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Ten Principles for Getting Along With Difficult People

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  1. Maintain your confidence by being in right relationship with God. You can’t be objective or discerning if you’re not in good standing with God. A strong relationship with God gives you the grace and confidence to deal properly with difficult people.
  2. Remember over- reacting will only accentuate the conflict and confuse the issue.
  3. Hold realistic expectations. Make sure the difficult person can reach your expectations. You may be expecting him to do or be something that is impossible.
  4. Quit trying to change the difficult person. Give up your rights and expectations regarding this person. Accept the fact that you can’t change him, but you can change your reactions to him.
  5. Refuse to play his games. He may attempt to use you or make you feel guilty or obligated. Recognize the emotional games, and don’t participate.
  6. Don’t allow yourself to become the difficult person’s slave. Be honest with yourself and learn to say no.
  7. Keep a proper spirit and attitude. Maintaining credibility is the greatest struggle. Don’t let bitterness, anger, or resentment grow.
  8. Allow God to lead you in dealing with the difficult person. There are no easy answers or set patterns to dealing with Him. The Holy Spirit will give guidance.
  9. Confront immediately. Don’t put off facing the conflict. It only makes matters worse.
  10. Demonstrate godly compassion. The basis for getting along with people is found in Jesus’ words. A religious leader asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment in the Law. Jesus responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself”. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:23-40, NIV).

It’s easy to love those who love us and those who are easy to get along with. But how do you treat the stranger, the difficult person, that person you don’t really understand, can’t relate to and don’t really care about? Jesus said that is the true test of our character and love.



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