No matter where you are or where you go, you will find people. Learning how to communicate and interact with others is a vital part of life. Many times you will be around people that are, for the most part, pleasant and easy to work with.

But every once in a while, you will have to work with people who are extremely difficult. This is part of life and I have found, in these times, that I can learn a lot about myself. As much as I would like to run away and not deal with this difficult person, I know that wherever I go, there will be another one. The whole situation is really about me learning and growing.

When I encounter difficult people I try to remember 4 things:

1.) Stay in control.
I am the only one who can control my attitude and response. No one else makes me do something. I can learn in the midst of each situation and there is always an opportunity for self improvement and growth. “When you are done growing, you are done.”

2.) Show grace.
You never know what others are dealing with in their own life. Sometimes, I have to remember to cut people slack, because we are all fighting a battle of some type. You may have heard the phrase, “Hurt people, hurt people.” People that are hurting or stressed, sometimes take it out on others. Showing grace, kindness, love and understanding can help diffuse the situation and maybe even soften the difficult person. You might just make a friend!

3.) I have a purpose.
I know that I have a responsibility and purpose in each situation so I refuse to allow someone else’s behavior to control or limit my contribution. If I pull back, I am only hurting myself and the others who I am serving. “Keep your eyes on the prize.”

4.) Be Myself.
I have to remember who I am and be true to myself. “Be who you be, and do what you do!”
No matter what.

Life is not about things, status, taking credit or even being the most productive.

It’s always all about people.