The Power of Pleasant Words: How to Respond Lovingly to Difficult People

Have you noticed how many difficult people there are in the world? Some days, do you feel like you have to deal with most of them? So, how should we respond to difficult people?

A proverb says, “A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.”

So, the more pleasant you are, the more persuasive you are. You’re never persuasive when you’re abrasive. Nagging doesn’t work.

The way you say something determines the way it’s received. If you say something offensively, it’s going to be received defensively. That’s why we should respond in love. Love considers your words. Love is truthful, but it is also tactful.

Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others.

Tact and tone always go together. The way you say something, not just what you say, matters. You can say something very difficult for someone to hear, but if you say it in the right tone—a loving tone—it will be received much better.

A loving response to a difficult person requires you to be pleasant and tactful.

Think of it like this: If you want to be below a difficult person, attack him. If you want to be even with him, get even with him. But if you want to be above him, show that person love with the words you say and the way you say them.

To help you put this into practice, let’s ponder some questions:

  • You may have heard the saying, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Do you think the best response to a difficult person is ever to just walk away? Why or why not?
  • What would you need to change about your attitude to be known as a “wise, mature person”?
  • What does it mean to be tactful?

Leave a reply below and let me know what you think.

Next week, we’ll explore how to deal with demanding people.

Excerpt taken from Daily Hope by Rick Warren.

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