Difficult People

Original Photo by hotblack on Morguefile.com
Original Photo by hotblack on Morguefile.com

“We are constantly being put to the test by trying circumstances and difficult people and problems not necessarily of our own making.” —Terry Brooks

I’m sure we’ve all been there. The feeling of utter frustration with another person can ratchet up our stress level to new highs. Dealing with people like this–especially if we must do so on a daily basis–can lead to hopelessness and a desire for escape. Well, maybe not for everyone, but certainly for me.

Difficult people in the workplace can make an already stressful situation worse. When a job is not fulfilling–or perhaps not even paying well–then you begin to look for greener pastures. Adding in the problem of dealing with stress like gossiping, backbiting, and bullying can make you look even faster. Plus, this can also lessen any motivation for maintaining a high performance in the workplace.

This sort of situation seems hopeless, and for an introvert like myself, it can make you wonder whether or not it’s worth it. The problems associated with the situation and the hurt caused by it can take up too much time and consideration. Indeed, it makes me think of the following quote:

“People find life entirely too time-consuming.” —Stanislaw Lec

I sometimes think about the times that I have dealt with real emergencies–my own cancer, the illnesses and deaths of loved ones, for example–and I know that those times have been stressful, often extremely so. However, there was a reason for the stress, and there was a depth of emergency associated with it. What about this situation? There is no reason for this, only that our world is fallen.

And then I think of the strength that I have seen in others who faced similar situations, and I take strength in that. I have watched people continue to hold their heads high and deal with such problems daily. Their motivation? Being an honorable person and supporting their family. That is the kind of person that I strive to be, but often fail in the execution, as we all do. Still, there is strength there in attempting to be the kind of person you know you can be even in a fallen world.

So what are your strategies for dealing with difficult people and situations? Any wisdom to share?

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