Monday, April 15, 2013

How To Thrive With People You Don't Like

Jesus teaches us to love others.  He never said anything about liking them.  If you are having trouble thriving with people you don't like, here are some tips:

  1. Remember where they came from.  Like you, they are children of God, created with a purpose.  Their purpose is not to make you miserable.  They may not have discovered what that purpose is yet.  In the process of finding out why they are here, they may flounder.  They may struggle with people who seem to have it all together.  
  2. Find out what makes them tick.  The more you learn about them, the easier it is to love them.  They may be going through some difficult trial right now and you happen to be their outlet.  Let them vent.
  3. Look for patterns.  If the people you don't like don't get along with anybody, you know where the source of the tension is.  If they work well and play well with everyone except you, you may need to look in the mirror to find the source.  A few simple adjustments can go a long way.
  4. Don't expect anyone to like you.  They are not required to be your best friend.  If they do, that's a bonus.  If they don't, don't worry about it.
  5. Keep your cool at all times.  Some people push your buttons because they enjoy seeing you squirm.  The more you show your displeasure, the more they taunt you.  If you are able to remain calm in difficult interactions, eventually they will move on to easier targets.
  6. Pray for them.  The benefit to this is that you will begin to care for these people.  Most negative people don't have friends.  You may be the only person in this world willing to pray for that person you don't like.  This works.  Try it for at least 90 days and see what happens.
  7. Offer to talk with them away from others.  Ask them if you did something to upset them.  They may be holding on to a grudge you are unaware of.
  8. Don't try to change them.  They may be difficult because they sense you have a hidden agenda and they are on that agenda.  Let them be who they are.
  9. Don't spread rumors about them.  They may be torturing you, however, sharing your scuffles with the rest of the world won't make anything better.
  10. Offer it up.  Any time you have any kind of pain in your life, remember all the pain Jesus endured for you.  Now, offer the pain of your strained relationship to Jesus as a sacrifice.  He put these people in your life for a reason.  They may be a long-term project.  Take it one day at a time and offer up the challenge as a sacrifice.  It will make the pain more bearable.
Have you ever faced a situation where you were around people you didn't like?  How did you deal with it?  Please share your ideas below by clicking on the comments button.

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