How Do You Wish to be Treated?

November 2, 2010 by
Filed under: Networking 

Arrogant2 261x300 How Do You Wish to be Treated?Last evening I was for­tu­nate enough to be with a large gath­er­ing of friends and acquain­tances for an after work social. It was a truly enjoy­able event such as most socials can be. Unfor­tu­nately, it never ceases to amaze me how every now and then there is a per­son in such a crowd who (giv­ing them the ben­e­fit of the doubt) doesn’t real­ize that they are com­ing off as hav­ing a “holier than thou” type atti­tude. Why am I men­tion­ing this? I’m men­tion­ing this because I ran into such a per­son last night. The rea­son I use such a term to describe this per­son is because when I said hello to a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in a long time, the per­son next to him stopped talk­ing with the per­son he was speak­ing with and with­out really look­ing at me (not look­ing at me in the eye as would be the polite thing to do when meet­ing some­one but look­ing past me) said, “Well, hello Gil” in a some­what patron­iz­ing tone. After he said this to me, he pro­ceeded to not go back to the per­son he was speak­ing with or say any­thing fur­ther to me but to pick up some­thing from the table next to us. Imme­di­ately upon pick­ing up the item from the table, this per­son turned his back more towards me and looked away. It appeared as though he was look­ing through the crowd to see who else was here.

Arrogant1 How Do You Wish to be Treated?Did I know this per­son? Yes. He is a mem­ber of the board of direc­tors for one of the orga­ni­za­tions that was host­ing this event par­tic­u­lar event. This par­tic­u­lar orga­ni­za­tion is one that I’m a mem­ber of as well. Why was he act­ing this way towards me? I’m really not sure. What I do know about him is that he is a retired school pro­fes­sor and usu­ally a very nice per­son to speak with. But every now and again while talk­ing with peo­ple recently, he will have a tone as though he is a per­son of per­sua­sion and influ­ence. An ele­gant per­son who appears to enjoy the “finer things” in life (…have you ever seen those old “Grey Poupon Mus­tard com­mer­cials?). Almost as if he demands you to be a per­son of power or impor­tance your­self prior to him giv­ing you his undi­vided atten­tion. Being a per­son of power and be rude is one thing, being a per­son with­out as much power or influ­ence as maybe the next the per­son is another. To say I was a lit­tle taken back would be an understatement.

Ben­e­fit of the Doubt

There could have been many rea­sons for this per­son to act like that with me (and a cou­ple of oth­ers that same evening I found out later on). He could have been hav­ing a dif­fi­cult day, he may have been really tired, or most likely he may not have real­ized how he was com­ing off.

Some­times assum­ing the best of a per­son is eas­ier for deal­ing with peo­ple than assum­ing the worst from them.

How would you have felt if some­one, in front of a large group of peo­ple, treated you with such a con­de­scend­ing tone?

For­tu­nately, I choose to have a great day every day by choice so I didn’t let it get to me for more than a few sec­onds (hey, I’m only human). Even though we can’t always con­trol what hap­pens to us, we can always con­trol how we react. If there is any­one who dis­agrees with my last state­ment, feel free to dis­agree and let me know why you believe that.

How Should Some­one Be Treated? For­give and Forget?

The way a per­son neg­a­tively treats some­one else can, and often does, back­fire on them sooner or later.  With the par­tic­u­lar per­son who was so con­de­scend­ing with me and a few oth­ers at this social gath­er­ing, I won’t be mak­ing an effort to do any­thing neg­a­tive towards him. Two wrongs don’t make a right. But I can only imag­ine how oth­ers may act and go out of their way to ensure that they have a neg­a­tive effect on that person’s life. All sim­ply due to the con­de­scend­ing way he may have treated them.

The age old say­ing of “For­give and For­get” is truly wise and pru­dent for most peo­ple. Unfor­tu­nately, as human beings, it’s not always easy to for­get how a per­son makes you feel.

Is it really worth treat­ing some­one else as though they are beneath you in some way, shape or form?

Even if the above is not the intent, not being proac­tive in under­stand­ing how one is com­ing off to another per­son may be much more ben­e­fi­cial that one might think. In the age of social media and the inter­net, one per­son with an ener­getic and angry pas­sion against some­thing or “some­one” can do a large amount of dam­age to a person’s cred­i­bil­ity, author­ity, respectability.

So the next time you’re in a social set­ting, it may not be a bad idea to put on a smile and look at a per­son when you say hello to them or they say hello to you.

What are your thoughts?

Comments

One Awesome Comment, Add Yours on How Do You Wish to be Treated?

  1. Jens P. Berget on Fri, 5th Nov 2010 2:33 pm
  2. This story reminded me of Sein­feld, and “Hello Newman” :)

    Any­ways.

    I remem­ber one of my col­leagues that met the SEO last week. The SEO asked for her opin­ion on some­thing, and she started talk­ing, and in the mid­dle of her sec­ond sen­tence, he turned around and walked away. Wow, how do you think she felt after that treatment?

    Some­times I feel like I’m part of a play, and that I am act­ing, just to be nice to cer­tain peo­ple. But I under­stand that it’s impor­tant. What I do is that I always smile and say hi (and I look straight into their eyes when I do it), but I usu­ally don’t stay for a long talk :)
    Jens P. Berget recently posted..Dis­count on the Problog­ger eBooksMy Profile

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