Oh, we all have them in Our Lives.
Maybe we work with them. Perhaps they are related to us. Or a Frenemy we just can’t seem to shake. If you participate in any kind of social media it could be THAT Human who tries in vain to convert the world to Their View Of How Life Should Be. For us here on Medium, it could be the troll who baits us.
They are condescending. They are difficult. They are judgemental. They don’t like us. They criticize us. They are toxic. Oh, My Goddess — I could go on and on with a list as long as my arm for all the ways people are complete shit-heads.
So what do you do with that?
I mean, if you smile and nod and attempt to play nice — they simply mistake your kindness for weakness. Then you just set yourself up for more of the same. They’ll be a jerk or up their manipulation game to Seventh Level Asshole Status in a heartbeat.
On the other hand — you don’t want to be dragged down into the muck where they live either. Behaving like a shit-head and slinging mud back at someone just gets you dirty in the fray.
There is no way to pull them into Your Peace because they are determined to yank you into Their Storm.
The trick is to find a way to firmly, politely, with no wiggle room for discussion — hold your boundaries. And also make it clear — you really don’t give a rat’s ass about how they feel regarding whatever is going on. Thanks so much for sharing — but I’m going to take that under advisement and we are done here.
Not giving a fuck is the only way to go.
The truth is — everyone has the ability to not give a fuck with grace and courtesy.
I used to work with a nurse whose favorite take on this situation was a sage piece of advice I wish I had taken to heart and used more often instead of letting My Warrior lose. She used to say, “One needs to cultivate the ability to tell people to go to hell in such a way that they will enjoy the trip.” (say it with a Southern Drawl)
Isn’t that brilliant? Win/Win. Us Yankees can learn a lot from those Southern Belles. True Story.
It’s subtle. But still — holding a boundary is holding a boundary. And it doesn’t matter if you’re doing it through clenched teeth or while smiling sweetly and batting your eyelashes. The goal is to get the point across with the least amount of disturbance to Your Force.
Because it really is all about you. And keeping YOUR sense of peace and welling being intact.
We forget that. We make it about them. The Shit-heads. But it’s not. It’s about how we react to them — their actions — their words. How WE react is the only part we have any control over.
Internet trolls feed off our inability to not react to The Seventh-Level-Asshole. FB is is a billion dollar venture built on our inability to not react to The Seventh-Level-Asshole. Social media is like candy to them. But there’s plenty IRL too.
Humans wander outside of their own lanes on a regular. And when we point this out to them — count on a bad case of Road Rage. I don’t know about you — but I spend too much time on a Real Life highway in commuter traffic — I certainly don’t intend to waste any more moments of My Life on an Emotional/Spiritual Highway with Humans who don’t know how to fucking drive.
Sometimes — it’s in everyone’s best interest to just let people be wrong.