We all know them, and none of us like them. Whether its an abrasive boss or a break-room bully, there are those at work who simply grate on our nerves and leave us contemplating our resignation toward the end of each week.

Unfortunately, turning in a two-weeks’ notice would only land us a new job three weeks from now, working along side someone else with that same predisposition for negativity we hoped to escape in the first place.

Every work environment has its Terrible Tim or Negative Nancy, so the best option for any of us is to simply learn and apply some basic principles for dealing with conflict in the work place.

While admittedly counterintuitive, here are four such principles to help you deal with Mr. Grumpy Pants.

Love the unloveable.

You don’t have to like someone to love them. Love is a choice, just as God choses to love us in spite of how unloveable we can be at times. Don’t like them, but simply love them.

Help the haters.

When someone hates you, fight back with generosity. Nothing is more humiliating than being rude to someone who’s generous to you.
Discover what makes them tick, serve them a big helping of whatever that is, and after a few iterations of this tactic, your face will be forever tattooed on their brain as source of joy in their life.

Compliment the complainers.

When someone talks down to you, ridicules you, or begins to talk badly about you to others, make yourself known as someone who pays compliments to that person. When you take the high road, others are forced to follow suit.

Pray for the oppressors.

The only cure for the evil in the heart of your oppressor is a divine conviction from the Holy Spirit. Praying for those who oppress you not only helps you to see the oppressor through God’s eyes, but prayers of faith have the power to move even the grumpiest of mountains.

Ask the Lord this weekend to help you apply these principles to your life next week. Not only will they make you look like a champion who eats stress like energy bars, but they’ll make anyone who mistreats you look like an absolute fool.

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.  Luke 6:27-28

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  Romans 12:19-21