You can’t change someone else.  I think that’s one of the hardest lessons to learn.  I can’t make someone stop doing something that bothers me.  I can ask them to stop.  I can tell them why I don’t like it.  But make them?  That’s seldom an option.

It can make you feel powerless until you realize one more important thing.  You don’t have to engage.

90% of the time, you can walk away.  Oh, you want to argue about (fill in the blank) again?  Thanks, but no.

It’s that remaining 10% that is tricky.  How do you not engage with an argumentative family member? I faced this situation and it was something I prayed about quite a bit.  This person loved to belittle.  There were times where she would ask a question and I knew that if I said yes, I would get it.  If I said no, I’d get it then too.

I’d love to say that I solved this one with prayer.  That would be ideal.  While I can’t say I solved it, the situation did get better.


“I’m sorry you feel that way.”  “We’re just going to have to disagree.”  “Would you like me to go get you something to eat/drink?”

This is a talent that I’m still developing.  Fortunately, God has given me a gift.  There are numerous people in my life that are really good at dealing with people who want to argue and belittle.  In a culture that is growing increasingly argumentative, I know I don’t want to be part of the problem.  It’s up to me to learn from the people God sends my way.