You will be hurt by others in life. If you haven’t yet been properly annoyed, hurt, or angered by somebody around you, then get ready to be. People try to defeat us for a large variety of reasons. The motives of others are sometimes too lengthy to analyze. The more influence you attain in life, the more attacks on that influence will come your way.
You should first realize that any attacks on your position, influence, or personality come from those who have a habit of perpetuating attacks on others. It is what gives them a sense of purpose in their purposeless days, and what drives them to win over others. Realize that this is an unhealthy view of competition; these people are not happy without confrontation, yet counter-actively, make themselves miserable through confrontation.
When we are confronted with a nasty attack from another, our blood boils and we feel the desperate need to retaliate. These feelings tap into primal desires of victory over others and can even escalate to what feel like life or death situations. It will be hard to remain focused on what matters when you have others attacking your work, behavior, and actions.
Retaliation Lets Go of Your Ability to Control Outcomes
If you view confrontations as competitions, then know that the only way to win them is to avoid them. It takes two parties to have a confrontation, or any sort of fight. If you rescind your participation, you have not lost. This is an important thing to remember: if you refuse to participate in a confrontation, it does not mean you’ve lost the battle.
The act of winning has a changing definition depending on who you ask. There will be people in life who claim they won against you in a multitude of competitions you were not aware you were a part of. People can create competition out of thin air. We are competitive when we drive down the street, at the grocery store line, and with our own team members.
Competition knows no bounds, and you will be thrust into many senseless competitions if you do not learn to ignore the invitations to compete. These invitations can be in a form of weaselly moves, backstabbing attacks, and reputation-ruining gossip. Invitations of all sorts will entice you to retaliate.
Retaliation on your end is an acceptance of an invitation to compete. This competition can be in a form of a fight, or a legal battle. However, the acceptance comes from the person who retaliates. The one who retaliates is also at a disadvantage to begin with. When you retaliate, you give your opponent acknowledgement that what they say may be true enough to warrant a retaliation. Even if you blatantly disprove their attacks toward you, their competitive juices will motivate them to keep attacking, and keep inciting you to retaliate.
Retaliating is a bad idea because you have a chance of incriminating yourself. Your retaliation will never force the attacking party to back off, but rather, to fight harder. Sooner or later, you will be thrust into a battlefield for a battle you are not motivated to win. Your retaliation can lead to false accusations coming into reality as truth. Your retaliation can unveil your susceptibility to be hurt by the malicious. A violent retaliation can change onlookers’ perception of you. It is difficult to control the reputation you garner and the result you attain when you retaliate.
When analyzing a decision to retaliate from a perspective of controlling the situation at hand, it can seem to be a good idea to retaliate in hopes of stopping the malice coming your way. However, the act of defending, and the act of retaliating are different things. Retaliation doesn’t just seek to defend, it seeks to inflict pain back. In your effort to retaliate, the pain you inflict back will not simply be absorbed. If you find it difficult to retaliate, so will the person you’re retaliating against. You will undoubtedly ensure the dominoes keep falling, and the attacks coming from others will become increasingly difficult to avoid retaliating against.
Absorb attacks which call for a retaliation. If retaliation is your first instinct in response to somebody’s jab at something you say or do, then practice diverting that desire to one of simply defending yourself and those close to you. Let the events play out and analyze the people jabbing at, or making accusations toward, you. If they are right and you are wrong, admit it quickly and move on. Take your loss when it is deserved. If they are wrong in their accusations, it does not warrant offensive action. They are wrong already. React defensively and seek to only address falsehoods once. If they continue to attack and fight for what they think is right, then always seek to let a third party make its judgement on the facts.
Do not retaliate, keep calm, defend yourself once, then outsource further defending and judgment to a third party. Do not emulate the hate of the world around you in an effort to stop it. It is not the fault of your attacker for transforming into a hateful being. Pity them, and perceive them as a victim rather than someone who can legitimately damage your reputation.
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