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Dealing with Difficult People


Seven Kinds of Difficult People ... Find it hard to admit they were wrong. Lack people skills. Use intimidation to deal with others ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Dealing with Difficult People

Dealing with Difficult People
  • Dr. Scott Stevens
  • LifeWay Student Ministry

Seven Kinds of Difficult PeopleFrom The
Significance Principle by Dr. Les Carter and Jim
  • The Youth Minister may have to deal with
    difficult teenagers, parents of teens, volunteer
    youth workers, staff members, deacons, finance
    committee members, custodians, (search
    committees!), etc.
  • See if you recognize the following character

The Saboteur
  • Enjoy getting the scoop on stories/issues
  • Say what others want to hear in hopes of gaining
    access to information
  • Change their opinions, depending on whom theyre
  • Give loyalty to people in power or in the know
  • Enjoy sharing confidential information makes
    them feel powerful/influential
  • Passive-aggressive, hidden anger

The Roman Candle
  • Fear being seen as insignificant, so they
  • Openly display anger, otherwise no audience
  • Find it hard to admit they were wrong
  • Lack people skills
  • Use intimidation to deal with others
  • Surprised when others are offended by their anger
    they just dont get it
  • See power as the ultimate thrill

The Helpless Controller
  • High maintenance whiners who want recognition and
    seem impossible to satisfy
  • Charming can relate well with others in the
  • Usually indecisive
  • Have a What have you done for me lately?
  • Openly display self-doubt
  • Move on once a relationship has been sucked dry

The Generals Assistant
  • Low self-esteem, live vicariously through people
    of power
  • Blind loyalty to a leader
  • Jealous or possessive toward a leader with power
  • Tattletale
  • Have an I dont need you attitude toward those
    without power
  • Have a deep need to appear important

The Pinocchio
  • Compulsive liar, a one-upper
  • Make promises they cannot keep
  • Exaggerate personal achievements
  • Strong need to be approved by others
  • Have a history of successes and assume others
    should be impressed with them

The Hyper-Controller
  • Insecure perfectionist who cant trust others
  • Calculated approach to life
  • Cut-off relationships when no longer useful
  • Stubborn to a fault
  • Insensitive to the hurt they may cause others

The Boomerang
  • Always able to turn the conversation back to
    their favorite subjectthemselves!
  • Unable to empathize with others
  • History of broken relationships
  • Extroverted but shallow
  • Upset when others are recognized for achievement
  • Require constant attention and affirmation

Potential Areas of ConflictFrom Your First Two
Years in Youth Ministry by Doug Fields, Youth
Specialties, 2002
  • Issues of support
  • Issues of trust
  • Competition
  • Structure and support
  • Student woes
  • Inflexibility
  • Issues of overload
  • Babysitting syndrome
  • Issues of respect
  • Hyperactive students
  • Misunderstandings
  • You versus you

Potential Responses to Conflict
  • Stay in the situation, do nothing, hope the
    conflict goes away, and feel frustrated
  • Pretend the conflict does not exist
  • Try to please everyone with the hope of avoiding
  • Deal with tough issues as they arise
  • Last resort. (Probably a felony!)

One Model of Conflict Resolution
Point of Tension Develops/ Negative Feelings
  • Go negative
  • Be defensive
  • Tension increases
  • Gossip, sarcasm, explosion
  • Potential for long-term damage
  • Go positive
  • Ask questions
  • Find a sounding board
  • Discuss the problem face-to-face
  • Resolve/make adjustments
  • Peace

Selected Scriptural Counsel (NLT)
  • God blesses those who work for peace, for they
    will be called the children of God
    (Matthew 59)

Selected Scriptural Counsel (NLT)
  • If another believer sins against you, go
    privately and point out the fault. If the other
    person listens and confesses it, you have won
    that person back. But if you are unsuccessful,
    take one or two others with you and go back
    again, so that everything you say may be
    confirmed by two or three witnesses. If that
    person still refuses to listen, take your case to
    the church (Matthew 1815-17)

Selected Scriptural Counsel (NLT)
  • But God showed His great love for us by sending
    Christ to die for us while we were still
    sinners. (Romans 58)

Selected Scriptural Counsel (NLT)
  • Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do
    things in such a way that everyone can see you
    are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with
    everyone as much as possible.
    (Romans 1217-18)

Selected Scriptural Counsel (NLT)
  • Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble
    comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.
    For when your faith is tested, your endurance has
    a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your
    endurance is fully developed, you will be strong
    in character and ready for anything.
    (James 12-4)

Selected Scriptural Counsel (NLT)
  • And the most important piece of clothing you
    must wear is love. Love is what binds us all
    together in perfect harmony. And let the peace
    that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For
    as members of one body you are called to live in
    peace. (Colossians 314-15)

A Hill On Which To Die
  • Lifestyle choices that model compromise
  • Theological heresy that dilutes the power of the
  • Abuse of power that destroys students and
  • Safety issues for which parents hold you
  • Moral choices that violate the teaching of
  • Non-negotiable legal issues

Faulknerisms From Getting On Top of Your Work by
Brooks Faulkner, LifeWay, 1999
  • The most difficult part of the ministers job is
    loving difficult people.
  • Be kind to difficult people you never know what
    demons they are fighting.
  • Church rage is a lot like road rage, except the
    weapons are words instead of cars.
  • You cannot be manipulated by difficult persons
    without allowing them to do so.
  • The Bible is a book of solutions to difficult
    persons, but the application is often like
    surgery without anesthetic.
  • A reconciliation always begins with someone
    willing to give another the benefit of the doubt.
  • It is easy to avoid criticism simply do, say,
    and be nothing.
  • The two most distinguishing traits of a difficult
    person are hopelessness and helplessness. Point
    them toward hope and help, and you have made a
    friend forever.
  • Almost any relationship can be improved if we
    recognize the fact that we cannot change persons.
    Only God can do that.

For Your Personal Reflection From Your First Two
Years in Youth Ministry by Doug Fields, Youth
Specialties, 2002
  • Do you consider your youth ministry environment
    one where people can speak honestly about hurts,
    feelings, and tension? Why? Why not?
  • When was the last time you had the urge to
    explode at someone in your youth ministry? What
    was it about? How was it resolved?
  • What part of the conflict resolution phase is
    most difficult for you? Why?
  • How might your own family history and/or patterns
    affect your conflict resolution skills?
  • Is there anything youre doing thats leading to
    recurring conflict?
  • Is there anything in your life thats making you
    hypersensitive and easily angered?
  • Is there someone who could hold you accountable
    for how you deal with conflict when it arises?

Contact Information
  • 615.277.8128

Dealing with Difficult People
  • Dr. Scott Stevens
  • LifeWay Student Ministry