Can we have a moment of honesty? There are certain people that are a struggle for me. The vast majority people I find to be enjoyable and easy to connect with. Every now and then I find a person who I would rather dodge. While I gravitate towards many people, there are those handful of people with whom I tend to avoid.
This would feel like a pretty vulnerable admission if it wasn’t for the fact that you probably feel the same way. I bet right now you can picture people you are naturally drawn towards and at least once person you would rather not see today.
From our youngest days in social settings we discover there are some people we like being around and others with whom we would rather not interact.
Again you probably have at least one person that comes to mind. Now let’s talk about that EGR for a second.
EGR? That’s the quick term I use for people whom I find difficult. EGR means extra grace required. You see I am a flawed person in need of grace from friends and family. I chose to offer that same grace to those around me. When dealing with a difficult person I find myself needing to lean into “just a little more grace”. How do you deal with people that evoke from within you this need for a little more grace?
You aren’t going to be close friends with everyone in your life; that is unnecessary and unrealistic. However in team environments and social settings it is crucial that we learn to get along and work well with everyone. To be a part of a healthy team we must learn to work well with those whom we tend to clash.
How do you deal with EGR (Extra Grace Required) people in your life? Personally I try to keep 2 things in mind:
1) Everyone has a backstory– the quirks and attitudes that drive you crazy did not come out of thin air. There is a reason why TV shows have a habit of sharing the backstory of a character. Knowing a difficult person’s story helps us gain empathy. It allows us to think of an EGR as a person instead of a problem. To get along with difficult people start thinking of them as a person to know instead of a problem to avoid.
2) Everyone has value– You and I were created in the image of God. So is that person you want to avoid. With most people it is easy for us to see and embrace their value as a person created by God. When it comes to an EGR we have to be intentional to keep this thought at the forefront of our mind. Every person who frustrates me, gets on my nerves or rubs me the wrong way is also a person Jesus chose to die for.
Each of us have EGR people in our lives. We have a tendency to want to brush off or avoid those people who are hard to handle. But what if the presence of an EGR person in your life is meant to challenge you, not frustrate you?
What if those difficult interactions are more than a meeting to grit through? This could be an opportunity God is trying to use to develop you personally. It could be that God is trying to expand your heart to be more like Him.