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Monday, October 3, 2016

How NOT To Be Bulletproof

Hey All - It's About that time!

Yes, it's not exactly news right now, but it still bugs me the way last week's debate went down.  I've posted many, many times about what it means to be Bulletproof:  to never be ruffled by other peoples' insults and conduct; to prevent offenses from getting under your skin; to repel any attempt to ruin your mood.

Aaaaaand then there's Trump.

I remember telling everyone I knew, I bet I know what his advisors are telling him.  It was funny when you busted balls with Jeb Bush, and it was entertaining when you, Cruz, and Rubio made like the Three Stooges.  But you CAN'T do that with Hillary!  She'll make you look like an idiot if you handle that debate the same way!

So for about five minutes, he was cool, calm, and collected.  After that, he went right back to being thin-skinned and combative when he could have been smooth and smart.  It was very difficult to watch.  Yes, he made a few nice recoveries - I'll release my tax returns when you release your deleted emails - but in all the time he spent reacting and responding to her nonsense, he could have challenged her about Benghazi.  And the presence of Bill and Chelsea in the room should not have been an excuse not to bring up Lewinsky and Company once the opportunity presented itself.

To her credit, this is what attorneys in the area I practice do.  They try to distract the Judge and the other side in hopes that arguments against them will not be stated on the record, and therefore waived.  But experienced attorneys know not to leave the hearing room without raising those issues no matter what the other side does.  Donald, by comparison, is very lucky that there will be two more debates.

But my issue with Donald's debate performance is that he presented a textbook example of what it looks like when you're NOT bulletproof.  He got so rattled  . . . so defensive . . . so unhinged . . . did he want Saturday Night Live to have a field day with him on their premiere?!  No, Mr. Trump.  Please!

Don't misunderstand me, I'm human too.  I know how it feels not be bulletproof when pressed or pushed.  But normally that happens with me when I'm confronted with people with whom I don't expect to keep my guard up against.  NOT when it's someone who can't have a free pass!  Had he kept his guard up and steamrolled right over her snarkiness, he might have won.

As Betas, since we are often more empathetic than our more high-conflict counterparts, we sometimes take things to heart when it does not help us to do so.  We often react to distractions that are designed to let our adversaries off the hook.  Only with a strong amount of emotional maturity can we prevent them from antagonizing us.  The amount that Trump so sorely needed.

How?  Here:

(1) Armor yourself:  Your internal feelings are stable, if not at ease.  Your skin is so thick that even the best aimed barb bounces off into the audience.
(2) Prepare yourself:  EXPECT them to try to get you off your game.  When you know which way they'll go, you'll be better equipped to deflect them.
(3) Believe in yourself:  They want to break your confidence.  Make it unbreakable.

Night All!