Confronting Difficult People

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I am reading a great book called, Setting Boundaries with Difficult People by Allison Bottke, published by Harvest House Publishers. I wanted to share some things from her book that touch my heart, as maybe they will touch your heart, too. I will do this for my next few articles as I read through the book.

On pgs. 23-24, she mentions some notes she took from her preacher that were really meaningful.

"When opportunity knocks, we need to have courage to overcome fear. There's a difference between understanding what you should do and choosing to do it. The tipping point takes us from knowing what we ought to do to making the decision to act."

"God will direct our paths, but He won't take the step for us. Some of us will stop on the journey. It's not just knowing - it's going. Often, there is a gap in the middle between knowing and going."

"Life is a parade of "now" moments, not a series of tomorrows. No future moment is more significant than now."

Is this your "now" moment? She goes on to talk about the importance of confronting difficult people, or issues in your life, or moving on and letting it go. It takes courage to walk through doors to freedom. Yes, identifying what those doors are is an important step, but then walking through the door is the courageous act that will set you free to solve problems and have peace and joy.

She mentions a book called, A Woman's Passionate Pursuit of God by Karol Ladd. She talks about how the author commented on the book of Philippians, and how the Apostle Paul wrote of his resilient joy, consistent contentment, and a peace that passes all understanding while being beaten and imprisoned in a dungeon for doing what was right. She quotes this:

"Have you ever thought you were following God's guidance or leading and found yourself in a real mess of a situation? It can tend to make you want to doubt God and question His work in your life. Did I really follow God's direction? Does He really care about my situation? Why should God allow this to happen to me if I am following His will? The questions are valid, but we will soon see that God often allows the difficulties in our lives for a greater purpose. He will not leave us in the midst of our troubles. The important thing is to learn to react to our situations and challenges with faith and not fear."

Here are some questions to ask yourself, as a challenge:

"Who are the difficult people in your life? With whom are you hesitant to set healthy boundaries?"
"What keeps you from setting those boundaries?"
"Which growth action - standing up or moving on - are you willing to take with the difficult people in your life so that you are no longer stuck in neutral?"


Dawn Foss Added Feb 16, 2017 - 10:19pm
Thanks, MJ!  Luchino, thanks for your comments also.  I am reading this book and starting some counseling because I have some controlling and even at times abusive people in my life.  I have been an enabler, and have hurt others in my attempt to help them, be caring, loving, etc., and my heart is broken.  I second guess myself all the time, but have finally taken some steps in my personal life to heal and grow.  I have taken that step "now" and have removed myself because I can't stand up to the issues.  Now that I have removed myself, I want to learn skills so that I can better handle those tough situations, and hopefully be able to confront and stand strong next time.
This can apply to a job, a relationship, a family member, even an adult child.  I find it helps me to write as I learn things, not only to hopefully help others along the way, but to be able to look back and remind myself of the things that helped me at the time. :)
Dawn Foss Added Feb 17, 2017 - 12:29am
Thanks, Marsac!  That means a lot to me! :)
Thanks for your kindness, Slade!  My grandmother used to always quote that, "God helps those who help themselves first!", but in reality, God helps those who can't help themselves.  He expects us who can help ourselves to do so.  I think that is what you are saying.  It's tough when it's a close relationship with lots of attachments, but I'm glad I have taken steps in the right direction, and I hope healing comes for all parties, and that we will all be stronger and wiser for it.  I look forward to reading this book, as it seems to promise some good skills.  I am easily manipulated because I'm trusting, and by nature a people pleaser.  Unfortunately that can lead to abuse.  But God is good, and I'm thankful for all the people in my life who care and have given me wisdom.  I'm looking forward to reading this book, and will continue to share gems and pearls of wisdom as I come across them! I hope that in the process I can ultimately help those I have hurt, too, by not enabling, but allowing them to heal and grow in wisdom and character, if they choose to do so.
I started a Facebook page called, "Loved by God" in hopes that people who are going through similar things can draw some encouragement also.  My gut tells me this world has an awful lot of hurt in it, and we need some safe havens of peace.
Dale Murrish Added Aug 24, 2017 - 7:53pm
Great article, Dawn! Notice that you haven't posted anything on WriterBeat lately. I miss seeing your articles. 
Sometimes God brings us to very difficult seasons. My experience is that He always brings us through them....
Some people are difficult - I've found it's best to walk away from conflicts with toxic people if you can. I'm not always able to do that, but I try.
Dawn Foss Added Aug 29, 2017 - 8:25am
Thanks, Dale! I agree; I have quit a job because one of my bosses was so difficult, and I had the ability to leave there. What was at home I could not so easily remove myself, so I at least got the number of difficult people down to only the ones I had to deal with on a regular basis.
I have actually separated myself from my husband at this point, with the goal of reconciliation. I think it's a much better option than divorce. It has a greater potential for healing for both parties. Prayer is key. I think sometimes removing yourself to safety so the other one is forced to face the issues is the most loving thing you can do. My being there was not the godly choice, because he was growing more bitter and projecting everything onto me. I see healing and growth in him now, as he seeks the Lord. It is beautiful to see him reading his Bible, and getting so much out of church now. I too am seeking counsel, and am learning how to create and enforce healthy boundaries, and to improve my interactions with others as well. So yes, as we deal with difficult people, we should always act in love, and seek God for strength for the journey, and then embrace that journey.
This has been a difficult summer. I've also had to place my dad in assisted living due to dementia, and it's been both a difficult and rewarding time. I haven't written much the past few months, but hope to get back to it soon. All I can say is God is good, and even when we go through heart wrenching times, ESPECIALLY when we go through heart wrenching times, we need to keep our eyes focused on Him, and glorify Him through our lives each step of the way. Take one day at a time, and try to make wise choices, even when they are hard. This makes it easier to find meaning and purpose in our trials, and we know they are not in vain.
I have been journaling all my emotions and experiences through this process, hoping to one day write a book about the journey. I'm being very honest with my feelings, and the ups and downs that go with a difficult trial. There truly can be beauty in the pain we face, and is something to embrace in quiet resolve as we endure hard times.
Thank you for your kind words! I hope to contribute more in the upcoming months. I really enjoy the interaction with real people, vs. just writing articles and hoping someone somewhere out there reads it!
Edgeucation Newmedia Added Oct 16, 2017 - 2:26pm
Sometimes God puts difficult people in your path to teach you to get along with people who are not like minded.