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“Courage is fire; Bullying is smoke.” - Benjamin Disraeli
“Difficult people are your key to self-empowerment.” - Janice Davies
How do we deal with people that have a sense of entitlement – those immersed in the concept that they somehow are victims of life? Sarcasm abounds – they spend much time telling tales of woe and want us to commiserate with them. When we give of ourselves to them, they are placated for a moment but soon want more and more. When we do not give in to them, they are ready with an arsenal of carefully crafted statements designed to hurt us on the issues that are most dear to us. They are masters of rooting out and exploiting whatever leverage they can use to get us upset and engaged in drama with them, even sabotaging our work if need be. They avoid putting forth the effort to do the work on themselves to find contentment in life; they blame rather than assume responsibility. They are by turn cynical and sulking or grandiose and arrogant. When we have to deal with someone like this for a period of time – when we realize we cannot avoid them for a time, how do we keep from joining them in their madness?
First of all, we can avoid competing with them, because to do so requires us to crawl down into the sewer with them, and they are sure to have a much better arsenal of barbs designed to denigrate. Victory for them is getting us upset – then they have the drama they need to perpetuate the blame game and continue avoiding reality. We refuse to make their decisions so that they can blame us later. We can offer no resistance to their attacks – a cheerful attitude and refusal to take a dim view of things gives nothing for them to gain leverage against, but we confront lies immediately and unflinchingly. It is important that we keep our side of the street as clean and stick to our boundaries. We reject discussion pertaining to anything besides the issue at hand to avoid the clever use of confusing the issue. We are not to blame for their dysfunction, and need not feel guilty about refusing to accept misbehavior. If a respectable relationship cannot be reached, they refuse to get help and we cannot make further adjustments without compromising ourselves, then all that is left is a change of location for them or us. We cannot help those that will not accept help, and hopefully the next go-around we spot the behavior earlier and nip the situation in the bud.
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