When you meet new people at work, church, school, and play, how do you get to know them? Do you ask questions over time to seek information about them to find out about their likes, dislikes, hobbies, and preferences? Do you spend more time with them to find out what they enjoy by what the information they volunteer or by what they choose to do? Do you ask others who know them about them? If that is how you get to know people, you are considered to have had a front connection.
But what if this is how you “connect” with or get to know people: You see a new person. You observe them for a few minutes and make assumptions on what you think they would or should like based on a few observations. For example, if someone attends a church of the Church of God in Christ denomination, someone who has a backwards connection would say, “She must only wear long skirts, speak in tongues, and only listen to gospel music.” Instead of approaching her and asking her what kind of music she likes, you just assume that because she is a member of a COGIC, that she MUST be like most other COGIC people that you think you know. So imagine your shock if you find out that she likes rock and roll music? The shock comes because you tried to define her before you learned the definition that she already had?
Another example is this. Let’s say you meet a young man that you’re interested in. And he happens to be a Kappa. Instead of just asking him what he likes to wear or instead of finding out what he likes to wear after going on a few dates with him, a person who has backwards connections would think to herself, “He’s a Kappa. And at the university I went to, all the Kappas dressed up in button-down dress shirts, khakis and slacks, and bow-ties.” So when on your first date you see him wearing a black t-shirt and some Levi jeans, you may be surprised. That is because you make a wrong assumption that all Kappas dress preppy.
A backwards connections is when you “connect” with someone from the wrong end. That means, instead of connecting or learning about someone through realizing that you know nothing about them and then proceeding the learn about them, you assume that you know everything about them from the front end. That’s backwards. Backwards connections are the wrong way to connect with people. And in a way, it is controlling when instead of accepting a person as they truly are, you get upset and try to change them to who you think they ought to be like. It is normal to make assumptions. It saves a lot of time. Instead of grilling every person you meet, it is actually wise to make certain assumptions. Like if someone is a vegetarian, you don’t have to ask them what all meat they do not eat and what all animal skins they do not wear. Just know that they don’t eat any meat or wear any animal fur. But don’t assume all Deltas or Catholics are the same.
When you make backwards connections with people, what you are essentially doing is defining them with a different definition than they already have. And not just a different definition, but a WRONG definition. You can know it is a wrong definition if it is not based on fact, but on unobserved assumptions. As a black female from Memphis, TN, it annoys me when people assume I have kids out of wedlock, that I am ghetto, and that I am on welfare. Some people assume that young black females are lazy, ghetto, and unlearned baby mamas. But it is equally wrong to assume that a woman who has a child out of wedlock can’t be a classy woman or a college-educated woman or a hardworking career woman. You are not supposed to define people before you know people. That is not only foolish and unfounded, but is somewhat crazy. Unless you are a prophet(ess) or a psychic, how on earth would you know about a person until you met them? God does not give every human the ability to know everything about a person before they know the person.
It is crazy, isn’t it? It’s like seeing a box and assuming you know every content of that box before you are told what is in it and before you open it up. It is like seeing a closed book with no title on it and no description on that back of it, and yet you proceeding to tell yourself and others what that book is about. That is crazy. And it’s scary when you do it regarding a human.
It’s even scarier when you get upset about the person telling you that you definition of them was faulty. Let’s say that you marry a man a week after you met him. And after you two move in together, you begin to find out about his “definition”. You find out that contrary to what you would have guessed, he likes watching hockey on TV, sleeping half the day away, and not cleaning up. But instead of adding that in his real definition, you confront him and say, “You’re supposed to be a neat man! I saw the inside of your car! It was spotless! And you’re not supposed to be sleeping all day! You never told me you were so inactive. And why do you like sports? I HATE sports! Especially hockey! What’s wrong with you?”
The appropriate question would be, “What is wrong with you, his wife?” You only knew the man for one week. And unless you spent all 162 hours of that entire week with that man, there’s no way you’d know EVERYTHING about him. Why should he NOT like sports? And just because his car is clean, why would that have to mean that his house is clean? And just because you and most of the people you know only sleep 5-8 hours a day, why would that have to mean that he can’t sleep for 12 hours a day? Something is wrong with you for you to define a person you’ve only known for a week. And then for you to get mad at him is even stranger. Who gets mad at someone for being who they are? Not being mad at them for something they’ve done wrong mind you, but being mad at someone for something they just are?
If you try to go about the work of changing them to your definition of them, then you go into the controlling category. Let me share with you a real-life account of someone I knew who was a controlling person because of backwards connections she made. She was a former coworker of mine, so I had two years, 7 hours a day of observing her. I knew something was off about her, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I had bought this book a few weeks before I left that job. And that book was titled, “Controlling People”. This book had to have been written ABOUT my coworker because it explained her strange actions almost perfectly.
Well this coworker of mine was a very angry, controlling person. She was always on edge and always yelling at some of my other coworkers. She would fly off the handle at the slightest provocations. And these provocations were not even things that most people would notice. But because she had backward connections to everyone at the office, she had already made up her mind about what we all should be like. She had already made her definition of us. And every time one of us deviated from her definition of what we should be like or operate like, she snapped or seethed.
For example, one of my coworkers might ask a question that didn’t fit her definition of him. The question he asked seemed like a dumb question to her. And the fake him that she constructed in her demented mind wasn’t matching the real him that she was hearing ask this “dumb” question. So she would fly off the handle and go off on him about how dumb the question was. The questions would be deemed as dumb because she knew the answer to it. And she felt that whatever she knew, he should have also known. For example, if he asked where the box of manila folders were being stored, she wouldn’t just say, “In the bottom drawer to the left in the closet.” That would be too easy. Instead, she would scream, “Why the hell don’t you know where they are?! You mean to tell me you didn’t remember me putting them in the closet last Friday?! What is wrong with you, you idiot! Are you sleep walking?” Needless to say, he didn’t ask her many questions.
The problem was not that my coworker hadn’t watched to see where she put the folders. The problem was that my controlling coworker assumed he should know where the folders were. She assumed he had been watching her store the folders away. The fake him that she had designed and therefore defined would have been proactive. He would have been interested in knowing where things were stored. The fake him that she constructed was omniscient. The fake him didn’t ask questions that annoyed her. And the purpose of her screaming and belittling him was to scare the real him into hiding so that the fake him that she preferred would come forth. And sadly to say, because her temper was so bad, many of the coworkers who had to work in her department would put their real selves into hiding so that they would not have to endure her wrath. She had actually gotten coworkers fired for being their real, imperfect selves. So if you wanted to keep your job, you would pretend to be just what she wanted so that she would not try to remove you too!
Also needless to say, she did not have ANY friends. Nope. Not even one. That is because you can’t be friends with a fake person. You can’t have a true, intimate friendship with someone you’ve never met, but only constructed through a fake backwards connections. She was so lonely and the sad part was that she had no idea why she could not make friends.
If you want true intimacy with people, you have to get to know people. You want reAlationships – relationships that are REAL. Stop assuming what people like and know when you can just as easily ask what they like and know. I attend a COGIC, but I don’t only wear skirts and dresses. I wear red nail polish and red lipstick. I don’t think people have to speak in tongues to be saved. I listen to some secular music. I don’t mind drinking wine in moderation from time to time. I don’t believe in the pretribulation rapture doctrine. I don’t believe people should pay tithes. But some people would assume the opposite about me because some COGIC people believe or do the opposite. But does that mean I no longer attend a COGIC? Reality and facts do not change just because you disagree with some aspect of them. People do not change just because you refuse to accept them as they are. In other words, just because you have connected with someone backwards, it does not change their definition. It just makes you look crazy. You can say ALL COGIC members believe the same thing, but does that make it so? No. So you might as well save yourself some time and embarrassment by receiving that truth. So if a COGIC guy wanted to date me, he’d have to accept that I am not like what he ASSUMES all COGIC women are like and what all COGIC women believe. He shouldn’t try to change me, but he’d do better to ask me why I believe what I believe and do what I do. And if it is wrong, I will try to change it. But if it’s just me, he can find someone else he can accept as is or try to change.
Next time you meet someone, or if you have recently met someone, please refrain from defining them. Do not connect with them backwards. Ask questions. Observe and then clarify any confusion. And decide whether or not you will accept them. And if you cannot, then move on. And if you should not, just accept them as is! God never ordained you as a Human Controller. He never gave you that responsibility. He never asked you to do that. You will never have true relationships until you began to relate to people’s true definitions which only God and them can make.