“You’ve Changed!” A Rude Insult Or Nice Compliment?
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We’ve all had somebody volley this unpredictable flaming arrow of a remark at us before – It can come as both sharp and blunt at the same time. On the one hand it could be the compliment you’ve been craving for weeks or years now to boost your spirits, on the other it could be the surprise backhander that you appear to not be on somebody else’s level. Whatever the case, the force in which these two simple words put together impact us tend to have lasting effect, piercing to the very core of our tender selves.
This got me thinking lately about the existential statement “You’ve Changed” and how many camouflaged meanings it could take on.
A lot can simply depend on when, where and from whose lips (or text) this message proceeded from. How well do you know the person? How likely are they to just be joking? What’s their own mood and how’s their life going? Did the jam drop out of their donut that day or have they actually been paying close attention to a noticeable flaw within myself that needs addressing? Did they say it out of small courage or because they were vexxed? Maybe they’ve just got it utterly wrong? But, what if they’ve got it utterly right!?
Rare is the person who shines bright and balanced in their response to this heed, especially when it’s loud and clear, the person speaking is in no way offering throat choking flattery. If we are mostly all honest, our baseline with any human interaction is coated in waxy awkwardness anyway – diffusing or embracing this side winder of a comment will naturally catch us off guard.
It’s sort of the point.
We are all changing. Constantly. And hopefully and obviously we go to bed wishing upon a shooting star, that we always change for the better at the conclusion of each cycle of the earth.
Life doesn’t go on this onwards and upwards linear way of thinking unfortunately.
The people who smite you with “You’ve Changed!” are likely afraid of how much they have or have not changed themselves. The notion that you think somebody ought to stay the same for you and your benefit only is preposterous. What it actually means is, “You were meant to be right where I left you, but you did not choose to stay”.
No matter the context, the person or the tone – don’t let “You’ve Changed!” be the, how can I put it, battle scar, that you either are scared of or are equally too proud of. Change is a moving target. Be a friend who believes in the JOURNEY of change, not the destination where by the train simply stops at you.
Hop on the ride with them. Hopefully above all they are letting God and his Word guide them over what are sometimes bumpy tracks and unexpected delays. The next time you think of saying “You’ve Changed!”, consider switching it to…
“You’ve come so far!”