened. More parents equipped to raise godly kids and we can give more families. We really love to hear from you today, again, are numbers 800 K word family or check the episode coming up next time.

The important family tradition that we were doing all of these tracings is I want to find my children to our family to let you have here. Therefore, you have Jim Daly and our entire team. Thanks for listening to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once again help you and your family thrive right and I knew my marriage was falling apart.

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