Relationally Stupid

To be relationally stupid means that that we often tend to do and say things that creates conflict and disunity with others and not be aware of it. It is often sad to see the blindness of many to the damage they cause with their attitude and words. It is often sort of a head shaker for me in dealing with people and helping them to grow in maturity so that they have healthy relationships. For many years I was very relationally stupid and the worst part was that much of the time was in the early years of ministry as a pastor. It took awhile , but I finally started figuring out what I was doing wrong from much advice and counsel from others who helped point out character flaws, blind spots, and what to do that is relationally intelligent. My main tool in growing in this area was a journal. Every time there was any kind of conflict, disunity, or a bit of a rub with another person I would describe the whole event in as much detail as I could remember in my journal, and then I would write, “I am 100% the problem, ‘Dear Lord, show me what I need to work on, show me my blind spots, Your commandment to me is to love others the way You do, but I can’t unless You help me”. I would then read what I wrote trying to see myself accurately. I would write down something I could see that needed changing, even if just a little bit, and then I would read it again, and find another blind spot. As I reread my little “short story” of the event I would often find 6 to 12 things I could have done or said differently. It didn’t take to many “short stories” about conflicts I was in to see some repeated offenses which increased my self-control to not do them. I began to read books on “relational intelligence” and “people skills” that taught me some basic pro-active ways to be likable, lovable, and relationally attractive. They were mostly simple little skills like asking good questions, listening attentively, making eye contact, not interrupting their story, not being argumentative, and smiling. I still have an occasional difficult time with another person and I still journal about it, and I am still learning and growing into a the kind of lover of people that Jesus was.

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