Many of us spend most of our day in the office, which can be bad enough, but then having to deal with an annoying co-worker can be enough to tip you over the edge. Every day, it feels like you're entering a jungle where you have to try and defend yourself from predators that will ruin your day. However, anger and defense mechanisms aren't the way. Instead, deal with your annoying co-worker the Christian way.
What is the Christian way? Does this mean that you're committing a sin if you feel annoyed at this person? God created all humans uniquely and differently, which means that not everyone will get along all the time, and in some cases, rarely. The beauty of being a follower of Jesus though, is that we learn love for one another, and through love we can find a way to get along.
I know, Mr. Vain over there can't stop talking about himself and Ms. Know-It-All, well, she thinks she knows it all. It can be overly annoying if you have to deal with them on a daily basis but hey, you shouldn't let them ruin your day! Let's talk about how you can deal with this situation and how God can help you:
1. Pray for Silence.
The more you talk about "the problem with that person", the more you'll find the negative feelings growing inside you, and you'll begin to increasingly dislike this person. The more you grumble, the harder your heart will become. When we're mad, it's easy to say things out of anger or frustration, but remember, these are words you cannot take back easily once out there. Choose to stay silent and hold your words back. Yes, it's very hard because we all express our emotions through words. But instead of speaking through your emotions first, if you pray to the Lord and ask for self-control, you can keep yourself from saying things that can hurt others. Remember, our words are powerful; with them you can reveal love and heal others, or you can harm and destroy. Do not use your words recklessly, especially when you are frustrated or losing it emotionally.
2. Pray for Discernment
Are you annoyed at how a co-worker keeps tapping his shoes on the floor? Are you annoyed at a co-worker you see that steals from the pantry? It's amazing how small, insignificant things you see in others can become huge, giant things that upset you so much, and cause you to "lose yourself".
But in times of anger and frustration, you must learn to choose things that really are significant and others that you can just let go of. There are days you'll find yourself confused as to how you should react and act. Should you let it go or not? When this happens, pray for discernment and ask the Lord's help in making a decision.
3. Pray for Respect
When you're really annoyed with someone, it's hard to keep your respect intact. Why would you respect someone who can't even respect the people around him/her? However, you must also keep in mind that you don't know the entire story. You only know what you see. What if this person is going through hard times in his/her life and that's why they are acting out this way?
When you respect someone, there is also leeway for understanding. You may not like what he/she is doing but you will respect the person nonetheless. Remember, he is also God's creation and God loves him/her equally as God loves you.
4. Pray for Perspective
Hate breeds negativity, which means that if you don't like someone you're going to start only seeing the bad things in them. It's actually a chain-effect because you'll be nitpicking at the bad things this person does and then, you'll be more annoyed. Obviously, this isn't a good place for you to be in.
When hate takes over your mind and heart, your eyes are blinded. Ask God's help to open your eyes again so you can see the goodness in this person, or even just overlook the bad - just as God does with us every day of our lives.
5. Pray for Patience and Love
Annoyance and hatred can easily get the best of us. Why? Because it's easier to be mad than be patient. It's easier to talk about this person behind his/her back than stay silent. It's easier to talk to other people about this "annoying person" than keep your thoughts to yourself and overcome those feelings inside yourself. But don't you see? You're taking the easy way out and that's not what God wants you to do.
Bear in mind that God put you in this position because there's always a lesson to learn. And in this case, He probably wants you to seek His help. Pray to God and ask for patience. Pray that despite how much negative feeling you have, that God will help your heart overcome the hate with love.
In life or shall I say, in the office, there really is no certainty that you'll get along with everyone. It's actually almost certain that you won't get along with everyone. The chances are that sooner or later you'll meet a person you really can't stand. When that happens will you truly be able to walk the path of faith and follow Jesus? It's easy to do when everything is rosey around you, but when things become tough that's when the real test comes. Even if you try everything to fight off these feelings but you still feel yourself overwhelmed by negativity inside, then as a last resort you can even turn to the fact that there is a reason for everything. You're working in that company for a reason. You met this person for a reason. This is an opportunity to reveal true faith, true love, and this challenge is the next step in my path of faith that I must overcome so I can keep moving closer and closer to God.
Whatever God's reasons are, just know that He wants you to rise above the challenge, seek His help and continue to respect, love and care for one another. The true measure of love is when you can extend love to people you don't like or get along with.