It’s been a good five years working on the front lines in the media, and I’ve come across the prevalent and rather ridiculous phenomenon of people mistaking rude or unkind behaviour for competence. Very often, people get away with murder because everyone is just too scared of some kind of backlash to retaliate or speak up for themselves. The bully then gets away scot-free and goes unchecked.
It’s not entirely baseless that we naturally clamour for attention and approval from the people who give so little of it to others. This isn’t strange, it’s just the basic theory of supply and demand. But as enlightened individuals, I’m sure we can think for ourselves and realise that aggression does not equal talent, competence or strength of character.
Far from. It takes far more for an accomplished person to consistently hold him or herself to a high standard of treating everyone with dignity and grace (whether it’s a toilet cleaner, or an intern or someone who’s made a mistake). Kindness when it is not asked for or required, leaving everyone with a dignified way out and listening with respect instead of shouting the loudest to be heard.. that reflects true character.
It could be that you know of someone right now at work or in your personal life who’s just like this. Chances are, people don’t really like this person but are far too afraid to say anything about it. Worse, they still grudgingly clamour for his or her approval. I urge you to take a closer look at this person. And then watch the people who don’t say much but walk in quiet positivity and kindness. It’s not always the loudest person that has something important to say, not always the biggest diva that has the most talent, nor does the most harsh and critical person necessarily know best.
I’ve learnt to be careful who i submit myself to. Or let walk over me. Each time you don’t stand up for yourself or the right thing, you literally stoop lower than someone who gets away with bad behaviour. And I think we all deserve better.