Dealing with Difficult People

In life, people will disagree with you, hurt you, bully you, correct you and disappoint you. There is simply no avoiding it but do we like it when it happens? Of course not and unfortunately many people begin to worry, feel bad or resent others. Too much energy is spent reacting to what others do and say. Let’s face it, situations have their challenges but dealing with difficult people can be even more challenging. One of the best ways to increase your happiness is to learn how to react or in this case, not react, to other people.

Tips for Not Letting Others Get Your Goat


I like what Rick Warren had to say in a sermon long ago, “Happiness comes when you can accept people who have not attained your level of perfection. They don’t have to reach up to your standards to be loved.” When you are disappointed by others, it is easy to overreact and pass judgment, but instead, you need to look at the big picture. Examine your response and remember that chances are they weren’t out to disappoint you. When our spouse or significant other disappoints us, our first reaction is to point fingers and tell them how they are wrong. This usually just makes them defensive and leads to more trouble. Often our disappointment comes from our high and frequently unrealistic expectations.


Those of you who have children know what it is like to have daily disagreements. This can also happen at work, with significant others or family members. There are people out there that seem to be more irritating than others or people who argue just for the sake of arguing. Instead of driving your way of thinking home or changing their mind remember that often the best course of action is to respond in love with a gentle answer. You don’t need to compromise your convictions. Simply choose not to waste your time. “Don’t get into an argument over something that doesn’t matter anyway.” – Gen. George S. Patton


Some people are born bossy and never grow out of it. Dealing with these types of people (continually being corrected) can be frustrating at times, but sometimes they provide a new idea or two that should be considered. We quickly want to respond and give our two cents, but often it won’t make any difference. Some people offer constructive criticism that can lead to self-improvement. Don’t close yourself off to new ideas and try to remain teachable because you never know when you will learn something new that leads to your million dollar idea.


Everyone gets hurt from time to time, and eventually, we will hurt someone else. It is a cycle of life that can’t be avoided.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:17-21

Sometimes it feels like second nature to want to hurt those that hurt us. We spend way too much time contemplating ways of getting even or suggesting consequences to God so He can take care of it. The only real way to get over others hurting you is to forgive them, even if they have not asked for it.

The key to dealing with difficult and hurtful people is to not react to the things they say and do. Accept yourself and who you are and don’t let what others say and do affect your convictions.. Often people that are hurtful have serious problems of their own or are insecure. Have faith in yourself and don’t let anyone take it away from you.

Remember, all of us experience these issues and we have created hurt in other’s lives. It is essential to examine your own life and make sure that you are working on being kind and fair to others.