charge postWhy is it that people with no real authority in life always seem to get a bee in their bonnet and decide to pick on the lives of others?

Sometimes they’re coworkers, other times neighbors, friends, or family, but regardless of the form they take, they always appear out of nowhere and try to wreck someone else’s day. This is not, “Hey, watch where you’re walking, there’s a pit ahead,” this is, “You’ll do what I say, starting right now, because I’ve had enough and I’m taking over this ship.”

The problem is that self-appointed, angry people don’t really make good leaders. Life isn’t Designing Women, where one sharp-tongued woman steps onto a new scene and suddenly decides she’s taken all she can from “the way it’s always been done before” people. When this happens in real life, it’s from the loudest person in the room, the one who focuses on his or her own voice so much that they overlook everything else at stake. Imagine: There’s a piece of trash sitting on the ground next to the can and it needs to be picked up, but beyond the trash can there’s a three-car pileup and people are injured, so do we scream about the trash, or do we help the injured? To a non-leader, all that matters is making that big voice boom and they’ll yell about trash all day long as the injured attempt to crawl from their cars.

So why is it that people with no real authority in life always seem to get a bee in their bonnet and decide to pick on the lives of others? The answer lies in the question: They have no real authority. They don’t see the forest for the trees and they never have. No one should ever give them a true position of power because of it. But think about it from their end for a moment: It’s frustrating to decide to control the world, to march up to the podium donning your bee bonnet, and yell into the microphone only to find the world isn’t listening. The best they can do is make you angry enough to yell back, and that’s what they want. So don’t. Oh, the simplicity of those two words! And yet, for most of us, it can take a lifetime of meditation and love to accomplish something like that. So while we work on it, there may be an interim answer.

When yelled at for something asinine, take five seconds and think to yourself, “Who died and put this person in charge?” It’s childish, but you’re thinking it anyway.

If this person is the boss, then quietly do what they say and explain your position later (and possibly look for another place to work).

If, more likely, this person is not the boss nor ever will be because of that forest-for-the-trees thing, then look them in the eye and calmly point out, “There are bigger things at stake here.”

And go about your business.

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Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at JodyBrown.com/writing

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