4 Difficult-People Quotes—and How to Respond - Finds.Life.Church

4 Difficult-People Quotes—and How to Respond

by Jenn Jewell

Have you ever been around one of those people? They’re hard to love and tough to avoid. They’re like relational vampires—sucking the life out of you. Every other phrase they say sounds like it belongs on a “difficult-people quotes” website. But Jesus told us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. So, how can we deal with such demanding individuals while staying mindful of Jesus’ words?

Here are 4 difficult-people quotes and how we can respond.

  1. QUOTE: “Are you really going to wear that?”

THE CRITIC is not only a meticulous fault-finder of others, but also overly critical of themself. They might even think they’re doing you a favor by being “brutally honest,” but they don’t always realize the painful sting of their words. We can help the critic by responding with kindness, asking follow-up questions, gently sharing how their comments hurt others, and generously offering forgiveness. And if their criticizing continues?

Love them anyway.

  1. QUOTE: “Did you get my other 27 texts?”

THE OVERLY NEEDY can be exhausting. They always seem to need help, but rarely seem to help themselves. They can be emotionally, physically, and financially draining. We cannot “fix” the overly needy, but we can pray for them and help put tools in their tool belt—a Bible, a counselor’s phone number, a budget system—while also setting healthy boundaries. We shouldn’t merely share our fish; we should teach them to fish as well. We obviously can’t and shouldn’t do everything for them, but we can do something. And if they’re still needy?

Love them anyway.

  1. QUOTE: “I’d like to order for the whole table.”

THE CONTROL FREAK loves just that—control. Dominating the people and environments around them helps them to feel a sense of security. Like other difficult people in our lives, controllers don’t always realize what they’re doing. They want to share their best advice, orchestrate the perfect atmosphere, or make sure things get done a certain way—the “right” way. We can respond to the control freak by kindly thanking them for their input while reminding them of our individuality. We should be honest. Ask how they’d feel if the situation were reversed. And if all else fails?

Love them anyway.

  1. QUOTE: “I hate gossipers, and she’s the worst of them all.”

THE HYPOCRITE says one thing but practices another. They judge others while participating in similar indecencies. They pretend to have it all together when they’re really falling apart. We can help the hypocrite by being honest and vulnerable with our own struggles—which might inspire them to do the same—and by lovingly calling them out when their bark doesn’t match their bite. If they continue in their hypocritical ways, we can set boundaries, pray for them, forgive them. And can you guess what else?

Love them anyway.

It’s easy to cast blame and place labels, but the truth is: we’re all “difficult” at times. We can all be critical, overly needy, controlling, and hypocritical at times—sometimes within one 24-hour time period. Sometimes the thing that irritates us most in someone else is the same thing we’re also struggling with! We’re all big ol’ sinners, sinking in our own depravity, desperately in need of grace. But even when we’re at our very worst, you know what God does?

God loves us anyway.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV