People are truly icebergs, and learning how do deal with different personalities can be extremely complicated at times. When the tactic of "killing a person with kindness" does not seem to be effective, we may try the opposite approach and ignore the person or give them the silent treatment. Sometimes, however, this too does not work and herein lies our dilemma.Let's start with what Ahavat Yisrael isn't:
If we are overly nice to the person, inside we feel that we are being phony and hypocritical since our words do not truly represent our inner thoughts. Yet, when we take the opposite approach we feel that we are being to harsh and know that this is not the proper way for us to behave. It pains us a hundred-fold if the person we are dealing with is a fellow Jew because it points out how deficient our Ahavas Yisroel is.
- it isn't getting someone to like you.
- it isn't doing good things to someone else.
- it isn't being authentic with someone.
Remember (Pirkei Avot) love that is dependent on anything at all is not a lasting love. Ahavat Yisrael is to love your fellow Jew for no reason at all. It isn't predicated on or limited to any act or personality trait of that person. [I discussed this in a previous post about achieving ahavat yisrael and teshuvah m'toch ahavah via recognising HaShem's love for us--something advocated by the Tanya]