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I donít say much. Because of certain bad experiences, Now people are under the impression that Iím weird. How do I clean up this mess?Comments(0)
Whenever Iím hanging out with my friends or girls, I donít say much. Because of certain bad experiences, I try not to say anything because I donít want to get a negative or really mean response. This situation has really ruined my reputation at school and with some girls that I like. Now people are under the impression that Iím weird. How do I clean up this mess?óSocially Confused, 15.
Dear Socially Confused,
I could ask all types of questions, such as Why would your friends say mean or negative things to you if they’re friends? What do you say that makes people want to be mean? I could even ask how this could have ruined your reputation. But the main point in this matter is not the response of the people around you,
but what is in your heart.
Sounds like your bad experiences have made you negative and cynical. I know a little bit about this because I am also negative. In college I was nicknamed “cynic” because I had a talent for killing the party. Because of my family life, I didn’t really see the positive side of things. I figured that if the beginning of my life was bad, the rest would probably be too. I found myself alone a lot, and instead of trying to change my attitude, I just chalked it up to people being mean.
In reality it wasn’t other people; it was me. When you never have anything nice to say, you start to get the reputation of a downbeat. When people try to cheer you up, you destroy their sunshine and rain on their parade. And while having no friends wasn’t easy, the real danger I faced was depression. I would sleep a ton, not care how I looked, ignore important parts of my life such as school, and not care about anything. A week of walking around campus like a zombie can get you labeled as weird.
What happened that helped me change my situation? I was given a Bible with a section in the back that listed all of God’s promises in different situations. One of the headings was “God’s promises when you are depressed.” When I turned to the second verse in that section, I read: “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18). For the first time I understood that God was not ashamed of all my baggage. He is like a broken-heart magnet, looking for broken hearts to make them whole again. Paul puts it this way: “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). All of us have been brokenhearted because of sin at some point in our lives. God knew we would need grace and offers us His strength to get us through.
This promise motivated me to start reading my Bible on a regular basis and praying that God would take the things that made me so negative away. I’m not saying I’m 100 percent positive now; the devil still tempts me. But I can say that when I look at things in the light of God’s love for me, I feel optimistic, and my negative comments stop.
Changing your situation starts with realizing that Jesus wants to take those bad experiences and replace them with a relationship with Him. It may take a little while for your friends to notice the difference in your attitude, but spending time with God is hard to hide. Soon you will notice that you have become more positive and your relationships have improved. A positive character will do more than get you friends; it will protect you from depression. “All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15).
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