(excerpts from a portion of the program titled
My Greatest Problem the Other Fellow, by Dr. Marian Crist Lippitt)
Relationships and Communications
A. Greater-Lesser Relationships
1. When I consider my self greater, my communication -
a) either expresses his inferiority or my own love and concern for him as
his protector and helper;
b) aims to instruct or enlighten him, either arrogantly or with patient
c) either assumes he will serve me or tries ways in which I can help him.
2. When I consider the Other Fellow Greater - My communicating -
a) either is to win his approval, favor and love or express my admiration
b) either resents, ignores and rejects his advice, instructions or
opinions, or accepts these gladly when given.
B. Equality Relationships
1. When the other fellow assumes superiority over me, my communicating -
a) either express hostility and negative emotion, or tolerance,
compassion and forgiveness for his error;
b) either resentfully rejects or lovingly ignores his commands and
instructions that are unreasonable;
c) It communicates either an annoyed rejection or willing compliance when
he expects me to serve him - the latter either because I know all people
should help each other or because I desire to fulfill my God-given
station of servitude.
2. When I know the other fellow feels inferior to me, my communicating
a) indicates either a taking advantage of his regard for me, or is a
special effort to express affection and love for him;
b) either instructs and tells him, or consciously avoids trying to teach
him, except as he asks my advice or help.
3. When mutually recognized as one of equality, my communicating -
a) is continually either liking or loving;
b) presents my thoughts and ideas to make them convincing (with argument
if necessary), or merely for consideration or as possible enlightenment
c) it either suggests cooperation and exchange of help, or it seeks ways
of serving him and expresses delight in doing so.
Shall We Tell People Their Faults?
We think, "If he realized how much he hurts me, he wouldn't do it." Or we
say, "If she only knew that she is this way, she would change." But is
this true? Faults or undeveloped virtues that produce character
deficiencies are part of the person. There is only one thing CAN correct
them: spiritual growth. And the growth of a soul is a matter between
himself and God. There is just one thing I can do to help the other
fellow to grow: I can LOVE him, backing my love with prayer.
When I tell a person his faults, do I lift him up to those heights of
spiritual power where he can be changed? It is far more likely that I
will cast him down into some negative state of mind where he has NO ACCESS
to his own latent divinity: into anger or frustration, into disappointment
and unhappiness, into remorse or a sense of guilt. A truly spiritual
person knows how to climb out of these low negative states of mind through
prayer and meditation; but most of us are still so human that we DON'T do
so very readily; and in such human state of emotion our faults grow
greater instead of being overcome. In short, if I keep telling the other
fellow that he is selfish, he is either going to reject this attack in
anger, or accept it as true and increase his own sense of inadequacy or
He won't be any easier to live with!
All I do in either case is to add to his spiritual impotence.
In the spiritual growth that corrects a fault in the other fellow, some
special virtue that counteracts that deficiency must be brought out.
So what should I do instead of pointing out his fault? First of all I
should pray for his growth - bring divine power into the situation. Then
I should do all I can to stimulate his spiritual growth, and try to bring
out the virtue that is absent. It has to be there, latent, because every
soul can reflect every attribute of God. Thus if I am hurt because my
friend shows me a lack of consideration, I should watch for a situation
where he DOES show consideration to someone, and praise him for it. I
might say how lovable that trait makes him seem! This might be an impetus
to his trying to be more considerate in the future.? But let me not spoil
the effect of this effort by saying, "I just wish you would show me that
much consideration!" For that kind of comment expresses an entirely
different nature from the one that is only concerned with helping my friend.
Concentrating, thinking and communicating about evil only increases it. It
is the natural human thing to do. I must work to overcome it, call on the
power of God to eliminate the habit. The love of God is what can change
my bad habits and MAKE me control the natural tendency to find fault. And
too, who am I, with all of my faults to be self-righteously condemning the
other fellow for some imperfections that he has not yet corrected?
Dr. Marian Crist Lippitt