How to Deal with Difficult People

” I love the World… but it is People that I can’t stand !” – Charlie Brown, famous Peanuts cartoon character

“Relationships without some stress are either nonexistent, shallow, or sick.” – Howard Butt

” To dwell  some day with the saints in Heaven, that will be glory…
But to live now with the saints here below… that is a different story”

” Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy.Encourage those who are timid.Take tender care of those who are weak.Be patient with everyone.See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and all people.” 1Thessalonians 5: 14- 15

   Dealing with people can be difficult at times, even for us as Christians. How can we can respond the right way? What are some things we can do when relationships get awkward or fractured? Here are several suggestions:
1. THINK before reacting.    
   Some people instead of approaching everything with an “open mind”, do so with an “open mouth” which they often regret and can make things even worse by increasing the stress in a relationship. Publius said: “I have often regretted my speech, but never my silence”. The Bible encourages  us” to speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Stop and think before reacting harshly.
2. Avoid raising the volume of your voice when you respond.
 “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare” ( Proverbs 15:1 NLT). Talk in softer tones, purposely monitoring this will help you stay calm and lower the tone of their conversation too.
3. Try to listen and better understand what is the real issue.
Try to listen and understand what they are really trying to say before answering too quickly. “Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish” (Proverbs 18: 13 NLB). Don’t automatically “fill in the blanks” in their conversation and racing ahead to where  you think they are going with their thoughts. You will often find yourself wrong in jumping to conclusions.
4.Do they treat others the same way? You may be misinterpreting some of their comments or actions. Sometimes  we take “things personal” when it is really not intended that way. For example, you may think somebody is ignoring you, when they have health issues and cannot see or hear well. Sometimes when we observe how they relate to others, we better understand them.
5. Pray about the relationship and seek God’s guidance & peace. Learn from this experience and trust God for the future and let Him work things out. Whether the difficult person does what is right, it is essential for you to do what is right. This will bring God’s grace and peace. Be a good example, as the Bible teaches : “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4: 29 (NLT)

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