Relationships: How to Cope with Difficult People

2 Samuel 2:1-14

Every Leader faces difficult people and draining circumstances. The following
difficult personality types commonly accost leaders today:


1. The Sherman Tank: rides over people

2. The Space Cadet: lives in another world

3. The Volcano: explosive, unpredictable

4. The Thumb Sucker: self-pity, pouts

5. The Wet Blanket: always down

6. The Garbage Collector: attracts the worst

7. The User: demands lots of time, energy


1. Consider the issue; stand up if important.

2. Find and develop their unique gifts.

3. Remove from crowd, listen, be direct.

4. Don’t reward; expose them to real trouble.

5. Be honest, don’t cater; don’t let them lead.

6. Challenge their statements; force honesty

7. Set boundaries; require accountability.

The Gibeonites became one of David’s difficult people. Answer the following
questions about how David chose to deal with them:

1. Why did God send the famine and the Gibeonites to David (vv.1, 2)?

2. How far should the leader go to satisfy the complaints of a critic (vv. 3, 4)?

3. Did David go too far in trying to appease the Gibeonites or Rizpah (vv. 5-14)?

Pastor Stephen Galvano
Rochester Christian Church Ministries International