In being aligned with the timeline of others’ existences, we sometimes clash with a select few. Some of us just seem to not mix.
There are people who we genuinely anger for existing. We cause them discomfort when we speak, comment on a mutual friend’s post, or when we simply walk by in the hall.
Their reasons may be valid or they may not. However, our limited ability to control how people perceive us gives room for adversarial thoughts to flourish in the biased few.
Competition does well to give birth to adversarial behavior too. Those who deem themselves to be directly competing with whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve will be motivated to drag you down.
It becomes easy to be pulled into discrediting the competitors we dislike for simply being threats. It becomes even easier to do so when we see our competitors in a weak position.
We’re often quick to add onto the already existing criticism of our opponents. We salivate when we feel a sense of the public being on our side in our battle against someone we dislike.
For example, their latest project may have been negatively received by the public and it may seem to be the perfect time to frame the critics against this opponent of ours.
It is difficult to hold back our disdain for these individuals when it can be camouflaged amidst the legitimate criticisms of others. At that point, it won’t stand out. Our biases against individuals we dislike won’t be obvious when others are also criticizing them.
We would be free to cause more damage without seeming to act with malicious intent.
This article hopes to remind you of this tendency existing in your adversaries in life.
There aren’t many obvious solutions to this problem, but a few stand out. It seems that the first step to solving this issue involves being aware and prepared for this tendency to play itself out.
Expecting Those Who Dislike You to Squirt Gasoline onto the Blaze
Becoming at peace with the likely possibility of your adversaries joining in on the festivities aimed at celebrating your “loss” is an essential first step in limiting damage.
Those whose disdain for you travels farther than the current matters at hand will aim to introduce others around them to just how bad of a person you are.
They’ll try squeezing irrelevant past information into relevancy. They’ll try connecting dots which aren’t made to connect. They’ll essentially see an opportunity to attract followers to the movement of viewing you in a bad light.
By viewing this mechanism from a perspective of triggered actions, its pain weakens. You’ll perceive your adversaries to not be correct, but to be desperate in their attempts to have others share the same opinion of you that they hold.
By expecting this behavior and not being surprised, you’ll train yourself to spot these people’s biases from a mile away. You’ll have an easier time discerning legitimate criticism from bias fueled attempts to get others to dislike you.
Try your best to distinguish the ones who can benefit from your act of being criticised from the ones who provide it from a place of intellectual honesty. In identifying these individuals, you’ll arm yourself to be unaffected by their attempts.
Exposing Their History of Hating You Will Not Work
Your adversaries who’ve joined in to throw fuel on a matter in which you are legitimately wrong would have taken a low risk approach. If these individuals are particularly sneaky, they wouldn’t be overtly obvious in their attempts to disparage your name.
They’ll add on just enough fuel to the fire so that the fire burns hotter without it being obvious that fuel was added on.
They’ll package legitimate criticism in prickly packages. They’ll add on irrelevant historical context and observations to analysis of your current mistake.
Understand that your attempts to call out their covert methods of enticing the critics to sharpen their daggers and stab a little harder will not work.
You will be perceived as sensitive and unwilling to take criticism. You’ll be perceived as someone who doesn’t want to learn from their mistakes and who takes critiques as personal attacks.
Understand that such individuals want you to break the fourth wall and address their act of puppeteering the otherwise objective critics. It will only make you look worse; which is what they want.
Changes in the Flame’s Intensity Are Obvious When the Flame Is Dying Down
Since your addressal of these individuals malicious tendencies will not work, so too wouldn’t your attempts to privately confront these people, others method should be employed.
The method which stands out to be the optimal solution to this problem seems to be making their sly attempts obvious to the unbiased onlooker.
In an effort to do just that, you’ll need to lower the intensity of others’ criticisms quickly so that they do not provide a setting for your adversaries to camouflage within.
Address legitimate criticism of your work quickly, submissively, and honestly. Even if your adversaries already made attempts to throw fuel on the flame, do your best to suppress that original, unbiased, flame.
Though there is much more on how to be good at taking criticism, remember the following:
If the criticism is legitimate, your full submission to the critics is required for them to calm in their attempts.
Full submission, in this case, entails labeling the criticisms to be correct without any added commentary, excuses, reasons. It includes not minimizing criticism, neither does it include saying that you’ll benefit from it. Criticism works because it hurts. All critics aim (consciously or not) to hurt just a little bit so that their points stick with you.
In order to lower the intensity of public criticism, you need to leave your critics with nothing else left to say.
Label what they’ve said to be correct, and state that you’ll work on improving. That’s it. Allow the criticism to hurt, and don’t try downplaying its pain.
Place the objective critic in a position in which they’ll look bad if they keep criticizing. Their legitimate criticisms would already have been accepted and their point would have been made.
At this phase of the process, the adversaries with malicious intentions will begin to stand out to others who’ve been criticising you but saw that you’ve taken the commentary to heart. The minute additions these malicious individuals add on will become visible. They’ll be easier to spot.
Your best bet is to have a third party point these malicious individuals out and publicize their biases against you. The only job you have to do, is to cut the grass in which they slither. With time, a bird of prey will spot them and neutralize their sneaky ways.