• Dealing with Difficult People: To Love or Not To Love

    Whoever it is in your life, my guess is you immediately imagined somebody when I said “dealing with difficult people.”  It’s not something we’re confused by.  These people stick out like a sore thumb.  So how are we to respond to them?

    Jesus makes it pretty clear in John 13:34-35 “I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” OUCH!  You mean I have to love these people??

    The How of Dealing With Difficult People 

    But what does that look like on a practical level?  How do I DO that?  I recently had the privilege of observing this in action when I was speaking to a group of women from all walks of life. Here’s what I observed…

    Almost all of the women were somewhat uncomfortable walking in the door wondering who they might know and struggled with which table to sit at. As the room began to fill, other friends may have walked in and eased the discomfort. Others, who were alone, were joined by strangers and conversations were started. Those women who stepped outside their comfort zones and came to meet others really enjoyed themselves and learned from one another.

    Here’s a lesson to consider in dealing with difficult people: 

    Those ladies chose to show love – they made an intentional decision to sit with people they didn’t know and they sacrificed their discomfort to start up a conversation with a stranger or two. The result was they touched another person’s life and were touched in return. Even if it was only for that hour and a half – they have no way of knowing the potential impact they made.

    Dealing with difficult people don’ts:

    Unfortunately, I saw the opposite as well. I witnessed several tables of women who were very closed to strangers. When smaller groups were asked to combine to make a full table, they preferred to stay where they were “comfortable” – with the people they already knew rather than risk combining and getting to know someone new. It was a choice not to risk and thus, not to attempt to love. 

    So I ask you today – are you going to make a change and choose to love others, sacrificing your time, energy or resources, or are you going to just talk about making changes? We are called to be doers, not hearers in all walks of life, but especially when it comes to dealing with difficult people.

    What if you’re stuck though?  What if you’ve tried and just don’t know how?  That’s where we might be able to help.  I want to invite you to schedule a Get Acquainted Call so we can hear where you may be feeling uncertain and see if we can support you in developing a plan.