Handling difficult people

By Julia Fernandes

August 2, 2011


You can be the most wonderfulhuman being, good to the core, never hurting anybody. Yet, you will sometimesfind yourself facing the gigantic task of dealing with the most difficultpeople in your life. It has happened with me and I sometimes wonder why?


I am a non-confrontationalist; Ihate conflicts. I give advice only when I am asked to; otherwise I keep mymouth shut. I usually never interfere in anyone’s affairs, yet my experiencehas shown that being good does not stop people from picking up on you. Beingnon-interfering does not stop others from interfering and meddling in yourlife.


We encounter so many kinds ofpeople in our entire life span -- good, bad, funny, rude, arrogant, humble. Everyperson either adds or takes away something from your life. Being a positiveperson myself, I always look and search for the good in other people I meet.When I encounter their negative traits, I ignore to the maximum possible extentI can. I just overlook it. I tell myself, I am not perfect, so why and how canI expect others to be perfect?


But what confounds me is when wehave to handle difficult people, who can either be a part of our close familycircle or friends circle or work area of our life. I am talking of those peoplewhom even if we want to we cannot avoid or wish away. Day in day out we have toface them. They do not make you feel good in any way yet you have to look intheir face and talk to them. They drag you into arguments and squabbles youdon’t really want to get into.


The initial and most naturalresponse towards difficult people is to pay them back in their own coin. Itappears to be the most sensible thing to do. But settling scores just makes youfeel like your tormentor. The line distinguishing you and the difficult personjust melts away. And that is not a good feeling -- to know that somebody haschanged the niceness in you and brought out something you do not really wish toidentify with.


Beware. Difficult people can bringout your nastiest side -- introducing you to an alien element of your nature.They do have the power to change you for the worst. So, how do you deal withsuch people and yet retain your sanity and preserve the goodness within you?From my experience I have learnt one thing -- to accept the fact that suchpeople will be around in my life for some time.


Once that fact is accepted, Iadmit to myself that I cannot change that person for the better though I canonly wish for the same. The least I can do is pray. You may see a marginalimprovement over the years in their behaviour towards you but more or less theyremain the same. In very rare cases, some persons could have done a 360 degreeturnaround in their basic nature from being difficult to becoming a good person.


So, while the difficult personremains what he/she is, I stick to being what I am. I have learnt you don’thave to be difficult to deal with difficult people. A difficult person givesyou the opportunity to exercise every single nerve of patience and emotionalresilience in your body and mind. And that’s what I do. I tell myself it isexercise time!


Do not allow a difficult person to make you a bad or abitter person. Give that person in prayer and thought to God. And keep prayingto God to give you the graces and strength to hold on to your core self. Handlingdifficult people becomes easy when you just hand them over to God!