Not The Great Pretender

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Dear Dharma,

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a people person, definitely not a hater… but I work with about 4 or 5 people who I have no respect for… and I really do hate them!

The sad part is that they are all above me and I have to deal with them on a daily basis.  It’s getting harder and harder to be fake with them, as I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.

Any recommendations on how to be good at being fake?

Smiling and Nodding

Dear Nodding,

You may be my soul mate.  I can’t tell you how many times I have felt like you do, as I just suck at being fake.

Any time I asked people the exact same question, how can I learn to fake it, I was always told to just do it, be fake, put on a smile, blah blah blah.  Basically, play the game.  Except… I don’t know how!

So no, I have no recommendations for you on how to be a good fake.

However, as I saw more and more how these people were impacting my life, I started to realize how much power I was giving them by hating them, letting them get under my skin with each and every word they said.  And I realized, as in many cases, there is very little you can do to change the behaviours of others, but a whole lot you can do to change your own.

So I taught myself how to minimize their importance.  To observe them rather than absorb them.  To breathe through interactions with them until it got easier and easier.  I would put reminders in my computer that I would see first thing in the morning – things like “Don’t let Stuart piss me off today” and “Don’t let Katie push me around”.  And I made sure to read these each and every day, like a mantra.  Interestingly, I found that on days I didn’t do something to remind myself to find my zen space, these people were more likely to push my buttons and succeed at upsetting me.  I just forced myself not to care until I really didn’t.  It wasn’t easy, it took practice, but it was a lot easier than teaching myself how to fake it.

I don’t know if these tactics will work for you specifically, but maybe do some soul searching to find other strategies so you can take back the power over your own happiness.

Dharma

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