Sometimes I hear from people that “someone is driving them crazy. ”
It happens to me too, but truthfully no one can drive you crazy unless you let them drive you crazy.
I have worked with a few people who [it seemed to me] went out of their way to make my life difficult, but as I think back on it, I was hooked in to them in some emotional way.
They said some stuff that pushed my buttons and I reacted.
When I learned to hold back and not react, they stopped bothering me and truth be told, they stopped coming around. When they did, they were nice to me. Really.
In my work and in my life now I have a no jerks rule. I like to surround myself with only the best people. That makes my life better.
It’s hard to know who is a jerk, but I use this criteria.
Is this person’s presence making my life better or worse? If it’s worse, it’s good bye.
I don’t work for jerks.
I don’t work with jerks.
I don’t hang around with jerks.
Yes, that includes consulting clients too. Why would I want to work for or with a jerk?
It may take a while. I’m not a particularly fast learner when it comes to people. Hitoshi is much better than me in that regard.
When my jerk meter hits a high point, I start to notice them a bit more closely and the gently move them out of my life. Sometimes I don’t have to do very much. They get the hint and disappear.
Sometimes, after they are gone, I miss them. Yes, I know it sounds weird. They were part of my life.
But my rational mind eventually kicks in and I am happier without their craziness.
When I lived in America, I felt compelled to be honest and upfront and directly say bye. But now, living in Japan, I like Hitoshi’s way. “Just slowly cut off”, he says. No one really gets hurt that much and we can smile when we see each other. The other way, the direct way, I might have to avoid them or get into a discussion I’d rather not have.
Do you have a no jerks rule? What are you waiting for? Afraid of the void that their loss might leave in your life? Sometimes it is better to be alone.
One question that comes up. What if you work for jerk and you don’t want to quit? What if I married a jerk? What if the money is good? I’ll write about this in a post later this month.