I am an absolute failure at telling people I disagree with them. I hate conflict and I hate making people feel badly. Assuming people are going to feel badly about themselves because I have a different opinion than they do is an arrogant assumption I know. I’m working on it. It’s that angle or I don’t want them to feel badly about me… I get those two confused some times.
It really is all about me most days. I just hate debating issues. I’m not good at it and I rarely win. I can tell a person what I think and feel, but if I have to defend that in such a way that it feels like the other person wants me to convince them I’m right? That’s another story all together. Most times I chose not to say anything at all and that situation has me in hot water a lot these days.
I’m in hot water because now I have all this feeling behind the opinion. And I have opinions people aren’t used to hearing. I am getting better though.
One thing I need to work on this year — getting over the whole pastor phobia deal. No seriously, you know how some people have snake phobias? Well, I have pastor phobias… especially if they are wearing that black and white death suit of theirs. Reminds me of Darth Vader… chills.
Imagine having a pastor phobia, being in a speech class under a pastor and you hear her say THIS… to another student, loudly enough that she is obviously engaging the class:
“Well you know that Martin Luther doesn’t believe in works, right? I mean EVERYONE knows he wanted the whole book of James removed from the Bible. Lutherans only believe in Grace.” —
It really seemed like one of the pastors adamantly agreed with her. And now I am faced with two pastors on one side and I felt like defenseless cheese.
We’re talking feelings here and not necessarily facts.
I didn’t agree with her and I wanted to throw up. Pastor phobia, remember? That and I was wracking my brain trying to remember the REAL story behind Martin Luther and the book of James..
What struck me though — after I sifted through the names I wanted to call her adn how I sat there and said nothing, but stewed for two days — is I had paid almost $2,000 to be in the particular class. My instructor is erroneously bashing Martin Luther and as a result, I feel insulted to the point that I missed every thing else she said. She had my bio, she knew I was Lutheran. My anger at her comments had rendered me speechless.
I spent a long time being angry with myself for not speaking up and now I also realise that:
1. She was incorrect not only in her theological history but in her attitude as well.
2. Her actions were unprofessional.
And I felt powerless to do anything about it.
I want to handle things differently next time. I’m not sure how I’ll go about it yet. But I’ll figure it out.
Have you ever been there? What would you have done? How would you have handled it?