In life, you are bound to meet people who dislike you. There is little help for this. You cannot hope to please everyone. Having said that, there is no reason to take what they do personally. Retaliation is a vicious cycle. A moment’s triumph against them could cost you long term respect and support from others around you. Instead, there are better ways to deal with people who dislike you. Read on to find out how.
In the early 200s, many warlords fought to rule China until three kingdoms remained. The kingdom of Wei, led by Cao Cao, dominated the north. The kingdom of Shu, ruled by Liu Bei, controlled the west. The kingdom of Wu, led by Sun Quan, controlled the east.
In the kingdom of Wu, there was a young scholar by the name of Lu Xun. Sun Quan valued him for his insights and wisdom. To strengthen the kingdom, Lu Xun proposed to subdue the Shanyue bandits in the southern region of Wu. Apart from restoring peace, he could also get the Shanyue people to serve in the army. Finding the suggestion prudent, Sun Quan gave Lu Xun the task.
Although the bandits had superior numbers, Lu Xun defeated the main force in a night attack. He then recruited soldiers for his army to restore order. Those who were too weak to fight had to till the land instead. Soon, Lu Xun’s army managed to wipe out the remnants of the bandits and pacify the south.
But Lu Xun’s actions alarmed Chunyu Shi, a local governor. The latter wrote to Sun Quan to inform him that Lu Xun disrupted the peace by recruiting too many people into the army. Well aware of the matter, Lu Xun returned to the capital to give his report. Instead of speaking against Chunyu Shi, Lu Xun praised him for his criticism. He stated that Chunyu Shi was a worthy official because he cared for the people. Lu Xun’s open-minded counsel impressed Sun Quan.
Proceed with Caution
Lu Xun was careful and deliberate in his actions. Wherever he could, he did everything by the book. But he also made sure to plan for all possibilities. This ensured that he made little mistakes or errors that would bring him down. Thus, even though Chunyu Shi complained against him, Lu Xun could defend his actions with his successes.
Caution is vital in all that you do. If you act in a careless manner, you are likelier to make mistakes that others can exploit. No one would be happier to use these mistakes against you than your rivals would. So do not leave openings for others to use against you. Always be careful and do your best.
Be Aware of the Big Picture
Chunyu Shi reported Lu Xun to Sun Quan for the good of the kingdom. He did so because he cared about the people. On his part, Lu Xun could see the logic and motives behind Chunyu Shi’s complain. As such, he did not blame him. Instead, he acknowledged the good intentions of Chunyu Shi towards the people and praised him for it.
Always try to look at the big picture while considering the motives of your rival. Sometimes, they may have valid reasons for speaking out against you. In such cases, it is best not to regard them with hostility but to change for the greater good. After all, both of you may well be working towards the same purpose.
Do Not Lose the Moral High Ground
Lu Xun chose not to denounce Chunyu Shi in front of Sun Quan. By doing so, he would have lost the moral high ground. Instead, he accepted the merits of the criticism and halted the endless cycle of retaliation right there and then. He could afford to do so because he carried out his mission successfully and could defend his own actions. Thus, he could acknowledge the room for improvement. Not only did he appear open-minded and big-hearted, Sun Quan loved him even more for it.
Your actions speak volumes about your nature. It shows the world who you are and what you think. Retaliation only cheapens you in the eyes of others. It causes you to lose the moral high ground and risks turning people against you. This is because it is very easy for retaliation to get out of hand. But rare is the person who is able to defend himself without retaliating. If you can achieve this, you come across as magnanimous and big-hearted. Soon everyone will know who the petty person is.
Lu Xun may not have been aware of the full impact of his actions. He was not a native of the region and had come to the south on a mission. Thus, he lacked familiarity. His subordinates may also have been unwilling to criticize him. Under such conditions, it would have been very easy for Lu Xun to remain unaware of his errors. Through his criticism, Chunyu Shi opened Lu Xun’s eyes to the things he missed.
Friends may not always be forthright with you for various reasons. Rivals however, have no need to say the things you wish to hear. They are not there to please you or to win your favour. As such, if there is an opening for them to exploit, they will do so. If you can learn from their criticism, you will grow rapidly in the process. Of course, not all criticism has merit. Thus, you will need to be discerning to take what is useful and to discard what is not.
Dealing with people is not easy. Managing people who dislike you is even worse. If you can avoid them, that is for the best. But if you cannot, then you will need to think of the big picture while maintaining the moral high ground. In this way, you will control the situation. On the one hand, you will be able to protect yourself. On the other hand, you can use the enmity to your advantage. This is the way to be in harmony with your times and circumstances. That said, it does not hurt to acquire new skills and knowledge to manage people who dislike you.
Are there any other ways to manage people who dislike you that I have missed out? Do share your thoughts and comments below.