• The Strategic Perspective


Updated: Oct 11, 2019

Sometimes, we might have to deal with certain people that make it hard to show genuine kindness. Especially if this person is being rude or otherwise insulting to us. Everyone has bad days from time to time and not everyone knows how to deal with unpleasantries (put nicely) in a healthy way. In this case, we should try our best not to be a jerk in return. If all else fails and we stoop to their level... or lower, we should recognize our jerkiness, as soon as possible and apologize.

This goes back to another preschool rule about two wrongs not making a right. When this happens, no matter whose fault it was, be the bigger person and go first. Saying, “I’m sorry” was never the easiest thing to do but for some reason, the older we get, the harder it is to apologize.

Now, let’s say you were having a really bad day. You just lost your job and as you were being fired, your spouse left you a voicemail saying they want a divorce. To top it off, as you were leaving for work that morning, you found your favorite dog had died overnight. For all intents and purposes, that’s a pretty shitty day.

You’re driving home, just wanting to crawl into bed and hopefully find a little solace, hiding under your blankets. You’re stopped at a traffic light and BAM! Someone rear-ends you. Luckily there were no injuries and it wasn’t at a high rate of speed, but now, the shiny red bumper on your brand-new car is dented and scratched up.

How easy would it be to funnel all of your loss, sadness and rage from everything that had happened earlier in the day, to that relatively innocent person who hit you? A person who made a simple driving error, a mistake, just like you could have done any other day.

What if I told you the person that hit you had just gone through everything you did that same day. Not only that, before they left their office for the last time, hung up the phone with their doctor, who just diagnosed them with a terminal illness?

Would you still want to take your anger out on them? Especially now that they’re about to lose their health insurance and very possibly their life? Might you show them a little empathy? Could you then at least recognize why they were distracted? Put into perspective, that fender bender isn’t a huge deal, if you have any humanity left in you.

My point is that you never really know what someone else has going on in their life. There is usually a reason, aside from just being an asshole, that someone acts unfriendly to you. With that said, there are genuine assholes in the world. Do your best to have empathy, sympathy or just ignore them. At least try not to be a jerk back. If you are, recognize your jerkiness and apologize. You will feel better, the other person will feel better (even if they don’t deserve to feel better), but more importantly, you are taking another step down the path to a fulfilling life.