Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Voluntary Criticism

Twice this weekend I witnessed a person volunteer advice to a retail worker. In both cases, the advisor was aggressive in their unsolicited criticism. The workers in both cases were graceful. Feeling sorry for the dejected laborers, I pose the following question to the voluntary advisor:
Are you an advisor or a bully?

In both of the aforementioned acts of indignity, the retail worker was noticeably shaken by the abusive prose of their "valued customer". A punch in the face would have been more fitting than a smile and an apology. But, that's not the world we live in.

We live in a time where standing up for oneself is frowned upon. Knowing this, the miserable invite company by baiting the well-intended into a demerit. This is what losers do....look to anyone they have temporary control over and abuse this pseudo-authority. As a result, the losers are empowered and the well-intended get side-tracked. Those who have tried and failed want to distract the well-intended from their goals for advancement. They will not stand to see another succeed because they missed their chance.

I remember Tiger Woods' press conference before his first professional golf tournament. When asked what he felt would be a decent result for the tournament Tiger Woods responded "A Victory". The crowd roared in laughter...when they looked up from their notepads they saw a look of stone cold determination on Tiger's face. He was there to win! Ultimately, he would redefine possible in his sport because he ignored his detractors.

Why do we feel it necessary to shake our heads at the well-intended?
Why can't we defend ourselves when abused by the ill-intended?
What can we do to transcend the inherent negativity of the failure culture?

Bliss (is not) Ignorance
When someone smiles at you, the reaction is either:
"whats that guy's problem"
"why is that dum dum smiling"

My Advice: Keep Smiling

What has happened in our society that we have to be suspicious of kindness? Last year, I had an idea....I would randomly email one person a day to wish them a great day. To a person, I got responses intending that I had sent the email in error. A random act of kindness met with suspicion and malcontent for "spamming" them.

It's hard to be positive because it requires a consistent ability to see beyond people's suspicion. If you keep your chin up, you are always susceptible to a left hook.

Back a man in the corner long enough and he's bound to come out swinging

A friend of mine who is a professional boxer had this phrase posted in his locker. It meant that he was willing to be a Gentleman until he couldn't be a Gentleman any more.

Bullies rely heavily on the element of surprise. Their bravado kicks the door open (and all that follows is wind). The surprise with which the bully puts upon you needs to be flipped on its ear. You can pose two or three simple questions and reveal the mindless frustration of a person who has nothing left to give.

Never underestimate your ability to flip the bully on his ear. The bigger they pretend to be, the harder they fall!

Duck's Back
My children's great grandfather had learned that the key to success was to be an action hero rather than a drama queen. He worked hard and turned his hearing aid down when the women of the family were at the table. He once told me that I was his favorite person with whom to share a sunset (because I knew better than to ruin it by talking).

We can talk ourselves in circles seeking validation or we can do our fighting in the ring.

Bad things happen to people. They get beat up by their "superiors" so they seek inferiors to project their anger upon.

Reflection: I remember being the last kid on the soccer field; alone with a kid who had picked on me for several weeks prior. There was no one around to save me. He approached me with his usual intimidation tactics. I flipped him on his head and punched his face until he began to cry. I looked up and my mother was standing there. She grabbed me by the collar and took me to the car. I was sure I was going to be grounded for a year. As we drove away she said. "you can stop crying now, that little asshole deserved it".

You Are Inferior to No One - send the bully home with a bloody nose!

Don't Forget to Remember!



  1. Thanks Dave this article was great! I'm going to start ignoring women when they talk and you've inspired me to start hitting people.

  2. Good to hear, Duke! New Year's Resolutions that will, no doubt, serve you well!