How Should Christians Deal With Difficult People?

By: Darlene G. Snyder

 

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People working in a variety of jobs often face hard to deal with co-workers, customers or even employers. How Christians respond to these difficult people can shed bad light upon those who trying to share Christ within that workplace.  The following is an example: 

“My son is in jail and you people need to help me!  Your rules don’t mean anything; just get my son out of jail!” 

I could hear the woman screaming at our employees from where I sat.  She continued screaming and berating until I reached the counter.

 “Mam, please calm down, I’ll help you, but you must stop yelling.” I said in my calmest voice. 

“My son is in jail and your people won’t help me!” She yelled at me as I watched the fire in her eyes flash in my direction. “You all just don’t care about helping anyone!” 

Taking in a deep breath and exhaling slowly, determined to remain cool, I spoke to her firmly, but kindly, “Mam, I’m willing to help you in whatever way I can, but I won’t allow you to continue yelling and screaming at me or our staff. You have to calm down; I will try and sort through all of this to find out how I can help.”

 She began crying and shaking uncontrollably and for a moment, I thought she might faint.  I continued speaking calmly and quietly to her.  I took her away from the very public counter and sat her in a chair in front of my desk. Eventually between sniffles, she began to explain her problem or more accurately, her son’s problem. After discovering the real issue (a minor misdemeanor offense) and working diligently to help her get her son out of jail, she posted his bond and was able to take him home.

 A few months later, I saw this woman in our local mall.  I actually did not recognize her. The splotchy red eyes and tears were nowhere to be seen. She approached me, explained who she was, and apologized for her behavior that day when she was in our office – thanking me for the way I handled the situation.

 Fifteen years or more later, this same woman recognized me and approached me as I was leaving our local supermarket. I smiled when our eyes met, but again, I didn’t recognize her. “Don’t you work at the courthouse?” she asked. 

 “Yes mam,” I responded. 

 “I will never forget your kindness.  You probably don’t remember me, but I will never forget how you helped me when I was so upset over my son,” she said with tears brimming.

 I thanked her and told her I recalled that particular situation after her reminder. We chatted a few minutes before going our separate ways.  It’s hard to believe someone remembers a simple act of kindness that happened fifteen years earlier.

 There hardly is a day that goes by that I don’t have to deal with an ill-mannered, impolite person.   Sometimes these people are customers, or family members and at times church folk.

 I am ashamed to admit, I too have been known to be a difficult person.  Most times, I can excuse my actions by telling myself, I was in the right and that person in front of me or on the telephone deserved my wrath. Deep down though, I know that logic is flawed.

 How should we respond to a difficult person?  It is hard to turn the other cheek, or look the other way when someone is offensive. Are there actions we can take to reverse the situation? 

 After working in public service for over thirty years, I have found there are ways to handle difficult people.  Here are a few suggestions:

 First, I suggest that Christians must stop displaying rude and impolite behavior toward people whom we encounter each day.  We should be careful how we present ourselves to others.

  • Treat people like you want to be treated. Speak calmly to others when encountering difficult situations.  When you respond negatively to people in a stressful situation, it only serves to heighten the trauma and their response. When a person is upset, don’t respond in kind.  Stay calm.
  • Family members sometimes are the worst offenders.  They will at times treat us worse than they would any other person.  We too must be careful not to respond harshly. Do not harbor grudges or hard feelings.  Portray a forgiving spirit.
  • Sometimes the work environment is stressful.  This in turn causes people to behave badly.  This is true especially in a health care setting.  Patients, employees and family members all are at risk of acting and responding improperly.  Try to counter the rudeness by remaining calm.  Choose your words carefully.  Be sympathetic and understanding.
  • Sometimes you may have to confront a person regarding their behavior.  Often they don’t see themselves as acting badly.  Some people will behave in ways they ordinarily would not, but because of a particular situation, or stress they act out of control.
  • I have also found many people in the world are simply rude and really do not care how they behave or respond.  There really isn’t much one can do with people like this. Remember we are only human and sometimes we will show our anger.  Just be careful not to act like the person in front of you.

 I learned something else recently about handling difficult people on the telephone.  I moved my home office to a building adjutant to our property..  This move effected changes in my internet and telephone service.  Trying to convey my needs to the phone company and getting them to make the necessary changes ruffled my feathers a tad bit.  After speaking to numerous customer service employees, sometimes three and four times a week for almost a month, I became more aggressive in my requests and demands.

 I found, no matter what I said or how badly I acted, the person on the other end handled me easily and calmly.  “Yes Mam, and I’m sorry mam, for your trouble,’ were consistent responses.  I know the call was being recorded which likely had something to do with their response.  However, this response confirms what I already knew, remaining calm and keeping your response sympathetic helps defuse an irate person. I had to apologize to the person on the other end of my call.  It took some time but they eventually helped me with my request. 

 There likely will be someone who will test our resolve and by human nature, we won’t always be able to tame our tongue and temper. Even so, we should remember, our response can help defuse most the out of control people we encounter.

A Blog Tour Invitation

By: Darlene G. Snyder

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 Good day readers,

I’m using this opportunity to post  an invitation to other bloggers. It’s A BLOG TOUR INVITATION!  A publisher friend of mine is doing the tour and is seeking blogger moms to participate. Please read the invitation below and if you are interested, send her an email. All of her information is included.

Thanks,

*******************************************************************************

 

As a regular blogger, you must constantly seek new material, new readers, new advertisers and new markets. Some days, it just gets old, doesn’t it? As a mom, you’re overwhelmed, discouraged, busy, fearless, and on and on.

 

As the publisher of Devotions to Go, I can help you as a blogger and a mom.  Devotions to Go is a fabulous series of books for women written by women and moms just like you. Each book contains a month of daily devotions on a variety of subjects. Devotions to Go are small enough to fit in your hand, Powerful enough to fill your Spirit daily with the Word of God.

 

I’m selecting the most engaging mom-oriented bloggers to include in a marketing campaign to promote your blog and our series of books. The bloggers who are chosen will be included as part of our Devotions to Go Summer 2009 promotion. Your blog will be included in a list of Extreme Diva recommended resources throughout the summer. This list will be included with all Devotions to Go orders made through our online store and will be posted on our Devotions to Go and extreme Diva Media websites. Blog appearances will be promoted on the Devotions to Go pages on Facebook and Twitter.

How can you participate in the Devotions to Go Summer 2009 promotion?

  • Post a review of one of our books on your blog;
  • Host me as a guest blogger or an interview guest on your site as part of an upcoming blog tour, June 15-30.

You may choose any or all of the choices above. You may also choose the book you want to review.

Still not sure you want to be part of the Devotions to Go 2009 Promotion? If you agree to participate, you will receive a PDF copy of the Devotions to Go of your choice. Once you post information about our books on your blog, we will send you 4 traditional copies of the book you selected. Use these books any way you like.

To be included in our summer promotion, please send an email by June 3rd to: jeanann@devotionstogo.com. In your email, please be sure to send me your logo and a 30-word blurb about your blog. To select Devotions to Go, visit our store, www.edmbookstore.com to learn more about each title. Be sure to include the title of the Devotions to Go you would like to receive and your mailing address.

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Extremely yours,

 

Jean Ann Duckworth

CEO, Extreme Diva Media

Something Wonderful For Women

By: Darlene G. Snyder

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I have a new blog that I’m excited about. It doesn’t replace this one, it is in addition to this blog.  The blog title is Inspiring The Pastor’s Wife. And as the name suggest it is for the pastor’s wife and for women in the ministry.

Please check the blog out and let me know what you think.  Here’s the link

http://inspiringthepastorswife.blogspot.com/

ALSO

I’m excited about a line of books that I’ve discovered. In fact, I plan to submit a book to the publisher for consideration for inclusion in the line of books.  In a few days I will post a review of one of the books. They are very cost friendly – very affordable  and very compact.

Here’s where you go to order the books 

http://edmbookstore.com/main.sc;jsessionid=DCE3A4F0D402004C4620BA722244A494.qscstrfrnt02

 

 

Devotions to Go's Facebook Page

Please take the time to look at both of these links.

 

Thanks,

 Darlene

 

Tornado in Kirksville Kentucky 5-8-09

By: Darlene G. Snyder

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My home area has been hit by an F3 strength tornado. Although my home and property had no damage, others around me were not so fortunate.  Here are just a few pictures of the area.

Tornado 2009 263Tornado 2009 251Tornado 2009 261Tornado 2009 127Tornado 2009 029Tornado 2009 172Tornado 2009 036Tornado 2009 131Tornado 2009 191Tornado  2009 045Tornado  2009 043Tornado  2009 029

 

Tornado 2009 022tornado may 2009 112