Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Dealing With Life's Puppeteers: Shutting Down The Bored

Gossipers, back-biters, manipulators, puppeteers. Those who talk behind other peoples back...which all of us have done at some point. 

Being in the position I am in people talk about me...alot. They talk negatively and positively. Mainly negatively, until they meet me, then they are all smiles. Which is OK with me. Why? Because I have a philosophy that I am actually living "An enemy serves me no purpose."

I go into most social interactions with a clean slate for that person to help build on. Mainly because I am always looking for positive things to build on because they are useless to me as an enemy. Even if I know they were just slandering my name, I am still going in with the intent of winning a friend. 

However, some people don't like that. Especially when they are in turmoil and need to see life around them in turmoil. These people become puppeteers. They bait others into conversations where they speak negatively about others, then they listen intently for the other person to say something negative too. A coconspirator, then they run right to the person they were just talking about and feed then the words. "so and so was just saying this about you. That was rude right?" Something like that...

Talking bad behind someone's back is often done passively and without mal intent. Typically its very passive so that the person can simply vent a feeling, perhaps even unrelated to that person they are talking about. That person becomes a whipping post of sorts, I get it. 

This happens to me every day folks. I am in a place where this is status quo. So let's look at possible solutions.
My favorite is to ignore them. The Puppeteer, that is. I tend to dislike them and usually take time to befriend the other party. 

We can also confront the other person directly, either with guns loaded or not. It depends on what you want to do, lose a friend or gain one. You would be surprised at what a gentle nature can accomplish. Instead of telling them what a bad friend they were and making them defensive, tell them you understand and that its OK. Remember, "An enemy serves me no purpose"

You could also shut down the puppeteer by telling them your not interested in 'Intel'. Keep it to themselves. 

People are busy bodies sometimes and need to point out the flaws in others in order to feel superior or even human. Their negative actions are typically a direct reflection of how they view themselves, sadly. But we don't have to buy in. You won't find a perfect friend. You have to look past imperfection in people to see the perfection. Cultivate the good in others and they will usually try to get rid of then bad on their own because the bad diminishes the good. Many naturally want to be liked and that's it. So like them.

With Love
Jeff Utnage

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