How to communicate with this person?

Posted on 2012-04-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-04-04
I know someone and they are always asking how are you doing?
The correct answer is "not so good" but I always leave the can of worms closed by saying: "ok, I guess."
The "I guess" often suggest that we might discuss the cause of "I guess."
However, this person thinks and feels that religion solves all problems.
Before her husband died, I was there on many occasions when they were arguing about religion. He did not understand why she went to church 6-7 days a week. Worked in their office days, went Wednesday nights, and Sunday.
He drank alcohol and cursed.
As he got near death, with a heart rate just under 40, he needed a paced maker. Having never gone to the doctor for anything at any age, he later died of a heart attack at age 88.
I was there one day when he and his wife were heated over religion and his "lack of it" and her "excessive amount of it" (in his opinion).
He threw his hands up in the air and said, "if there is a better place, take me."
This lady is well over 80, maybe over 85.
It's impossible it seems, for me to discuss things with her because, I'm convinced if I did tell her some the things that are wrong, she'd say, "if you tried going to church sometime some of your problems might go away." I am not clear on that at all.
She has invited me to her church for Easter and a few other invitations and I declined.

When the college aged guys come around door to door, wanting to hold hands in a group of 3 (them two and me) and say a prayer or read from the Bible, I avoid them. I do not like salesmen or people trying to force me into religion.
I believe in miracles like child birth, how the globs of nothing in our bodies can do what the brain does, how the human body can do what it does, etc.
As far as going to church to solve my problems, I'm not into that.
I've always heard you can not get to Heaven by going to church every week.
So, the reverse must be true too. You do not have to go to church to get to Heaven.

is there any way to communicate with this lady?
Question by:nickg5
LVL 18

Accepted Solution

WaterStreet earned 52 total points
ID: 37793713
"is there any way to communicate with this lady?"

No, unless, of course, you are of similar beliefs.

Don't waste your time.  Say you are in a hurry when she engages you in conversation or you are busy when she invites you to something.  Find other people, please.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 37793717
Don't let yourself be a victim.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 37793720
*smile*  or, on the other hand, maybe she is very good looking.  That can compensate for some, but not all, things.
Get expert help—faster!

Need expert help—fast? Use the Help Bell for personalized assistance getting answers to your important questions.

LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 37793767
She doesn't bring up anything religious, but if I tried to discuss any of my problems with her, I'm positive that she would.

On one visit she made a comment in a joking but serious way, like "oh Nick I'm not sure what to do with you" after I said something like, "I'm ok, I guess."

Her religious views are very deep rooted since she worked in the church office 5 days a week, Sundays, and took food on Wednesday night.

She is one of my personal references and has known me for over 35 years. She recently got a call from someone, and she rather told me what she told them. She told them, in effect, that I was a "very good person."
I'd bet, that if someone asked her what change she would like to see in me, she'd say something like she wished I'd go to church more often, or regularly.
I do often listen to a church service on the radio 11am to noon on Sundays and told her that. I liked to listen to Billy Graham. But then you had the "others" who were nothing but crooks. Ministers and preachers should not earn a living from the collection plate.
There should be some other way for them to get their income. Maybe from the U.S. Government or some national religious group, through "voluntary" donations, and the people making the donation know that every penny of their dollar is going toward salaries and not to what the collection plate should be for.

Do all persons who give 15%, or more, or less, at church, know that they are paying the minister's salary?
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 37793919
I have no idea.  But, contributions are often the way some get paid.  Who else would pay them?  This is not something I have any knowledge of.

Assisted Solution

by:Peter Tomis
Peter Tomis earned 48 total points
ID: 37794541
In my experience people like these are set in their ways and its easiest to just leave it be. But if you really need to communicate with her I would say just be totally honest with her. If you present whatever weight is on your shoulders and she brings up religion just explain to her in a neutral non-defensive manner that that is not your cup of tea. If she persists and is adamant about pushing her beliefs on you just let her say her piece and take whatever out you can. At least then you will know 100% whether communication is possible or not, because you never know...once the door is open its all about how tactfully you navigate the conversation which will determine the end result. Good luck :)

Expert Comment

by:SriHarsha K
ID: 37796987
Hi nickg5,

If you dont mind,you can discuss your problems here itself.So,that we can help you in our best way.
LVL 69

Assisted Solution

Callandor earned 48 total points
ID: 37797608
In answer to your questions

"I've always heard you can not get to Heaven by going to church every week.
So, the reverse must be true too. You do not have to go to church to get to Heaven."

I am in agreement with both.  If this woman is a Christian, she probably knows Ephesians 2:8-9, which basically says you can't do any works to be saved; it's a gift from God.  She probably also knows that a thief on the cross with Jesus ended up in Paradise, according to Jesus, and he never went to church.

However, don't throw the baby out with the bath water; some people are not able to articulate what the gospel message is really about.  It's not about making you a better person or removing your problems, it's about dealing with your relationship with God.  If you aren't interested in discussing this with her, then she should understand and let you make your own choice.  She probably means well, but she doesn't know your view of things, so perhaps more communication will help.
LVL 27

Assisted Solution

tliotta earned 52 total points
ID: 37798770
is there any way to communicate with this lady?

To what end?

I mean, sure, there are as many ways as there are people in the world -- plus a lot more. But what's the point? What are you hoping to accomplish? What actual result are you seeking?

LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 37798852
Good thought!
LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 37798937
When I visit her, she always ask how have you been, how are you doing.
The correct answer, is not the answer she wants to hear.
I give her the vague "ok, I guess," to keep from telling her the truth.
She can not deal with, or address, the truth of it all.
The conversations are pretty much boring with rapid endings, as we might be able to go from topic to topic.
Her life is centered around her religion. She is surely over age 85. Her hearing is going bad. Maybe her mind too. She jumped on an innocent action by me. She authored a cook book decades ago. My Father died and he left me many boxes of books. I was searching through them and happened to find a copy of her cookbook. I sent her a letter with a photo copy of the cover, and just said that I had a copy of her cookbook. I went by there on a Sunday and she had company. I mentioned the letter and her reply was "that SHE had a copy of her own cookbook." I said, I know you do, I was just telling you that I was surprised and pleased to discover that I had a copy of YOUR book too. Her "guests" understood my point, but she did not seem to.
One of us should pass on in the next 15 years, so that may be the end of it.
LVL 25

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37807138
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 37807271
Thanks Nick.

I guess I should have realized she is 85.

Maybe the nicest thing you could do would be to keep-up a visiting friendship with her, but keep you distance on your personal/religious

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