Managing Difficult People

I do not like experiencing tension between myself and others. In the past, I exhausted myself to make everyone else happy around me instead of protecting myself from the drama.

As much as I desire peace and harmony between myself and others, there are times where it won’t happen. I can promise peace for myself by establishing boundaries and not engaging with the drama.

Sadly, years can go by before I discover the true nature of a person.  I am in the process of learning that I must let go of trying to get along with someone who does not want to be civil.  It is not my job to appease them.  These difficult people are energy vampires.  Would I want to have someone suck out all of my energy?  No, I’m over forty years old, and my energy is scarce but sacred!

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  Continual engagement with difficult people will not bring out the best in me.  As much as I want to know why they are the way they are, it will not solve anything.  Only God can change a person, not me.

May you be released of any burden you carry to help those who do not want to change.

Lesson Learned:  Let God handle those who bring you down.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I know peace is precious in a fallen world.  Help me to manage conflict effectively and without becoming too invested.  Give me the wisdom to protect myself when dealing with difficult people.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

 

 

 

Don’t Get Sucked into Overreacting

“But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”  Galatians 5:15

Confrontation is a part of life.  Some people avoid it; others engage happily.  There are times, where we will have conversations with people, who want to suck the energy out of us.  Try to avoid having your power from getting sucked out of you!

Many years ago, I was the office manager for a Family Practice Physician.  When people are sick, it can bring the worse out of them. Add in, owing money for services rendered, makes people even more upset.  

I had to deal with a trying patient, who owed a large balance.  She began to argue with me. I said, “the doctor deserves payment for the services you used, so how would you like to take care of this payment, today?”  She tried to rile me up.   I paused and repeated the same thing. After the third time, I replied, “since you cannot speak to me politely, you have a choice, you either pay now over the phone or by 5:00 p.m. Otherwise, you will be sent to collections since you are 180 days past due. The choice is yours.”  Thankfully, she paid.  She tried one more jab and said, “I don’t want to be a patient here.” I told her, ‘“sounds great! Let me know when you decide for sure so that I can assist you,” and I hung up the phone.

It is never easy to deal with people who have messy lives.  They want to blame everyone for their unfortunate situation and bring everyone down with them.  Your energy and health will suffer when you try to converse with people like this. It is just not worth it.  God wants us to have healthy boundaries with unhealthy people. It is not our burden to try and save everyone; only God can do that if they want it.  Free yourself from any unnecessary drama.

Lesson Learned: Do not engage with people who are energy suckers.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, give me discernment when I deal with difficult people.  Remind me not to get involved with the drama of the situation. Help me be a light to those who need you.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

Being Supportive Without Getting Involved

“But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”  Galatians 5:15-16

When I hear of people going through painful situations, I want to be helpful and supportive.  I want to listen and give some sort of advice or encouragement, if wanted.  Sometimes when people are venting, more information gets shared than necessary, such as gossip or slander.  It is a dangerous road to travel.

On my side of the family, I encountered such the episode.  I received a call from one family member and she was upset and crying.  She went on for an hour about all the problems her spouse was giving her.  She berated him and I could feel she was wanting me to join her in her beliefs.  It was difficult to listen when I have a close relationship with that person she was having problems with.

The very next day, I received a phone call from the spouse calling to complain about their problems with the one who called me yesterday.  He went on to describe in detail what was happening.  I felt so uncomfortable, I stopped him in mid-sentence and said,

“This is inappropriate for me to listen anymore.  I can no longer take part in listening to issues with your marriage.  Please find help.  I will continue to pray for you and her.”

There are some thing to get involved with, but some things that are absolutely off-limits.  Gossip and slander are so hurtful.  I know it is so easy when venting for me to paint a negative picture of people hurting me.   But when I make up with them, the people I confided with in these issues will wonder why I am still continuing that relationship(s).  They get a negative picture of them and that is all they see even when you get past the current hiccup.

I felt God tell me, pray but stay out of it.  I even heard it from a third-party person too.  They said, “I know you are trying to help, but STAY out of this!”  It will be hard, but it needs to be their burden to bare.

Lesson Learned: Pray for other always, but don’t get too involved in things that are none of your business.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for knowing all things we go through.  Help me to be an encourager and listener to those in need.  But let me have boundaries that protect me and others.  Give me discernment to know when to be involved or just be an ear to hear.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”