Show & Tell: Dealing With Difficult People

Normally, I don't do back-to-back show and tells... but this is my blog, and I have something else to bring to Show & Tell this week! :) You may have already figured it out, but Show & Tells are my method of compiling interesting links for whatever topic is on my mind at a given time. Hope they're helpful for you, too.

After feeling deflated today, having been around a very discouraging person, I began looking into this topic of dealing with difficult people. In researching, I came across many various ideas and methods for different kinds of difficult people you may encounter:

  • "DIFFICULT PEOPLE ARE GOD'S GRINDSTONES": This blogger, Seth, offers an interesting point of view that we don't really want to think about when we're facing difficult people... namely, that God has them in our lives for a reason. Could be that I need to learn patience, self-control, gentleness... (hmmm... I seem to remember a list that goes something like that... ) and that this difficult person is God's gift to me so that I might learn that lesson through my interactions with her.
  • HANDLING & HELPING A DIFFICULT PERSON IN A GROUP: This is an account -by NavPress- of how a small group leader & his wife helped one difficult person who continually caused problems in their class. While acknowledging that this is not a cure-all, these were their steps for loving, helping, and holding accountable a woman they call "Liz":

  1. Assign a personal discipler
  2. Set clearly understood limits and consequences.
  3. Make the person responsible for her actions.
  4. Expect change.
  • TIPS FOR HANDLING TROUBLEMAKERS: Rick Warren has nicknamed several varieties of difficult people: The Sherman Tank, The Nit Picker, The Bubble Buster, The Volcano, and others... and suggests these steps for responding biblically to difficult people:

  1. Realize you can't please everyone-- even Jesus couldn't!
  2. Refuse to play games-- lovingly speak the truth.
  3. Never retaliate.
  4. Pray for them.
  • Last, but certainly not least, I want to point you to three excellent articles that all come from a website called "Conquerors in Christ".
  1. DO YOU CARE TOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK? Here, he deals with how to respond to unfair criticism, or when others see us in a negative light.
  2. DON'T GET ENTANGLED IN THE ROPES OF REVENGE. When I know God and put my trust in Him, I will feel less "need" to respond when people hurt me, knowing that God "has my back".
  3. REMOVING YOURSELF FROM THOSE WHO SOW STRIFE: When we've done all we can do, is it biblical or right to withdraw from a relationship?
As always, please don't take these links to mean that I agree with everything posted on every site referenced. I just thought the included links would be good food for thought for anyone dealing with difficult people.

And finally, one final word --from the source that
is perfect & without fault-- to encourage all of us: "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." (Romans 12:18) Many blessings & HAPPY READING!!!


heather said...

A very helpful post! I appreciate all your great links so much.

It is good to read about what other people have to say about this topic, as there always seems to be difficult people in our lives in one way or another-either a person who is a constant irritant or just a one time encounter (ie a store clerk or something). Whatever the case, we need to strive to reflect love and "be at peace with all men."

Steph VG said...

Ran across this quotation that I'd copied down long ago, and thought you might be encouraged, as I was:

God does not promise to eliminate all our problems or to change all the difficult people in our lives. But He does promise to listen to the cries of His children and to act in accordance with His holy, eternal purposes.
(Nancy Leigh DeMoss, in A PLACE OF QUIET REST, p. 76)

S. said...

This is so timely. Yesterday something happened in the blogosphere where I was unfairly criticized, and it hurt. I have been so tempted to respond...but it is great to be reminded that God has my back and retaliation is just not an option. Thank you! I love your blog!