5 Ways On How To Deal With Difficult People!

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash 

article by Teddy O’Farrell 

5  Ways on How to Deal with Difficult People! 

In this time of social distancing, yet being at home with your family, there may be occasions when getting along with one another is put to the test!  Here are five ways how to deal with difficult people (even if they are family)! 

-Listen, no really Listen 

Are you really hearing what the other person is saying to you?  Or are you too busy thinking of what you are going to say in response and not really listen at all?  Take several breaths while the other person is talking and try to focus on what they are saying.  This will help in understanding the conflict. 

-Show Patience 

Let the other person express their opinion without interrupting them.  You have heard that developing patience means counting to ten, it may mean counting to one hundred before responding! 

I remember stating to a few people on occasion, “I’ll give you five minutes to present your side without interruption, I ask that you do the same when I respond.” 

Showing patience to others will build a bridge of peace and understanding. 

Most of the time this worked, yet there were times when the other party was so dogmatic of their view, they were not willing to listen or be patient.  It helps when both sides can strive to look at the issue objectively. 

Remember to “count it all joy when you face trials of various kinds,” [James 1:2].  This would include difficult people.  Showing patience to others will build a bridge of peace and understanding.  This may not happen all at once, but it will happen.  It will eventually melt away the tensions and stress in the conversations.  It will help create an atmosphere of honest dialogue and openness. 

-“Button Your Lips” 

Keep silent, don’t be so eager to speak your opinion.  Often a gentle answer or no answer can turn way someone’s wrath! 

This is especially helpful when the other person is being dogmatic.  They are emotionally charged up and are “spewing” it all on you.  You didn’t ask for this treatment, and certainly you don’t deserve this — but letting that individual “air out their dirty laundry” without you engaging in a war of words will promote peace and harmony instead of anger, resentment and frustration.  They may be taking it all out on you, and you may have had nothing to do with it. 

- Put yourself in their place! 

Try for a moment to imagine yourself in their situation.  Would you feel the same as they do?  How would you react?  How could you help them cope now that you somewhat understand? 

If you find yourself discovering that you are in the wrong, be brave — say you are sorry and ask forgiveness.  It may not save the relationship, but it will help you to move forward even if the other person may not be willing to. 

- Be Honest, Truthful and Loving in your speech and actions! 

Yes, you need to be careful on what you say to others, but also how you say it. The other party will watch your body language as well as hear your tone of voice. Are your actions consistent with what you say?  If you are honest, truthful, and loving in both speech and conduct, you will be able to build a bridge for the other person to meet and converse with you. 

For a follower of Jesus, remembering Christ’s words to “love your neighbor as yourself [Matt. 22:39],” applies as well.  How do I show love when it seems I can’t get along with ___?  Pray for _____ and then look forward to the next time you meet.  See what God will do in and through you. 

I hope these insights will help you the next time you may encounter a difficult person!  If you have some helpful advice or how you were able to positively help others when they seemed difficult, I would love to hear your story.  Comment below or let me know through an email. 

Remember God is our help in times of struggle, as the psalmist declared, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble [Psalm 46:1NKJV].”  Trust in Him and He will give you the insight on how to deal with difficult people. 

Growing together, 


2 Tim. 1:7