Thursday, May 12, 2005

Dealing with Jerks

Recently on the Jedi Realist Forums, a person called Declan Thaddeus posted the following question. Below that is our exchange...

------- Declan --------
Dealing With A Boss Who Is...

A narcissisistic a*****hole with a Napolean Complex. How do you deal with a guy who doesn't like surprises, but never gives you any information that is usable or is constantly treating you like a child. I am a professional and have been for years. I believe I have always treated people fairly and never with malice in my heart, but lately the dark side is looking better and better for dealing with this guy.(no physical harm, mind you. Just dirty politics)

Opinions on how to deal with an jerk like this?

------- Me ---------
I would say just keep doing what you do as best you can. Don't react to his behavior negatively. I'm reminded of the words of the Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurellius who says to recognize that we already know there are unpleasant people in the world. Why then should we be surprised when we encounter them?

Or, to use a Taoist example, follow the path of the Wu-Wei. Watch, observe, remain focused on the larger picture and the flow of events. Move with them and use that flow to your advantage rather than going against the grain.

Consider this man's thoughts, get inside his head and heart. Let go of your ego, sense of pride, and indignation. Then you can see a number of responses to his actions which you may not have considered before because you were clouded by emotional reactionism. Once you do this, you can disarm him without him even realizing that you have done so. Do not seek to defeat him, but move with him into a symbiotic relationship of change.

Consider what his mother and loved ones think of him. Consider why he does what he does. Then you can manipulate him - but do so not for domination or for attack, but in order to help him develope into a better person. Then you will be happier.

-------- Declan --------
Some of the best advice I have heard this week. I feel this way in my heart, but sometimes when I am under stress myself I take the easy path. You would think that I would learn by now at age that the easy path isn't always the wisest path.

Thanks for reminding me of who I really am and should strive to be DT.

-------- Me ----------
I'm pleased you found it useful Declan. All my hopes in your efforts. :)


Blogger Blogtester said...

I just stumbled onto your blog by accident but I must say that was great advice.

2:04 PM  

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