The Wrong Way to Deal With It | Jeremy Bin
A caveat before we begin: there are plenty of ways to deal with adversity. We want to walk away from the argument not as the winners in our own mind, by getting the last word in, but as winners in the minds of everyone present.
Gentlemen, if you are hoping that this will explain how to deal with you military superiors so that you get put in the most chao keng position available during national service, you’re shit out of luck.
The approach we take will (hopefully, if done right) make our sergeants want us to be their officers, make the guy who started the bar shouting match want to buy you a round of shots, and most importantly, make interviewers want you, no exceptions.
So, let’s start with the absolute no-nos: if you haven’t yet gotten into the argument, you do not want to rise to the occasion. Your time is valuable, why waste it getting mad when often all the other side is looking for is to goad you into rising? The famous saying goes: 1) don’t argue with idiots, they’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. You get drawn into a petty argument, you waste time after that fuming instead of concentrating on the amazing goals you’re already working towards.
You don’t want to see red either. If you’re like the kid in Perks of being a Wallflower that blacks out when he gets mad and comes to with everyone on the floor, great on your bar fighting skills. Unfortunately, in the corporate world fist-to-cuffs aren’t the usual means of conflict resolution. 2) Hot anger isn’t what we’re gunning for.
If you HAVE gotten into an argument, 3) don’t bother trying to get the last word in. It might feel satisfactory at the time, but we know in the end you haven’t quite gained anything. Most importantly, if you realise you are wrong at any point, apologise sincerely. And do NOT ever say ‘I’m sorry, but…’ because the but means you are not sorry. Be sincere, be genuine. Becoming defensive and sticking to your guns when you know you are wrong just makes you come off like the Bush administration. Try and remember how that ended.
So we’ve covered the wrongs. In our next post, we learn to deal with adversity right.