This week I have been writing about relationships. The people God puts into our life can bring us joy and can connect with us very deeply. Unfortunately not all of the people in our life are like that. In fact, some people can be very draining and difficult.
I have a book on my shelf entitled “Dealing With People You Can’t Stand” by Dr. Rick Brinkman and Dr. Rick Kirschner. It states that there are 10 types of difficult people.
1. The Tank – the pushy and forceful person
2. The Sniper – the person who identifies your weakness and uses it against you
3. The Know-It-All – they will not tolerate your inferior ideas
4. The Think-They-Know-It-All – they exaggerate, mislead and distract
5. The Grenade – the person who blows there top and hurts everyone around
6. The Yes Person – quick to agree but lack follow through
7. The Maybe Person – They can’t make a decision
8. The Nothing Person – They provide no feedback on anything
9. The No Person – Discouragement is their gift
10. The Whiner – This person carries the weight of the world & wants everyone to know.
Do you know any of these people? Do you know all of these people? Most likely you do.
When we deal with people like these the number one piece of advice the book gives is simply “adjust your attitude.” Don’t expect these people to act differently and then become frustrated when they don’t. Instead, adjust your mindset to handle these people in a way they need to be handled. Most of these people are filled with good intentions, but they have different set of life experiences than I do. They think they are handling things for the best, just like I do. My call is to “bear with one another in love.”
The final chapter of this book is the most painful. It asks this question, “What if people can’t stand you?” What if I am one of these people in the list above? There is a good chance I am. You see, I could spend my whole life trying to change other people while ignoring my own difficulties.
The first part of dealing with difficult people is to look in the mirror and try to fix my own issues. I cannot change other people’s actions but I can change my own.