So, there’s this woman in my life, LittleMissPerfect.
Or at least she thinks she is.
It doesn’t matter what subject we are talking about with our friends, she always has the right answer. She always knows exactly what you’re talking about. She always knows exactly how you feel. If you are a stay at home mom, she is too. If you are a working mom, she is too! If you have a heart for music, she does too. If you say you love blind monkeys climbing up a tree and doing a funny little dance, what a coincidence! She does too!
She is the kind of woman who makes you think that bitch-slapping is highly underrated.
Nothing is ever wrong in her world. Oh, she will say there are problems. But they are the kind of shiny, vaseline-coated problems that work out perfectly in the end, just like in sitcoms on TV. Her and her husband sat down and discussed the exact right way to handle things, and voila! Problem solved! Her kids always behave well, and when they dare not to behave like perfect little angels, then she disciplines them (perfectly of course), and all is well in the world again. They have big entrepreneurial dreams–just like you do, of course–but unlike those entrepreneurs who struggle to not have their soul crushed as they work for others and live out someone else’s dream, LittleMissPerfect and her husband are perfectly content to wait their time until the kids were through college, because it’s what they decided was the right thing to do for the kids. I have even begun to suspect that she spends a lot of time on Google, looking up just the right terms to use no matter the topic being debated, so that everyone will see she is an expert in everything from cooking to engineering to child-rearing to photography…and so on. She always has the right answer, every time, and feels compelled to always share said right answer with everyone. In every conversation. And if you don’t immediately understand her brilliance and her ultimate correctness, she will continue to push, sharing seamingly improbable scenario after scenario of how she has faced the exact same issue–and came out with the exact right answer at the end.
As I said: Bitch. Slap.
So, what do you do? I have really struggled with this lately. For a while I blocked her on Facebook, because her shiny happy pseudo-perfection just drove me up a wall. It wasn’t good for my sanity. But then recently God began working on me. Okay, so deep down I know I’m not supposed to slap her. She really makes my palm tingle for a good old smack down, but inside I know I’m actually supposed to offer her grace and love. Mercy, not a beating. Because as annoying as she is, no one is perfect. No one. I know that. And I know that the more she tries to persuade everyone she is perfect, the more she really isn’t. There is broken inside of her just the way there is inside of me. There is brokenness inside of all of us.
So now my struggle becomes how to show grace and love to someone who drives you crazy? I can start by praying for her. No, not in a “God, I know you love her, but would you mind smoting her just a bit?” kind of way. As much fun as it would be to watch that, I don’t think that’s the grace and mercy he had in mind. It’s hard, but I can start by praying “God, bless her today. For every time I grumble about her or roll my eyes at her, bless her.” That’s a hard one.
But what else? What have you done when faced with this kind of person? How do you learn to show grace and mercy to someone who drives you up a wall?