How do we deal with difficult people? And is “dealing” with them really the best approach?
People are _________.
c. The worst
d. Often unloveable
e. All of the above
If you’ve ever had an interaction with another human being, you’ll probably find the correct answer to the statement above to be “e. All of the above”.
Ryan and I were up late last night talking about people. No one in particular, just people as a whole. I guess I should say, we were talking about humanity. Well, in our talks, we found ourselves joking and asking “How can people be the worst, when they are capable of being the best?”
What’s makes people be the worst?
Better yet, what do we do with people who we know are fully capable of being “good” yet they act like the worst?
I haven’t figured that out yet… but I love people, and even more, I love seeing people succeed. I think when people are being their best, the goodness from their core shines through. And when people are the worst, it’s because something is “coming up” for them and holding them back.
I’ve never been one to let someone off the hook too easy. Maybe that’s not a good thing, but I really value a person who can take ownership of their feelings and responsibility of their actions. That being said… I still “feel” for people when they are in the moment, being their worst. Deep down, I know there’s something more going on. People aren’t just the worst… they are also the best. So when they are being the worst, I feel like it’s an opportunity to bring back out the best in them.
And how do we do that?
It would be so easy to wipe our hands of people when they suck. I mean, frankly speaking… people suck sometimes. And it would be so easy to just “be done” when they are driving us crazy, but how many times have we been on the other side of this? I mean, I know we’re talking about others right now, but think about all those “bad days” or “not my finest moments” when people loved us anyways…
That’s what we have to do with people who are the worst. Love ’em anyways.
Loving someone doesn’t mean being a doormat or letting them embarrass or disrespect you. It means giving them space to throw a tantrum if need be. It means allowing them to be exactly who they are in that moment and choosing to still accept them for who and how they are. Love means not forcing your expectations or ideals of a “good behavior” on someone else.
(Now, sidebar… if these people you are thinking of are your under 18 children, by all means, throw this out the window. You are fully responsible for shaping them into decent human beings. Make them be nice 😂)
The key loving someone, like really loving them is accepting them as they are, flaws and all, drama and all, sarcasm and all. Sure, you might not like every part of them, and that’s okay. Literally, nowhere in scripture does it say “thou shalt like everything about a person to love them“. No. It doesn’t say that. It says “Love one another as I have loved you.” Period.
So, like Jesus loves you anyways, love them anyways. Lord knows we all need grace, and every time I practice “progress not perfection”, I have to remind myself that this applies to other people too.
– the Wife