Just (Don’t) Do It

Today’s entry is the response given to the email received from a friend’s colleague (see yesterday’s entry for the full drama!).

Was my friend pissed as hell?  You bet.  And rightly so, I think.  He could have said “You didn’t give me all the information I needed to know, so it’s not my fault.”  Or “Even if you are unhappy with me, I think you are being rude and it’s uncalled for.”  He might have said “I don’t really give a damn if you have to update 75 calculations, sounds like it’s your problem, not mine.”

All perfectly justifiable sentiments, right?  Sure.  But sometimes, being justified- or being RIGHT- is not the most important thing.  At least, it’s not most important everyone know just how right you are.

In general, I think there’s a way to say most everything you need to say.  That doesn’t mean that you need to say everything that’s in your head- some things are what I call JDDI (Just Don’t Do It).  You want to tell someone how rude they are being to you?  That’s your right.  But is it worth it?  I hate unnecessary rudeness more than anyone- it’s my BIGGEST pet peeve.  I’m on a never-ending crusade to convince people that rudeness has no place in this world.  BUT.  Occasionally I think it’s best to put my indignation aside, and just suck it up.

Just. Don’t. Do. It.  Sure, honesty is the best policy, but that doesn’t mean you have to torture the world with every single brilliant thought that pops into your head.  We aren’t wired that way- that’s why our mouths aren’t a direct extension of our brains.

So as angry as my friend was, he decided not to escalate the situation.  He sent an “I’m sorry for the inconvenience, please let me know what I can do to help” email in response.  Cowtowing to this colleague?  You could think that.  Or maybe just being smart- sometimes killing them with kindness is the best thing you can do.  He quickly got a response that said “Sorry I flew off the handle for a minute there.  I’m just really overworked with this project right now.”

All is well.  He got the apology and preserved the relationship, and he walked away from the whole situation as the better person.

JDDI- When the way to say that is to not say anything at all.

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