"It's an honor for a man to keep distance from strife." Proverbs 20:3
"A dishonest person spreads strife." Proverbs 16:28
"Hatred stirs up strife." Proverbs 10:12
There is so much that can be said about the subject of 'Strife'. There are different triggers that cause this type of behavior in people, but its origin comes from the same place.
Lack of affirmation
The list above are symptoms of a greater problem that's within the individual. Their actions, reactions, and behavior are exemplified in various ways. The core of their problem is that they are in great need of 'LOVE'.
When a person has experienced love from the time they are a child, they feel secure, confident, happy, worthy, and contented. That's the power of love! Many are raised without it, or never experienced it and as they grew up, they were functioning at a deficit and the only way they knew how to cry out for it was to strike out at others, and this revealed itself in negative ways.
Perhaps you have been the recipient of such backlash and negative treatment from persons and wondered what you ever did to get that kind of response. The truth of the matter is that you don't have to do anything for a person to treat you in a negative way. People with the above issues will treat anyone negatively that has the opposite behavior. For example, insecure people are always jealous of secure, confident individuals. Persons who are bitter are often angry and display hatred for those who are happy and contented. The envious, jealous person will always throw shade at those who have good solid friendships and get along with others, or they seem to possess qualities or possessions they don't have.
So, how do you navigate in the midst of such behavior? The first thing is to call it what it is when you see it! Don't minimize it or tell yourself you aren't seeing or feeling what you're feeling. Secondly, Identify what you see and understand the implications of keeping that individual in your friendship pool. Thirdly, decide on whether they will be a healthy addition to your social circle, or a poisonous snake. Last, but not least, make a decision that you will be able to live with. Sometimes you have to cut these people loose and move on in life without them.
Jesus dealt with all types of people when He walked this earth. He came across many difficult people who were negative, dishonest, disloyal, liars, trouble makers, schemers, haters, and the envious persons who ultimately sought to kill Him every chance they got. He's the expert on handling people who cause strife!
Sometimes Jesus put a question to them when they came with foolishness. "Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" Jesus asked, "What did Moses command you" (Mark 10:2-3) The Pharisees were only trying to cause conflict. That's what people who create strife do.
"They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger." (John 8:6). In this account Jesus chose to keep silent. In another account Jesus has to rebuke the person. "Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."
The minute a person comes your way to create strife, call on the Lord, right there and then, and ask Him for the wisest way, for that moment in time, to deal with the person. He may tell you to keep silent, turn their comment to you into a much needed question, or to rebuke them using scripture. Which ever way is needed, do it with a soft, non-argumentive, and calm way. This way you don't cause a full blown argument because that's what the person wants. Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft word turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger." They want to fight with you to embarrass you, and to walk away with something legitimately negative to say about you to others. Ask God for wisdom.
Always remember, it's not about you, it's about them. Don't take on their issues. Don't let them rob you of your peace of mind and joy in the Lord. Commit them to God!