Friday, October 25, 2013

Refusing to let the dark forces win

"Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength."
Eric Hoffer
I keep coming back to this one because, if we're being brutally honest, I get the sense that too many people in too many places are too unkind to each other.

I don't know if I'm simply noticing it more often now than I have in the past, but I can't shake the feeling that a growing number of us have simply stopped caring how our conduct affects those around us. Some of us seem to have lost the ability to help, to empathize, to inspire. And it's a serious bummer given how little time we all have on this orbiting sphere.

Over the past week, I've had some crazy-incredible success (see here) buttressed by some of the best writing (here, here, here, here, here, and here) I've done in a while. It's been wildly diverse, incredibly fun and unbelievably fulfilling. And along the way, I've been lucky enough to work with some fundamentally great people who've inspired me to keep at it.

But then I crossed paths with a few folks who perhaps didn't get the memo. I've been told off, sworn at, and - my favorite - ignored. I've had to write less-than-happy emails and make some less-than-fun phone calls as a result, and the darkness I've felt as I've had to go through this process has been palpable. I don't much enjoy it.

Maybe I'm overreacting, and maybe I'm letting the dark souls win. But when the feeling persists day after day, I have to wonder if there's something to it, and if we need to rethink things a little bit. it just me? And how do you suggest we make things, I don't know, a little kinder?


tiff said...

model the behavior, turn the other cheek. And if that doesn't work, shiv 'em.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I agree w/Tiff... I have found that rude folks eventually get it... a rude person can't handle someone who is considerate and nice... Kill em w/kindness as they say... :-)

kenju said...

"...but I can't shake the feeling that a growing number of us have simply stopped caring how our conduct affects those around us. Some of us seem to have lost the ability to help, to empathize, to inspire."

Most unfortunately, you are right. The longer I live, the more I notice that. Someone I know has even abandoned being polite, because he says it is southern bullsh*t to say "thanks" and "I'm sorry."

I sound like my grandmother, but I think "What is the world coming to?" just as she did in the 50's.

Mark said...

Well, I'm in the US, and I hear that we're ruder here than up north. I get quite tired of the lack of consideration in general.

Lifelong Learner said...

Carmi, You've touched on the thing I struggled with when I was blogging. It is one of the reasons I started blogging: to document the good, but I also ended up venting some of the bad. People behaving badly is something you don't expect at a place where you DO expect professionalism. I think it catches us off guard as a result. Is it bad that I countered with expecting bad behavior so as not to be so taken back by it? It doesn't hurt as bad, that's for sure, and I'm able to brush it off easier. But it has left me jaded. This post made me miss the old me.

Jeremiah Andrews said...

The sober theorem goes like this. We are powerless over people, places and things.

What people think of us is none of our business. What rental rate do you charge for letting negative people take up space in your brain for free? Because in the end it affects us and not them.

There will always be the negative commenter, that is inevitable.

Allowing them space in your brain for free is pointless and a waste of time.

Keep up the good work. I am sure you have more positive supporters than negative ones.


Gary Hilson said...

I've been encountering rude and unprofessional behavior a great deal lately, from people I've done right by. In some cases it's being not paid by clients who are viewed publicly as outstanding CEOs or even friends who I have supported in their endeavors only to have them turn their backs on me without warning for no reason. I tell myself that it's good that it upsets me; it means I will be mindful of how my conduct affects others and it's a reminder that I'm not perfect.

What angers me is this new pop psychology / pseudo religion where I'm told I'm the problem and that I have to respect the journey these people are on, and that my expectations of courtesy and proprietary are no longer the norm.