Pricks and pickles

Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius states in Meditations“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly."

The above quote made my day. I find myself constantly struggling to understand why some people are so vicious and petty. Why did she say that? Why did he do it? Some of the inquisitiveness arises from my own interest in understand people's behaviour, but boy! can it be taxing!

I will break this post into 2 sections. One - Why I think they do it. Two - Why does it bother me.

Why I think they do it

When someone is being a prick, it's usually because they want the attention. Attention seeking behv arises from insecurities of being not good enough or not being considered important enough or fearing loss of control or plainly, knowing that one sucks.

Such folks will constantly poke you. They are narcissists who can survive only if you acknowledge their existence. But if it's a co-worker, you cant not acknowledge their existence. So what do you do? You cant be their doormat, nor can you be the matador. 

One possible way is to not make it about them. Make it about the larger picture. "This behaviour promotes that vice at the workplace..lets not promote such vices" instead of "what you are doing is bad". i think that may work. I'm gonna try.

Why does it bother me

If you are raised with the notion that everyone needs to like you or if someone is not toeing the line, you must help them or that you carry the planet on your head, then you are bound to be bothered with any behaviour that's positively not in line with yours.

My problem is that I try to drive consensus as much as possible. What that means is some people can take the entire process hostage coz they refuse to get onboard. Now, cant leave 'em....cant take 'em. What do you do? Zoom out. Look at the other members available to do their tasks. Can someone else talk to the stubborn guys? De-risk. Strip their leverage. They will come around, sooner than later.

We are all narcissists!

© Z.


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