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Sunday, May 6, 2012

No Apology Necessary

Hey All --

Tonight's blog entry deals with conflict and conflict management.

Most of us like to be the good guys.  Fight fair, take the high road, don't stoop to their level.  And that's the right way to be, across the board.  No child should be raised to be a hyper-aggressive bully -- we have too many of those characters already.  In a perfect world, we'd all handle conflict this way, and world peace would not just be the pseudonym of a basketball player with respect issues.

However, some people don't feel the need to play by the rules.  Somebody either neglected to teach them right from wrong, or someone encouraged them that wrong meant winning.  Or better yet, they use that old tried-and-true excuse for assholiation -- "But I'm Only Being Honest!!!!"

Within a certain point, the high road must still be taken.  We're better raised, and educated, and groomed than these foolios, so why let them bring us down to their level?  At that initial moment, we're standing taller than them just staying where they are.

But what if they try to hit a raw nerve or a soft spot?  What if they go off on something that is solely intended to provoke, offend, or "get a rise" out of us?  If you don't have a clear shot, letting it bounce off is the right thing to do.  But if they're trying to throw a stone from within the confines of a glass house, whatever comes from you is their fault, not yours.

Why feel guilty?  If you were dumb enough to comment about them when you had a glaring weakness, would they be nice to you?  Heck no!  If they get such a thrill out of hurting you, then they deserve to get hit where it hurts! 

You might remember the story of "The Emperor's New Clothes," by Hans Christian Andersen.  It tells the story of a ruler who has a glaring and obvious weakness, namely that for such a wise ruler, he was duped by two con-artists into believing that that the "invisible" clothes they sold him were actually nonexistent.  But because everyone feared the consequences, they BS'ed themselves as much as possible to make believe his incompetence was actually wisdom, until finally a child, who had no such fear, confirmed the truth of his weakness. 

Why be afraid of someone who behaves like royalty when they're not?  Why be intimidated by someone who is so irrational that he or she expects the world to ignore his or her failings while he or she has free reign to threaten and insult others?  BE THE KID, and say that THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES!!!  You may find out that the Emperor not only lacks the clothes he or she thinks are there, but that the Emperor is also lacking something else, as the nudity reveals . . . .

Don't mind me, all.  I don't really have an ax to grind -- this is just something that should have been part of my earlier material that I never got around to posting.

Don't forget to comment, and check the video!