Seth’s Blog: Take the ball and go home (crybaby)

managainstbearSomeone making you feel uncomfortable?  Seth Godin says go cry in the corner:

A bully is someone who uses physical or psychological force to demean and demoralize someone else. A bully isn’t challenging your ideas, or working with you to find a better outcome. A bully is playing a game, one that he or she enjoys and needs. You’re welcome to play this game if it makes you happy, but for most people, it will make you miserable. So don’t.

I appreciate a lot of what Godin writes… mostly because they are off the wall ideas with practically zero application in the real world, or things that other people have already considered.

It’s mostly harmless stuff, but every once in awhile he says something that — if followed — would seriously damage the reputation and career of the one who buys in.

Godin just simplifies it all and packages it in just such a way a starry-eyed college grad could understand.

Some people sell hope.  Godin sells the idea that you are a special, wonderful human being.

FACT:  You are most certainly not a special, wonderful human being.  In fact, no one cares who you are or how special you might be.  Get in line, work like everyone else, and be thankful you’re not sleeping in a mud hut in the Sudan.

Character is forged, not inherited.  You don’t get it through good breeding.  Scratch your public school education, too.  Ain’t gonna help you here.

Bullies are the fire that separates the men from the boys, the doers from the losers, the folks that make things happen from the folks who wonder what-just-happened.

Here’s a new definition of a bully:  A bully is someone who is stronger than you, and knows it.  A bully is a challenge.  Bullies are average people — in your supermarket, cutting you off in traffic, sending you IMs at absurd hours of the day.

Bullies are your kid tugging on your pant leg for lunch.

So what do you do?  Not this:

Call her on her behavior (not who she is, but what she does). “I’m sorry, but when you talk to me like that, I’m unable to do good work. I’ll be in my office if you need me.” Then walk out, not in a huff, but with a measure of respect for the person (not the behavior).

This is a shocking piece of advice. It might even get you fired. But it will probably save your job and your sanity. Most bullies are deeply unhappy and you might just save their skin. If you’re good at what you do, you deserve better than a bully.

Here’s some different advice.  MAN.  UP.

Go make that lunch.  Smile right through it.  Exercise a bit of patience.  Ask that bully what the heck is going on.  Show the challenge that you’re better than the situation.

The worst thing you could do is walk away.  That shows an utter lack of character, or a conceited view of oneself that deserves the attention and ridicule which bullies use to wipe the emasculated weenies right off the face of the earth.

Be better.  Fight for the inches.  But for God’s sake, don’t run away!

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