A coworker of mine wanted to be friends outside of work, even though our points of view regarding religion/spirituality are complete opposites. For a few months after she first came to work at my company everything went really well. Actually it went great!
We got along just fine, joked around and had no problems whatsoever. The problems arose only when I told her that I found a few difficulties with the Bible, although I deeply love Jesus as an Ascended Master (as is my personal belief). Well, she even gave a Bible at one point, which I loved not necessarily because I agree with what’s in the book, but because I liked her.
This lady’s husband is a pastor and they are really into the fundamentalist thing. I saw no problem with that as I respect everyone’s points of view. I thought she would respect mine as well.
In any case, a couple of weeks ago she said something to our manager about me that I found hurtful, even though she later denied saying it (I was present and in front of them) and said she was just joking. Well, I only wanted to talk about it. I guess my Ego wanted an apology. Didn’t get one. Instead, I apologized and told her it was my fault. Why? Well, because if I were TRULY a spiritual student NO comment from anyone would’ve hurt me in any way. Do you agree?
So I tried to explain this to her and tell her that the responsibility was mine for the “bad blood” from before. But then I made a decision that I needed to protect her beliefs from… well, from me. What I studied for half of my life is completely out of her realm of understanding and there had been conflict before because she will fight to the death to protect her beliefs. But she wanted me say she was and would always be my “favorite” not only at work but outside of work as well. I then told her that everyone is my favorite. When I denied her the friendship and refused to join up her faith, that’s when I received the two most awful, hate filled e-mails I’ve ever received. Pretty much condemning me to a tragic death because I don’t believe as she and her husband do.
Now she walks around the office looking all hardened and cold. And I can’t help but feel the dark energy coming from her. And everyone else is affected as well.
A few minutes ago I found out she blocked me on Facebook as well.
Am I wrong to think this 50-year-old woman is acting in somewhat immature ways?
And I’m fully aware that by asking this question it makes ME a person who isn’t fully spiritually mature either.
But this prejudice against me is hurting me. As I’m sure it hurts her.
I understand this might be a learning experience. But how can I go on working with this person under these conditions?
Thank you in advance for your help/advice.
SheWho, I wish I COULD “cut her loose.” But we are coworkers… I see her every day…
She says hurtful things to other coworkers as well. She puts the young girls down because they date and go to clubs late at night. She has completely identified with the “mother” in her (she has 7 children) and feels that the world is part of her motherly responsibility. And this extends to people older than herself as well. This bugs everyone, of course.
To the Christian friends who answered me: thank you! Thank you! I knew I wasn’t crazy expecting that someone would understand that this isn’t Christian behavior. It’s all so sad, really….
To be fair, right after my apology she did apologize after a long email. But by then I was hurt and… didn’t want to pursue the friendship anymore.
I made her feel “special” and wanted and warm. I know how to do this. How? Well, it’s simple: during a long dark night of my soul I learned that the best way to receive love is to GIVE love. That’s when I let go and let my love flow freely. I guess she was attracted to that. Although she says “I” was attracted to HER light. Funny, huh? : )
Too bad we can’t have both sides of the story. I may be hurting her more than she is hurting me. Albeit unintentionally… Who knows. Sometimes I think people who are hurting the most are the ones who attack others.
I’ve been thinking about the lesson in this. I hope I learn my lesson, like you said. And it is indeed a lesson. As everything in our lives provide us with all kinds of lessons to be learned.
“o,” you are always so wise and thoughtful.
I know what you mean. This is a test not for her, but for ME, because I can only work on myself of course. I don’t feel like I “need” to be liked by her. It’s just that… I’m very, very sensitive to other people’s energies. And whenever she gets near me I FEEL her aura, dense, dark and polarized energy.
After reading all your answers carefully (thank you all so much!), I’m now trying to figure out a way to neutralize what I feel is her confused energy from interacting and contaminating mine even further (since I know my energy isn’t in such great shape either). So I can truly love her deeply and unconditionally. Even when she can’t or won’t do the same for me.
I’m trying to go one step further and eliminate all need from my part. Tough… at least right now. *smiles*
Who wants to be liked?
Who wants to be seen to be ‘spiritually sound’?
Who feels that they have the greater understanding of the truth?
Who wants others to accept their chosen path?
Who is seeing the other as separate?
Who is using dualistic terms such as mature/immature?
It could be that your Christian fundamentalist colleague is not ‘other’ but the More of Yourself…bringing you the fire of insight, clearing and the precursor of an even deeper peace…and greater fearless, profound gratitude for all beings…so you can totally love the ones you like and even the ones you don’t.
I really feel for you. I was raised fundamentalist Christian. If it helps any, this kind of thing happens between Christians who claim they share the same faith..generally on one point or another–doesn’t seem to matter what; they all divide people just as effectively. Its part of the religion.
This woman firmly believes that she is following the scripture, “if you deny me, I will deny you”. Thats why she stepped up the pressure on your belief system. She thinks she’s doing it for God. Everything you’ve described, as far as I know..has nothing to do with love or God. If she befriended you because she was expecting to convert you then..thats not God either; its a lie. In fact..sounds like she’s told a few lies..all in the name of God.
I think..if I were you..I’d give up on reconciling this. I know you work with her; that she’s making it hard for you but..she’s operating from a reality that simply–is irrational. I don’t think you can reason with her..but I MIGHT..at a point of contention..glare right back and say..
..I forgive you for being yourself..even if you can’t forgive me..
..and let it go at that.
I wish you..all the best; I know how miserable it can be.
It is all about that you said:
“This lady’s husband is a pastor and they are really into the fundamentalist thing. I saw no problem with that as I respect everyone’s points of view. I thought she would respect mine as well.”
Respect is to word to help you out.
As God gave you your internal, and personal and particular faith, they, as son’s as well of God, shall respect yourself and try not to convince you you are wrong.
You are not. You are following your heart and God inside you is more likelly than them.
Jesus did not carry a Bible nor ever spoke any of its contents in public as examples of what should be done.
Just be like the earth…on which surface people spread many garbages but gives nothing but fruits, flowers and seeds to feed human beings…this is but a symbol of LOVE without which there is neither belief nor life. Where there is no LOVE even when facing the worst Â«enemyÂ», there is no success. Our Beloved prophet Muhammad SAW was constantly being harassed by an old woman who threw garbages at Him daily. She felt ashamed when one day she received the visit of the prophet Muhammad (SAW) when she was ill. It was out of LOVE that the prophet visited her despite the fact she ill-treated Him…
Yeah, they burned my g.g.g.g.g.g.grandmother alive for being a healer. A sweet little old lady helping the sick was such an abomination to their Jesus she needed to be burned alive in front of her family, little kids and all.
History is littered with their crimes and atrocities.They do things like hand out small pox infected blankets to the native American population and committed genocide on them to steal their lands.
They are currently busy telling 3rd world Africa that condoms will give them AIDS.
I would stay well away from evil things if I were you.
Practicing Shaman… quantum physics rocks.
It sounds like she is the one with a problem!! It’s too bad she prances around as such a good Christian when her actions are not Christ-like at all. People like her are what turn others away from religion. Anyway, when in life do others comments not hurt us? Let me know this secret! It’s not your ego, it’s only correct to apologize when one gets caught in a lie! We are never fully spiritually mature, life has many seasons we do well and other times when we don’t! We can only continue to try to learn as we live through each event!
A true friend would still be a friend, and agree to disagree about religion. Of course I too would like all my friends to believe the same as me, but this is not life… but I don’t shut them out and kick them off my face book account! I think you are better off, and safer, not having her on your facebook account anyway! She seems to have to be right all the time and make herself look better than everyone else.
Treat her professionally but don’t go out of your way for her. Continue to pray for her. It’s usually an insecure person who puts others down.
You have arrived at a point of exhibiting your maturity, which I perceive in your post. This person and her husband, on the other hand, exhibit the anti-social aspects of half-assed religionists that believe they have a land-line to God whereas all they have is an inability to find a compromise between a working society with all its hopes and prayers and the obdurate religious sects who mistake a militant assault on their ‘non-believers’ as ‘crusading for God’. I’ve seen this ignorance before in people who pull the curtains to drink liquor. When I see women in Islam countries stoned in the street I am reminded of our own tunnel-minded glorious hypocrits who use their little churches and small-minded preachers to hide their ignorance behind their domineering holier-than-thou charades. I don’t know what to tell you. It is our countrry’s hidden scourge. Your best bet is to ignore it, except for making notes, until you have to take it to management.
Oh, refuse absolutely to get into discussions or arguments of religious dogma with her. there’s nothing to be gained there. One advantage you will maintain is your right at work to be free of ANY kind of harrassment, especially religious. Another caution: be wary of this woman and her husband; people of their ilk often harbor secrets that you need to keep out of your life.
Perhaps she felt that she could “win you over” to her belief system and when she finally accepted and realized that she could not she became bitter and angry…maybe she even felt like a failure.
Of course she should respect your beliefs but think about what she believes in …to her you are condemned and doomed because of your heretical beliefs…your lack of faith in what is, to her, reality.
As far as not allowing negative people to affect us and becoming spiritually mature…..we are all learning and growing in our own way on our own path…..do not be too hard on yourself.
I wish I knew how to advise you on what to do about the work situation…I know from experience how miserable it is to work when their is “bad blood’ brewing. All I can think of is for you to look for opportunities to be kind and tell yourself every day that you believe and KNOW that the Universe/God or whatever you believe in will make the situation right….and eventually that will happen……I can almost guarantee it!
“In any case, a couple of weeks ago she said something to our manager about me that I found hurtful, even though she later denied saying it (I was present and in front of them) and said she was just joking.” Denying it does not make it untrue — I wish my sister in law would learn that one lesson. If you can prove that it was untrue and damaging to your career (or potentially so), you need to defend your reputation and good name. She does not have the right to make you look bad to your employer when your conduct has not deserved it.
“Instead, I apologized and told her it was my fault. Why? Well, because if I were TRULY a spiritual student NO comment from anyone would’ve hurt me in any way. Do you agree?” No, I do not agree. She was the offender, and it was not your fault. You have become an enabler, allowing her to continue hurting other people — and you. You are not made of stone. You still have feelings. And being spiritually mature does not necessitate a heart of stone, much less perfection.
“So I tried to explain this to her and tell her that the responsibility was mine for the “bad blood” from before. But then I made a decision that I needed to protect her beliefs from… well, from me.” I doubt that she had the love for you necessary to motivate her to try to understand your statement. The “bad blood” cannot possibly have been your fault, unless you have omitted something important from your narrative. Besides, you do not need to protect her beliefs from you, as long as you are as considerate as you seem.
“When I denied her the friendship and refused to join up her faith, that’s when I received the two most awful, hate filled e-mails I’ve ever received. Pretty much condemning me to a tragic death because I don’t believe as she and her husband do.” If she sent those e-mails from work or to you at work, it is your responsibility to take them to your boss and inform him that she is creating a hostile work environment. She needs it, you need it, and your employer, whether he admits it or not, needs it — because somebody less generous than yourself might sue instead of complaining. If work was not involved in any way, by her fruits ye shall know her.
Avoid her, and be careful to document everything you do so you can defend yourself against any further falsehoods. If she creates a hostile work environment, and your boss allows her to do it, then you have a legitimate complaint against your employer.
Don’t make things your fault when they’re not. Maybe I’m not the best person in the world to give this advice, as I haven’t learned to take it myself yet, but take it for what it’s worth.
Well I’m sorry you have met someone who claims to be a Christian, and has yet to learn what that means. I think weather you know it or not, your on the right track, though your terminology is a bit off. I don’t think God really cares what you call Him, (at this point) as long as you believe in Him and love Him.
Maybe this has happened for a reason. It could be God sees you and hears your questions, and has shown you some of what you need, to make the right choices and explore the right path.
All you can do with your coworker though, is grin and bear it. Unless you’d like to teach her a lesson. Christianity is based upon the love of God, and His love for us. So the next time you get a chance ask her. Just how exactly, is what she is doing, showing you the love of Christ? Suggest to her that she should read Matt. 22:36-40. You might read it yourself, so you can quote it to her. Though she has not shown it entirely, she gave you a Bible out of love, so I pray you use it, please. After you have gone to her with this, and if she continues to harass you , then you can either put up with it, or go to the boss. Christ even teaches about that.
Jesus said (I always consider what He said; it’s very practical these days, specially to get to “know” people deeply) “Not all Israel IS of Israel”.
The mere fact that someone says “I am a christian, and my husband is a pastor”, means nothing, because many spirits have come out to the world, and we must examine them thoroughly if they originate from God, so to speak.
The “wisdom” that comes from up there is – first – pacient, kind, understanding, etc. The one that originates on the earth – terrenal – is animalistic, full with pride and vanity, usually not ready to reconcile differences and ready to disent.
Many times God locates individuals in the low position to teach Kings about humbleness. The ONLY opposed example is the one Jesus gave by washing the feet of His Apostles; the moral, the one that leads must serve. Hardly seen these days of pecocks and feathers and people trying to “outdo” every one else.
I know it may sound as a clishe, but I really think that if you understand that “love” is an attitude that reflects the notion of principles, you may try this…and it’ll work:
(1CoÂ 13:8) Â¶ Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Check this out, underline it and go and talk to that “christian”; see what happens. Maybe it’s worthed. Wish you success.
Sometimes people need a lesson in learning to not say mean jokes about people, and lessons on how to apologise when they do. You denied her that opportunity by incorrectly taking the blame on yourself for her behavior.
Dont do that again.
In the meantime, you should know that fundies are not reasonable where their religion is concerned.
She has become Toxic. You have no reason to expose yourself to her toxicness, in fact by doing so you are feeding her need to be toxic and making it worse for yourself.
Look at what Christian fundamentalists believe. It’s based on fear, and a lot of it is based on hatred besides. They are already toxic just by that alone. It’s really best to just avoid them altogether.
I wouldn’t do anything at all now. She is the one freaking out and she is the one who will have to get over it. You’ll need to develop a tough skin to get through it until she does, but it’s really her dysfunction and she has to deal with it. Don’t let it become your dysfunction too. Stay out of it at this point and let her do whatever she’s going to do. She will have to get over it sooner or later, and resume some sort of functional work relationship. When she starts showing signs of this, you can relax a little bit towards her but dont become friendly again unless she comes to you and apologises and says that she is willing to live and let live, religiously as far as you’re concerned. That may never happen.
Good luck. And don’t be taking the blame for other people’s actions anymore. You can get in really bad trouble doing that, especially in the work environment, and it can follow you from job to job even if you change jobs.
P.S. Also, by your taking the blame and apologising for HER actions, she may have taken that as you trying to be “holier than thou”, in other words, trying to show her up as a Christian. This may have greatly bruised her ego, as her ego seems pretty immature to begin with, and people like that are rather childish.
If she sent you these emails on a work account, or from her work account, this is workplace harassment. And THAT is unacceptable.If so, it’s time to report it to your boss.
None of us is spiritually mature – nor will we ever be. Life is a long learning process that doesn’t even end at death.
Sadly, however, I’ve met many women like your coworker – she is being manipulative. Just because she’s a minister’s wife – well, that does guarantee to make her any better.
How to keep working with her? Ignore her as much as possible. make a preemptive strike; let your boss know that you have had a falling out of friendship between you and this woman, and that you are planning to keep it out of the office, but that there is a possibility, based on her other behavior, that she could possibly be vindictive.
Unfortunately this person does not seem to have an understanding of what she claims to believe. A Christian should not expect everyone to believe what they believe, because by the grace of God we are saved, not by anything that we do. And we can’t just convince someone to believe, we need to pray that they will come to know the truth. She also should accept that if you are not a believer, then she should not expect you to be her friend. Sending hateful emails is not godly. Maybe she thought you were a Christian because you had some positive things to say about Jesus then when you ran into a conflict, she was offended.
Just don’t give people like that free rent in your mind, read about Jesus and how he forgave people, and put your mind on the goodness of Christ. Here I am a Christian agreeing with you, so see we can be reasonable sometimes.
She is emotionally immature. She should have never brought this into the work place but some people can’t help themselves…they live for drama. If God were really in her heart she would not be treating you this way. If I were in your shoes I would let this person go from my life. You cannot be friends with her outside of work. It will be hard to continue to work along side her but you need to try and keep it purely professional and let this emotional baggage/pain go from your life.
Wow, I’m really sorry. She is out of line. I hate that you are being treated this way. Christians are human, just like everyone else and they can be sinful as well.
If it is affecting your job then you should talk to your boss about it. It shouldn’t be interfering with your work.
Just give her space and take a little space for yourself. And please, don’t let this experience color your view of Christians. One woman doesn’t represent Jesus Christ.
I may have missed this while reading, but what on earth warranted any cold shoulder from her?
You sounded like you were best friends, she said something mean, you apologized and suddenly she hates you?
I don’t understand her reasons, and I can’t say I can help much with your relationship with her, but please don’t take her as the norm of any kind of Christian believer. That’s not how Christians are supposed to act.