How not to be


I’ve been practicing positive affirmations lately to help with some transformational change I am deciding to go through, and also to support an intentional journey that I have chosen to embark on to improve my health and build my wealth (Side note: I’ve never made health and wealth a priority, until recently. Reach out to me directly if you want more information on my exploration.)

But today’s affirmation struck a strong chord with me because of a difficult relationship I have been experiencing since the start of the year, and it kind of ties in with my last blog regarding how you leave people.

I’ve always made the effort to be positive, to be a breath of fresh air and to truly go out of my way to make people feel good, regardless of the mood I am in. But, for the first time in my life, I found that not everyone has that same intent and in fact, don’t care whether they make you feel good, or intentionally make you feel bad/inadequate/inferior. You could call me oblivious, or lucky.

The other person in the relationship to which I refer, truly has a sense of superiority and it is displayed through their actions, of having little or no time to get to know their colleagues, of speaking over everyone else in team meetings, of having this air of “you’re beneath me”, not responding to emails, knowing everything about everything (we call those kinds of people “ponkers” in my circle) and just being flat out rude and arrogant. There is no other way to describe it.

I often wonder why this person behaved in this manner and still to this day cannot put my finger on it. However, when I consider the affirmation above, Every relationship teaches me something valuable about myself and others” I think of the reason, season and lifetime statement about people coming into our lives, and focus on the “valuable” piece.

The value in this relationship, as toxic as it was, is how not to be. We have the choice on how we wish to conduct ourselves and interact with others. It is a reminder that there are people in the world who we aspire not to be. In this instance – being obviously bored in meetings, terrible leadership style, exasperated facial expressions, eye rolling, telling other colleagues and subject matter experts how to do their jobs – these are all valuable traits to inspire us how not to be and to conduct ourselves in the opposite way within the workplace.

I am sure you can think of previous colleagues, bosses, friends, enemies or even family members, who inspire us by not wanting to turn out like them.

What I learned

Patience – to understand others’ differences and not bother to seek to understand the why behind this conduct

Curiosity – around what life events lead to people being the way they are. We are, after all, the sum of our experiences

Humour – to remember to not take things like this to heart or too seriously, because these types of relationships never last forever. Situations move on, and we can forget people eventually.

Empathy – why are people intentionally rude? What went wrong?

Gratitude – for the great relationships and friendships in my life, that actually serve me well.


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