Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
There are some people you just can't get along with no matter how hard you try. You might heap warm coals on their head (Proverbs 25:21-22), but they are still ornery. You could send them olive branches as symbols of peace until your olive tree become bare, yet some people will still be mean toward you. So what else can you do? And what else should you do?
While it might be challenging, the experts have come up with eight tips along with scriptures to help you get along with people you thought you could never get along with. Try the following tips and see what happens.
8 Tips for Getting Along With Difficult People
- Stop complaining
- Keep smiling
- Show gratitude
- Let others express themselves
- Call people by their name
- Put others' needs above your own
The olive branch is considered a symbol of peace because olive trees are not cultivated during times of war.
1. Stop Complaining
If you would stop complaining around difficult people, perhaps they would stop complaining around you.
People tend to pattern what is around them. If they hear negative talk, they will respond in kind. If you have the urge to talk negatively, say nothing at all.
Follow the advice that Paul gives in Philippians 2:14, "Do everything without grumbling and complaining."
2. Keep Smiling
It sounds like a simple thing to do, but keep smiling when you are around difficult people. They will wonder what you are up to.
Also, smiling will give others the impression that you are a pleasant person to be around.
Use Paul's advice in Ephesians 6:7 and "Render service with a good attitude."
"The best way to get along with some people is to do it from a distance."
Listen more and talk less. If you don't say anything to tick the person off, he might not have anything negative to say. Besides, he will know that you are listening to what he has to say. However, you don't have to agree with it or even respond to it. While the other person is talking, lend a listening ear.
Solomon, the wisest man who lived during his day said, "A wise man will listen and increase his learning" (Proverbs 1:5).
Everybody likes to be complimented about something. It doesn't have to be about anything big. It could be a compliment about a scarf someone is wearing or a colorful tie. It doesn't have to be limited to what someone is wearing. It could be about something someone has done. For example, "Good job on finishing that project on time."
Everybody needs encouragement, even your enemies.
Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, "Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up."
5. Show Gratitude
Be thankful and show gratitude when someone does something nice for you. Let the person know you appreciate his kindness. When you appreciate others, they will appreciate you.
According to 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul advises us to "Give thanks in everything."
6. Let Others Express Themselves
Instead of you doing all the talking, let others tell their story. Something people lash out at someone to get attention the only way they know how. Instead of being the one telling the story, allow others to share their story. When they express themselves, they bond with you instead of fighting against you.
Let them talk instead of you doing the talking. Solomon advises. "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth" (Proverbs 27:2).
7. Call People by Their Name
Dale Carnegie said, "Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language." Solomon said in Song of Solomon 1:3, "Your name is perfume poured out." What that means is that people love to hear their names called during a conversation, even a heated one.
When you call a person's name during a conversation, he senses that you care. It is an indication that you know he exists. There have been many conversations between spouses, family members, and friends where a person's name is never called.
If you want to bond with someone during a conversation, call the person's name.
8. Put Others' Needs Above Your Own
Sometimes people have to make a sacrifice and put other people's needs above their own. That means giving whatever is needed at the time. It could be your money, your help, or time to listen to someone.
Support others because someday you might want someone to support you. The Bible says in Luke 6:38, "Give and it shall be given unto you." That "it" in that verse refers to whatever you give and not just money.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.