Difficult People

Let’s face it; we all have difficult people in our lives.

So, what exactly do I mean by difficult people?

These are the people in our lives that we do not naturally gravitate toward. In all honesty they are the people that repel us.

Sometimes they are the overly critical people in our lives or the person who incessantly inserts themselves in our business with their unsolicited opinions and suggestions.

Other times they are the people who are impossible to please and for whom nothing is ever good enough, and last but not least there is the control freak.

For some of you I have just described your mother in law, sister, co -worker, neighbor or parent.

I admit, I have difficult people in my life…and NO; I’m not going to name names.

I will also admit that while there are people in my life who are hard for me to be with, the reality is, I am someone’s “difficult person” and that my friends, is humbling.

We like to think that everyone loves us and so we take a myopic approach to life and relationships.

Unfortunately just as one person is not my cup of tea, I also happen to be the black fly in someone else’s proverbial chardonnay.

So what then is our responsibility as the body of Christ?

How do we extend love, kindness and compassion to these difficult people in our lives?

In psychology we refer to this as Unconditional Positive Regard. Said another way, it is treating others the same way you wish to be treated.

I know it’s not revolutionary or profound. But it is a simple truth that when applied can make even the most frustrating relationship palatable when you remind yourself that YOU are also a difficult person.

It is easy to rip someone apart and point out all the things that drive us crazy, mannerisms that annoy us and behaviors that get under our skin.

But think about this…Jesus died for them too. Are they really that different from you and me?

The Bible reminds us in Matthew 7:1 that we should be willing to look at ourselves long and hard before we go pointing out another’s flaws…”judge not or you too will be judged.”

Matthew goes on to talk about how we are hypocritical by pointing out some one else’s shortcomings when we ourselves are but a work in progress.

So the next time you come face to face with your difficult person, remember this little gem; “If you can’t say nuthin nice, don’t say nuthin at all.” Mrs. Rabbit, Bambi the movie.

Grace & Peace ~ Karen


11 thoughts on “Difficult People

  1. Ana_from_chama says:

    good stuff! I work with some difficult people. I usually just give them a lot of space (i.e. avoid them when I don’t have to interact with them) but I can’t avoid them always, so when I do have to interact with them, I do my best to drench him or her with kindness. 

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Hi Cindy…it is really humbling for me to realize that I am someone’s difficult person…I don’t like it and I when I really think about it I am embarrassed by it. Introspection is not fun!

  2. Elizabeth M Thompson says:

    When I encounter a “difficult” person, I go out of my way to win them over, to make it nearly impossible for them to dislike me. Then, whatever happens is up to them. I have done my part. Often, in the process of winning them over, I begin to genuinely care for them. (You can’t remain indifferent to someone when you’re praying for them and being especially kind to them.) It’s risky, but also rewarding.

    Now, if only those people who see me as “difficult” would try this method with me : )

    • KAREN COOK says:

      That is a great example Beth. It truly is loving your enemies and changes your heart in the process. And yes, I am with you – I wish the people who view me as difficult would try praying for me first! Thanks for stopping by!

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