Fool Suffering Filter!
March 24, 2007 10:40 AM Subscribe
It's a fact of life: some of us are brilliant & utterly delightful to deal with, and then there are... other
posted by miss lynnster to Society & Culture (38 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I have a friend who works for a luxury tour company in Africa. He has to tour spoiled wealthy people around a lot (mostly British, American & French), and he's been going through some health problems (chest pains, etc.) because the stupidity and attitudes of the people he works with (both in the company and as tour clients) have gotten him so stressed out. He just doesn't suffer fools well, and I can relate to that. But, he talks about quitting his job and I know he can't afford to do this. Since he'll be meeting fools for the rest of his life no matter where he goes, I've been trying to give him advice on how to handle situations calmly instead. That whole "You can't control other people, you can only control how you react to them" thing.
The other day he asked me this question: "What do you do if you are driving someone around and they tell you to go to the left but you know that if you do so you will drive over a cliff? Keep in mind that you are in the service industry so your job is to make these people happy... but the fact is that these people are idiots who do not know what they are talking about, and they are insisting that you do what they say... but if you go over this cliff you will die. Do you fight with them? Or do you go over the cliff and die? What are you supposed to do?"
I thought I gave him some pretty good advice about making them feel heard but still remaining in control and with a smile on his face, but then a day later I found myself in a similar situation with a young green musician I'm going to be doing some music work with, and I started to feel chest pains myself. He's a nice enough guy, but if I say no to his bad ideas I will come across as a controlling diva & probably create some resentment. If I say yes, I'll be a doormat who is agreeing to be the focal point of an onstage train wreck that I would hate every minute of. I would prefer to allow neither scenario and to just do whatever I want while keeping everyone happy. But... how?
Sooo, here's today's question: how do YOU deal with people who come across as stupid/ignorant/etc.? What do you do when someone is telling you to do something and in your heart you want to reply by telling them the top ten reasons that they are an idiot? Is there a way to handle these situations gracefully & powerfully where people end up liking you and everyone is contented... without feeling chest pains, without insulting anyone, without being a diva or a doormat, without quitting a job, but still remaining in control & happy & not dead at the bottom of a cliff?
And yes, I'm still avoiding doing my taxes.