5 Essential Qualities for Handling Difficult People
We all encounter difficult people – at home, at work, at church, in our neighborhoods, in life! What do we need, as followers of Jesus, to enable us to handle them?
- Grace – Too often we forget about all the grace that has been given to us. God’s grace has allowed us to be on the path of life with Jesus as our leader. We follow because of his grace. When we recognize how much we need that grace day by day, it should be easier to give grace to the difficult people in our lives. Ask God to help you. When you encounter that person, remember the grace that was given to you. Do they insult you? Are they rude to you? Are they arrogant and prideful? However they treat you, remember that God loves them and wants them to follow Jesus, too!
- Patience – Another quality that God demonstrated in our lives is grace. We weren’t always so easy to get along with and needed others to be patient with us. We still need God to patient with us! So we can be patient with others! There is no shame in being patient. Simple patience is a powerful relational tool! Use it. Ask God to help you be patient with that difficult person in your life.
- Silence (listen) – Often we want to avoid or run away from difficult people. But giving the gift of silence may be just what they need. To truly listen is to begin to comprehend their lives. Whether obnoxious, rude, or dominating – no matter what their personality, spending time with them just listening can have a profound effect on them. Getting to know them, their struggles, the reason for their behavior all starts with silence – with listening
- Understanding – Everyone wants to be understood! God will help us understand difficult people. And every follower of Jesus will be given understanding when we ask for it! When we begin to understand difficult people we can get behind their behavior to what really is going on! With grace, patience and silence (listening) we begin to understand. When we are understanding we begin to transform lives!
- Love – No one alive doesn’t want love! Followers of Jesus have perfect love to give away. This love that comes from God is unconditional so it is perfect for difficult people! Go ahead – love them! Ask God to help you love them just as he loves you! He will always say yes to that request.
Difficult people are a reality of life but they don’t have to drag you down. Employ these five simple (but not always easy) qualities and see what a difference they make!