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Human Target; How To Be Invulnerable To Personal Attacks

Have you ever felt like you had a target on your back? It is a simple thing to accomplish. Being different, being outside the normal pattern surrounding you will get you noticed. Moving from one group to another will also do it.  

For instance, In my case, I went from the production floor to supervisor. Before I even got started, I was taking fire. A little dismayed, I spoke with a friend at work. He said they were just messing around…but…he left it hanging while he looked at his phone. Then he quoted John 15:19.

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

That has not been something I’ve had to deal with yet. It’s not because I’m standing for something either. I think it’s simply group dynamics, the juvenile stuff I learned about when I studied ConCom.

What do we do when we take fire from others?

Do not take it personally. I was taking it personally. When our emotions go up, our rationality suffers. Then it is ever-present in our minds until it is dealt with.

“You don’t know what they said or did.”

Marc MacYoung used a term that stuck with me — social economy. It’s what people operate in every day that’s much like a bank’s business operations.

During social interactions, we are either depositing or withdrawing from a relational “account”. What happens if you withdraw more than you put into a bank account? It’s closed. That relationship is over. Credit can be extended, an overdraft fee applied, relationally a penalty is paid and another chance given.

Here is how to apply it:

  • Do you have a relationship with that person?
    1. If yes, how close are you?
    2. What would you say if you were in a different role?
    3. If no, then there is no relationship. Nothing is invested so there is no ‘business’. It’s not personal if they do not know you or it’s their pattern.

It is a matter of how close you are to them. The ability to not taking anything personal is a strength. If there is anything constructive in it that will help you grow, use that, and discard the rest.

The minute it becomes about you then your influence will start to drop. It also gives someone a way to manipulate you by your emotions. It’s hard to do, too. Emotions are contagious and automatic. Our response doesn’t have to be a reaction, just a chosen action, or no action.

Do you have any stories of people throwing verbal firebombs at you? What did you do?

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