Advice on retaining your sanity in the face of a complete idiot
Troy Media – by Faith Wood
1: Never miss an opportunity to educate those around you. Call attention to mistakes they have made and make sure everyone else knows about those mistakes, too.
Don’t hesitate to point out when someone (a colleague, an employee, the clerk at the local hardware store, an airline pilot, the prime minister) is wrong and how you could do a much better job. Since you are a fountain of wisdom, it’s necessary for you to share this with everyone, so they can benefit from your experience and knowledge.
2: Ignore petty criticisms. People who complain to or about you obviously know nothing or are jealous of your exalted position. Even your boss doesn’t know any better than you do, so if he or she speaks with you about some perceived problem, smile, nod and then continue to do exactly what you have been doing all along. Remember: you know best. And you certainly have every right to be patronizing to anyone who doesn’t see things your way.
3: Always keep people waiting. It’s important that people understand how really busy you are and just how grateful they should be that you can squeeze them in to your already-overflowing schedule. If you are late for a meeting, walk in quickly, sit down, smile and say, “So sorry – an emergency and I was the only one who could help . . . naturally.”
4: Always leave your cell phone on during meetings. When it rings or buzzes, look at the display and say,” I’d better take this,” as you answer. People need to know that they simply can’t expect you to give them your full attention when there are others for whom your assistance/opinion/recommendation is imperative. (Texting during meetings is also acceptable, as it is yet another way of passing along all your valuable information.)
5: An essential skill is knowing how to delegate, especially the majority of your own work. You are not shirking your responsibilities – you are providing others an opportunity to learn and grow as you, up on the lofty heights, oversee their efforts and attempts (always ready to critique and provide suggestions, of course).
6: Never apologize. Since you are never wrong, an apology shouldn’t be necessary. If pushed, you can always say, “I’m so sorry that you don’t seem to understand. I’m sure enlightenment will come your way at some point in the future.”
7: Down time is a must for people if they wish to continue to be successful, so be sure to leave the office early on Fridays or before holidays. If anyone questions this habit, remind them that your sleep, your relaxation time, is necessary for you to continue to perform at the highest levels.
You all know someone like this. (Maybe you have even exhibited these traits yourself.) So how do you deal with these people? How do you retain your sanity when you come in contact with those who, in your expert opinion, are complete idiots?
Life is all about balance and flexibility. The first step toward a more relaxed life is accepting the fact that some things can never be changed (such as the attitudes and behaviours of complete idiots).
What can be changed is your own response. Being able to take a deep breath, step back and refocus is a skill that may just need to be practiced and honed before you feel comfortable. It would be much simpler to run out of the room screaming after attempting to converse with Colleague Know-It-All or to grab a cell phone playing Justin Bieber’s latest hit at full volume and toss it out the window. Nonetheless, that type of response isn’t really considered acceptable and ultimately it doesn’t solve the problem. (However, if the thought of it makes you smile, that’s good – you just reduced your stress level.)
When faced with difficult, irritating and frustrating people or situations, shifting your perspective can make all the difference in the world. If you can view certain ‘others’ (and you know who they are) as “grace-givers” who have been put on this planet to teach you patience, compassion and even wisdom, perhaps you can make it through a difficult situation without your head exploding. You simply put a smile on your face, nod and let them get on with their rambling/ranting/obfuscating, all the while thinking of how lucky you are not to have to live with (or even be) that person.
Life really can be quite ridiculous at times, so instead of succumbing to pressure, especially when the factors are beyond your control, make a habit of adjusting your attitude. Contemplate the absurdities around you and let that loosen you up a bit. It has been said that laughter is the best medicine – so why not try a dose now and then?
And anytime you start to feel your blood pressure rising to dangerous levels, remember the wise words of Brendan Gill, who wrote for The New Yorker for more than 60 years: “Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious.”
Faith Wood has become an internationally recognized behavioural strategist. Utilizing NLP, Hypnosis and Conflict Management strategies, she is passionate about unlocking the secrets of the brain and our unconscious motivations. Visit www.imind.ca to learn more. If you want need a good laugh about life, pick up Life under the limbo bar and rediscover the joy of manifesting change and recovering from your own stress! She is the author of Life under the Limbo Bar.