Many of us have found at work people who are difficult to work with. They seem not to be very friendly; they keep a safe distance and like to control things. They make you feel uncomfortable either with their comments or the kind of jokes they make, they seem to not be very happy and have a natural tendency to criticize those around them.

When I was working at a mental hospital I had a coworker

who had this kind of attitude and I had such a hard time interacting with her, but with time I understood a little better of the reasons behind her psychological barriers. In the process I learned some few lessons on how to deal with difficult people, which I would like to share with you today.

1.Be kind.

Is really difficult to be kind when you are not being treated with kindness, but it is also true that when you treat other with kindness you open a door for a better relationship and you end up benefiting yourself.Yes! You heard me right; yourself!

One of my favorite authors puts is like this
“Every ray of light that we shed upon others is reflected upon our- selves. Every kind and sympathizing words spoken to the sorrowful, every act to relieve the oppressed, and every gift to the needy, if prompted by a right motive, will result in a blessing to the giver” (E. G. White, Devotional 1958, page 218).

Dr. Lyubomirsky say in her book “The How of Happiness” that Kindness has a natural way to make people happier, “Doing kindness often relieves guilt, distress, or discomfort over other’s difficulties and suffering and encourages a sense of awareness and appreciation for your own good fortune.” (Lyubomirsky, 2008, page 129).

Being kind may not change how the other person treats you, but kindness has the ability to give you a more positive attitude towards your self and as a result your life at work. Those around you may benefit from seeing your kindness in spite of a coworker with a difficult attitude. Happiness sometimes is contagious and you may be able to make your working environment a better place to be at.

2. Be generous

Generosity has a way to make other people feel special, cared for, and sometimes even loved. You don’t know if the other person is having difficulties at home, may be going through a divorce, a health issue, an empty nest stage or even feeling lonely and uncared for. Bringing a little treat to the office for your coworker might make the person feel important, and brighten their day a little bit.

3. Be prudent

Although is very easy to badmouth somebody who is not very likable at your workplace, prudency is always a better option. Keep your comments to yourself, don’t add your piece of spice when other’s are complaining about the person’s attitude or manners, you don’t always know who might be listening, and is always better not to slander anybody who you work with, and sometimes you may need to depend on.

God is always a witness of our frustration, the injustice and he is a faithful judge who will bring every hidden act into account. Trust in His promises and his faithfulness.

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

4. Be friendly

It is easy to be friends with people who are similar to us; perhaps they have the same religion, or background, similar family values, or even come from the same culture. But the true character of a person is measure under difficult times. Trying to deal with people who are very different and still be friendly and courteous makes you a giant when it comes to character. Perhaps you will never become best friends, but friendliness always come back with a blessing for the one who is willing to offer it.

Stop by and ask how are things? Is there anything you can help with? If the moment is appropriate and the person willing to offer ask for their families, or offer to pray for them. You may be surprised by the willingness of people to open up when you have a sincere heart and your intentions are good ones.

Finally remember the wise words of Paul when writing to the Romans in chapter 12:17-21:

“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

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