Ways to Deal With a Difficult Person

While waiting for admission into the university, I read a book by Tim LaHaye titled “Why You Act The Way You Do”. After reading the book, I remember telling myself and anyone who cared to listen, that I could live with any kind of person. That statement was easier said than done. 

Reading that book to me was like writing the essay section of an examination. Having to live with “difficult people” was the practical section.

As an undergraduate, I lived with different kinds of people; the good, bad, easygoing, perfectionist, angry and difficult ones.

And through it all, I learnt (still learning) a few ways to deal with difficult people which I’ll share with you below.

Accept them

My chaplain in High school once taught us that in life you need to “Accept differences” and this truth is timeless because people are simply different!

People interpret life differently base on their perspective. 

We’ve been raised from different backgrounds, culture and ideologies and we can’t always reason on the same page.

The fact that we have different temperaments is enough to make us act differently. So, learn to accept difficult people. See them as being different from you. Perhaps, that will make it easier to relate with them.

Give them space

Learn to give people the space to be people.

Consciously create your schedule to spend less time with a difficult person, as this will help your sanity.

This may seem difficult if you have to work in close contact with a difficult person or you are married to one but in wisdom, you can always give them space to be themselves.

As much as you can, don’t willfully put yourself in a position to be hurt. Avoid such situations.

Don’t be their conscience

Gary L.Thomas in his book When to Walk Away said “Feel free to enjoy people and love them without having to be their conscience”

If you are the type of person that loves putting people right, this may seem hard at first, but learn it.

Don’t be the Holy Spirit junior in someone’s life. Allow his conscience to do it’s work.

Pray for them

Praying for a difficult person may not immediately change him but it will change your attitude towards the person. 

Truth is, it’s easier to pray for someone you love than pray for that toxic coworker or roommate. But scripture commands that we pray for all men.

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men”

1 Timothy 2:1 KJV

Pray that this person will be open to receive God’s love.

Love them

Love is not an option but a command; so love difficult people!

Be patient and kind to them, and don’t always insist that you are right all the time.

” Love difficult people. You’re one of them.”

Bob Goff

If showing them love at a close space isn’t helping your sanity, how about loving them from a distance? In all you do, love!

Pray for Yourself

Finally, pray that you won’t lose your peace in the process of dealing with a difficult person.

You need wisdom to live and work with someone totally different from you, so ask God for that wisdom and you’ll be surprised at the ways He’ll lead you.


{Related: How to Deal with Difficult People}


Are you currently working with a difficult person? How do you relate with this person? I’ll like to hear from you in the comments.


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