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Seeing God’s Hand In Difficult Relationships

Other people are tough to deal with sometimes. This is especially true when they don’t understand where you’re coming from or how you think. In fact, they may even treat you like you’re “crazy,” not because you are, but because your way of reasoning is just completely foreign to them.

Sometimes you can get away with having minimal interaction with such people. This is good; it’s stressful!

Other times, you aren’t able to just walk away, and the reality is that you are going to have to sit in the stew of communication challenges for a longer period.

What can we do to cope with such situations?

Well, one total waste of time is to try and “figure them out.” You can’t, and even if you could, it isn’t going to make them act any different.

Another misadventure is to cry over how they are “so mean.” I mean, maybe they are. But tears alone aren’t going to move you forward. (I am a believer in crying when you’re in pain; it’s the wallowing that gets unhealthy.)

One positive approach you can take is to see the other person as a kind of teacher that God has sent your way. No doubt there are areas in your life where you don’t do so well. Those exact weaknesses are where we tend to run into trouble with others.

Another thing you can do is to see the difficulties you’re having with the other person as evidence that God is intervening in your life path. This is because the presence of a “difficult” other person may prove so unpleasant that you leave a relationship, a job, a community activity, or some other interest or endeavor.

When that happens, sometimes people say, “I’m sorry that [X person] made your life so difficult.”

But what we should really say is—and I know this is hard and even impractical in extreme circumstances, like abuse, God forbid—“Thank you God for directing my life. I do not see the plan, but You do.”

In my own experience, dealing with corrective teachers has been excruciatingly emotionally painful at times. The purpose has never been clear. Except years later, I find that I have skills that weren’t natural to me before…and it’s always because a “difficult” person challenged me to stop making the same mistakes over and over again.

By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal (Dossy). All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

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