It wasn’t until I met the most chronically unpleasant person in my life that I realized this even more so. Clear as a blue summer’s sky.
What started out as a seemingly normal month for me has turned out to be quite the opposite. While I am no stranger to dealing with sometimes difficult people, when difficult people reside at the workplace, where you should feel safest, what can/should you do…?
And if you’re anything like me, you might try to break down the psychology of why someone is the way they are. Not that this will excuse their behavior but perhaps maybe understand where their thoughts stem from? And working backwards from there? I can tell you now, reverse engineering on a bully is not worth your time.
I am keeping to myself mostly, dealing with this the best one could, though not without endless support. In my whole adult life, after meeting this person, this was the first time that I felt truly bullied. Like it is this person’s whole existence to make sure I knew my place in the organization. That I am a worthless bottom feeder, and my words/opinions bear no weight in the greater context of All Things Important.
I am to obey their militant orders, every command. If I do not, it would be a condescending conversation through email and a series of harassing text messages in the middle of the night in which nothing gets done and all that is left is a trail of unnecessary bitterness.
And you know what? It bothered me at one point, like how could this person be….so…mean…?! Absolutely the most unprofessional person I have ever met. Because of their dedication to the Big Boss, this person created a monster. A monster who, at some point, I wish will have an awakening. That this world does not revolve around you.
Then I came to the conclusion that I felt sad for this person. This angry, small minded, unworldly person who sees nothing beyond the “important” responsibilities they created. At first I felt angry at myself, that I let myself be bullied by them. By allowing it, and giving them the a-okay to the point where upholding my professional standards seemed questionable. While I am still working on it, and trying to understanding it, it is getting hard to see past the blur, as I am drowning in their unrealistic expectations and petty checklists. I keep thinking, how sad. How can this person show so much anger toward others? What happened to them? (Then I tell myself again, not relevant. Pointless to deconstruct).
Whether or not this person truly is convinced that I am less than them, it might be worthy to note that I am perhaps less than them. Less than them in the sense where I won’t separate people from people. Because why? You are in turn a reflection of the way you treat others. And maybe to say that isn’t far from the truth. What would I know though? Just a thought.
I can’t say much has changed yet, but everyday I am a growing to be tougher person because of it, while still preserving my compassion for others.
And because of this, I realize that I want to be the kind of person who chooses love over hate, compassion over a business transaction, real connections over contrived ones. I realize that greed is the moving force of our nation and driving capitalism to and from the most powerful corporations/people/groups is socially acceptable and in rare cases, some for the greater good, but mostly for personal gain and comparing dick sizes. So yeah, I find that quite compulsive in more ways than I can count but it is a fact of reality in this day and age.
And that, is what made me realize what I wrote before is the opposite – that Less is actually More. The world is important; there is a bounty of things outside this bubble to be grateful for. To appreciate our inner workings of existence, us as a whole, a small part of something bigger. Life is beyond just four walls and a sense of security.
Here is mantra of sorts that I remind myself of when things get lame:
- Be nice. Be reasonable. Be kind. Everyone around you is important and an integral part of the human experience.
- Don’t be fucking petty. Don’t ask rhetorical q’s, don’t put people down because you don’t get what you want.
- Don’t correct the use of the Oxford comma.
- Choose yourself. Don’t let a job title define you. Don’t let someone else define you.
- You are good enough
- You are good enough
- You are good enough
So yeah. A gentle reminder to forgive yourself, wherever you are in life. And I will, however hard, forgive the other person; their shortcomings are not my defeat.