Directions for Dealing with the Difficult Boss
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
The boss nobody wanted, or at least I did not…That was my boss. For several reasons, she rubbed people the wrong way, with her difficult demands, critical nature, and cold attitude. Have you ever had a boss like that? Or a coworker?
As I was out running one day, pleading with God to somehow get me out of this uncomfortable work relationship, I thought about the verse from Matthew 5 Love your enemies. Pray for them. “Wow, Lord, I guess this – praying for her – should have been my first resort, not my last!”
At first I felt only anger and frustration with the way she treated not only me, but also some of my coworkers. But as I continued to run and pray, and as the Holy Spirit continued to work on my heart and mind, I gradually softened. I wondered what made her act the way she did. I questioned what difficulties she might have in her life. (Later I did learn of some of those difficulties.) I also heard the voice of God whisper to me, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
On a regular basis, I began to pray for her. And my attitude toward her changed. I actually wanted to shower her with the love of Christ. Admittedly, it became a fun challenge for me to see if I could “win her over”. I smiled at her. Each time I interacted with her, I focused on how I could do something extra nice for her. Thankfully, over several months our relationship did begin to change; it eventually became one of mutual encouragement! God did answer my prayer with a great big YES. I did get out of my uncomfortable work relationship, not in the way I thought, but in a very unexpected and delightful God-way. No longer was this relationship uncomfortable, but instead, an incredible blessing.
Godly steps for dealing with difficult people:
- See this person through the eyes of God… What difficulties does she have in her life?
- Shower this person with God’s love.