Sunday, December 20, 2015

Life is a Learning Experience

There is not one person on this planet that has not, at one point in their life, been judged unfairly; and even though many of us want to believe that we don't, we, personally, do our own fair share of judging others just as unfairly.

It's in our nature to compare ourselves with others, to find fault, and to envy. While some judgment is healthy, in fact, it's instinctive (survival), there are times when things get out of hand and people can get downright mean and nasty, and say and do things that are hurtful to the person they are judging.

It is not uncommon to judge people based on trivial things; where we come from, how we live, where we live, what we do for a living, how much money we make, by the color of our skin, whether we are male or female, gay or straight, the type of clothes we wear, our looks, or the car we drive. We are even judged by how we spend our free time.

For me, it was a work environment that allowed for slanderous behavior. I have heard gossip and rumors about myself that were utterly ridiculous, and had no basis of truth to them, but that didn't stop people from spreading them. I attribute this to the fact that I never talked about myself, never gave details about my personal life, so everyone came up with their own theories as to who they thought I should be.

The behavior could have been construed as workplace bullying. It allowed for some of the worst criminal behavior to breed. It created a hostile and dangerous work environment, not only for me, but for the other people that were subjected to it. Some of the behavior could have been stopped, but none of it was.

What I learned from this experience is that there are times when things should be left alone, because, eventually, people will get bored and find something new to talk about. In my case, that is not what happened.

And then there are times when you need to take control of the situation because they aren't getting bored, they are finding more to talk about, and it creates uncontrolled chaos. You can't always count on others to fight your battles. There is a trick to gossip, and I learned how to use it to my advantage, in the process I pirated the ship (so to speak), and steered it in my direction. My words had actions that matched, mysterious magic and undeniable truth, thereby giving them something positive to believe in. Because I took action, I was able to control the situation, and reverse the damage that was caused by it.