don’t get baited

July 2, 2008 at 9:52 pm | Posted in Professional Development | 3 Comments
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Sometimes we have to deal with people who have very different personalities from our own. For me, the worst case is dealing with someone who seems to take pride in being antagonistic. Or, to give them credit, perhaps they unknowingly just have an abrasive personality that makes it *appear* as if they are intentionally bent on being condescending, arrogant, or sometimes just flat out rude.

My first approach is to find a way to tell them that what they are doing is coming across as offensive. Sometimes this works. Mostly it does not. Yet I still feel I owe it to myself to extend them that courtesy. If it doesn’t work, then what?

Used to be that I would take an *inordinate* amount of time crafting (what I thought were) articulate, comprehensive emails that I was sure would win them over, point by point. They didn’t. Next I went through a phase where I thought I would just drop to their style and duke it out insult by insult. But that’s not who I am. And certainly not who I want to be. So as of late, I’m trying a new approach. Just ignore it. If it doesn’t require a response (and more often than not, the worst baiting comments don’t) just let it go. The time and energy I waste on replying and thinking about it just flat out isn’t worth it. Nothing revolutionary here, but I’m amazed how much discipline and character it takes to say nothing at all.

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3 Comments »

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  1. You had a great email the other day – all of us were spouting long stuff, and you basically asked, “If we’re doing it wrong, who’s doing it right?” I know what you really wanted to say, and I got a chuckle out of that. Well-said.

  2. I completely agree; I find it really difficult to do nothing and not respond. Just makes me feel uneasy, like I have let something drop that I shouldn’t have done. But, pertaining to the conversation we had earlier, I am going to try it and see.

  3. appreciate both comments (both pertain to real situations) but I wouldn’t consider either a baiting situation. In Brent’s, I was just looking for simplification. I’m often talking with folks a lot smarter than me, so it’s helpful if I can “see” a general example. In Christian’s…. I don’t think we have enough blog space allowable for that particular deal. 😉


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