Gentlemen: Repeat after me….”I was wrong.” Now, doesn’t that feel better? I knew you would like it once you tried it.
I have the advantage of living with very, very smart women around me, which means that I need never entertain a flawed opinion for long. It’s actually quite liberating if you think about it. I’m free to throw a bunch of crap at the wall and see what sticks. Key to that mentality is understanding that I can be wrong, even frequently so, without people thinking me stupid. In short, I don’t mix ego with opinion.
In my book, a weasel is the guy or gal who is always running game behind the scenes. They will say one thing to your face, and another thing to your bosses, investors, professors, etc. They are utterly untrustworthy, and they are easily identifiable. Usually, you can know them because of the disingenuous smile or the feeling that you need to shower after each interaction.
Dealing with these people in a business context can be tricky. You have two choices: either out-maneuver them at their own game, or ignore them completely. Engaging in a contest of sleaziness may not be your idea of a good time, but under certain circumstances it can be quite entertaining. This is not generally recommended for business purposes. My usual move is to ignore the weasel and relegate them to obscurity. Rest assured, your co-workers, bosses, professors, and clients are not fooled either. Most Americans can smell an agenda from a mile away.
Well, for starters, they are both quite hard to get rid of once you’ve acquired them. Bad attitudes seem to stick with you like the many strands of cotton fiber wedged between your butt cheeks. They are also both obvious to the people around you. Your friends might not point it out to you, but trust me, they know.
Finally, getting rid of both a wedgie and a bad attitude is a public service to the rest of the universe. You have a choice. You can pick that bad boy and get the situation back to normal. Or, you can rock it like you bought it, but you won’t win yourself any cool points in our book. In the end, both are pretty hard to look at and not laugh.
I’ve heard it said that arguing with an idiot only proves that you have more in common than you think. I’ve recently had the opportunity to prove that I have quite a lot in common with one idiot in particular over the course of about 15 emails.
It’s always striking to me how far you’ll let yourself go when you are being offended, and how relatively little it accomplishes. Then, as always, it occurs to me that nobody can offend me except me. I choose to take offense at the idiotic anecdotes of others, and the resulting heartburn can be blamed on nobody but myself.
Big sarge used to settle these issues by posting the two arguing idiots on the same patrol for about 12 hours. If they didn’t kill each other, they usually ended up being friends. Like I said, more in common than they think…..