Did you know that the Amish practice “shunning” on a regular basis? It’s part of how they deal with issues that, in our world, we tend to face head on…especially on social media. It’s just part of their tools used to avoid being confrontational. And I like it.
I try to use this model when people really irritate me. Yes, I, too, am human and can get irritated. 🤣🤣 But rather than react, I try to take the high road.
Some times it doesn’t work and I let loose. 😩 Other times I do the shunning approach. My daughter doesn’t always appreciate this–she calls me Mouse Mom. 🐭
For example, we had winter tenants at our guest house. It was an okay experience; I mostly left them alone. But their sheep ate all my evergreen trees, they left a mess of hay and droppings in the pen, she ran a business on the property which bothered me (think lawsuits! Plus that wasn’t the purpose and I would’ve charged a lot more if I had known), They put their name on the mailbox–and I can’t get it off!!–and, on the last day, the man flipped out at one of my dogs who was barking at him. He said “I’m going to kick you in the head” to my dog. I let it slide, even though I was really mad.
What’s the point of engaging with such people? Saying nothing is better than arguing. Besides, it’s not like anything I could say will change them. Right?
Well, Mouse Mom eventually did say something via text. I find it’s easier to text than to talk because I can control my thoughts. Of course, he shrugged it off as just something people say. An excuse. Not an apology.
Sometimes silence is the best response. It’s better than engaging with unkind or thoughtless people. Whenever I do engage, I find myself stressed and my blood pressure increases. Often I cannot shake it off and then I get angry.
The Amish understand that people don’t really change. There is an expression: A tiger’s stripes might fade but they never really change.
In today’s world, people are so quick to post horrible things on social media that they’d never say to someone’s face. It’s as though people KNOW how to behave but the anonymity of the Internet shields their manners.
I wonder if that’s one of the reasons the Amish forbid the Internet (as a rule, anyway). It’s too easy to type something and click send without thinking of the long term ramifications of what they’ve said. Think of all the celebrities and politicians who have posted things from years ago that come back to haunt them later.
I suggest we all take a step back and try to take the Amish approach. In the long run, it’s a more Christian approach. And, in the long run, better for all of us.