There’s a thin line between turning the other cheek and being a complete walk over. In situations where it’s called for, I’ve always tried to be the ‘better person’ by being understanding, forgiving, blah, blah, blah.
But I recently experienced something that made my blood boil. I tried to take the ‘high road’ and sort the situation out with dignity. I also thought I had back-up on that score, but I was wrong.
I’ve been doing some consulting work for a company and a few of us have worked exceptionally hard at creating new and exciting ways to market the company as well as new product offerings. So, the situation was that we were presenting all this to the rest of the team and the meeting was supposed to be energising and positive
Except for the highly bitter and for some reason really angry person who in one minute managed to tell just about everyone that they’re pretty useless and are messing up client relationships on a daily basis. Although everyone was sort of targeted, it seems I was on the top of the hit list that day.
Criticism can be good, even exciting – if it’s backed up by solutions and motivating ideas. When criticism is blurted out as a done deal and a ‘I’ve said my bit now and have no interest in further discussion’, is highly demotivating, confusing and puts everyone in a really bad mood.
I tried, in the interest of making something positive out of the situation, to meet with and discuss this person’s concerns. I wanted to find the root of their extreme dissatisfaction with me and try to repair what could be fixed. I asked for an opportunity to explore solutions. But, they didn’t believe anything constructive could come out of it.
Notwithstanding the bad taste left in my mouth by being told I’m the most useless person on the planet, I feel completely let down – you see, this vitriolic attack by a dreadful person has just been swept under the rug in the interests of ‘peacekeeping’. The thing is, I know I would have been kicked off the job if I’d vomited out all that poison. And yet this person hasn’t even been rapped over the knuckles for demoralising the lot of us.
Seriously, if you don’t defend yourself, nobody else will.
Now I’ve had my rant, I’ll carry on as ever – putting my heart and soul into the work I do. I’ll keep reminding myself that vitriol usually comes out of a bitter soul and will make a concerted effort to keep my soul light. But may the gods [or odds] be in anyone’s favour if they decide to go on the attack because I’m done with being ‘Mr. Nice Guy’.