I live around some people that I “could literally pinch their heads off,” a saying I have heard from time to time about working with difficult people. Usually that denotes a great deal of frustration about reaching a good working relationship with someone. They just don’t seem to be team players, working smoothly toward a common goal, and laughing away mishaps that will occur. They like to grumble, control, and take offenses about how people are treating them.
I think I may be learning how to deal with them, if only I have the patience and goodwill to do so. My initial reaction is to be civil and to ignore them dragging their feet and making disparaging remarks. They seem to have a different agenda than I do—their own agenda. This will work for me for several hours, until I start getting testy. If they don’t recognize my growing discontent, the next stage is me blowing up and telling them exactly what I think, and the battle is on. This is usually a bad move on my part, for I start feeling guilty for not being spirit-controlled, and I have to go back and apologize. Drat it for having a sensitive heart about doing right!
I have a close family member that helps me do yard work occasionally. He must know every detail, how long we will work, when he will get paid that day, and has many opinions that things will not work a certain way. My philosophy is that I will find a way to make something work, if it can be done. He is young and doesn’t have the work experience to know the difference. I finally told him, “I hired you to do manual work, not for management!” Pretty cruel, wasn’t it? I was trying to make a point about job descriptions, but came off as hurtful (and had to apologize…).
Slowly, I have come to realize I don’t have to be right, nor demand they act a certain way (take up for my rights). If I commit to a certain project or relationship, I can put my feelings aside and do whatever necessary to keep the situation defused. I find if I lower my voice (when I feel like screaming), speak very gently, and try to say what they need to hear, compliment often, they calm down and will work more smoothly with me. Do I want to live in this environment all the time? No, but I can do what needs to be done, and go on.
As I have been using this new approach, I find a certain sense of power and joy well up within me. Whoa…what is this? I think I may have stumbled onto a principle of God:
Proverbs 15:1, 4, ” A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger… The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”
1 Corinthians 15:5, (AMPC), “(Love) It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].”
Wow! I must be learning how to love!