Sometimes a person needs to acknowledge that when someone is attacking you, it’s not about you. It’s about them.
That’s pretty hard to do when you’re being criticized and you’re emotional. The natural tendency for most of us is to roll up our sleeves and and start slinging right back. At least, that’s the way it is for me. I don’t come from strong Scottish, Irish and German stock and try to pretend that I don’t have a temper and a willingness to go toe-to-toe when backed into a corner. However, no matter how tempting it is to have those few moments loss of self control, I know I’ll only feel worse afterward because I stooped to the level of the attacker. I’m feeling a little backed into a corner right now and spent a bit of time this morning getting a handle on things so that I don’t give this person an entire precious day of my life that they simply don’t deserve.
I found this great article by Rick Warren and reading it helped me regain my perspective. I’ll share it with you:
Dealing with difficult people
by Rick Warren
When asked what he considered the most valuable skill in employees, John D. Rockefeller once replied, “The ability to get along with people!”
One of the most important skills needed to succeed in ministry is knowing how to handle troublemakers. If you learn how to deal with difficult people early on, then you’ll be able to pour more energy into ministry rather than needless conflicts.
Troublemakers come in all shapes:
– THE SHERMAN TANK – will run over you if you let him.
– THE MEGAPHONE – will talk your ear off.
– THE BUBBLE BUSTER – deflates everyone’s enthusiasm.
– THE VOLCANO – has a temper like Mt. St. Helens.
– THE CRY BABY – is a chronic complainer holds a pity party.
– THE NIT PICKER – is the unpleasable perfectionist.
– THE SPACE CADET – is on a different wavelength.
What should you do with these types?
Jesus had to deal with a lot of difficult people. Here are FOUR methods he modeled through his life:
1. Realize you can’t please everybody (John 5:30). Even God can’t do that! One wants rain while the other sunshine.
2. Refuse to play their game (Matthew 22:18). Learn to say no to unrealistic expectations. Confront them by “telling the truth in love.”
3. NEVER retaliate (Matthew 5:38-39). It only lowers you to their level.
4. Pray for them (Matthew 5:44). It will help both of you. Let God handle them.
Make this Bible verse your goal this week, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18, NIV)