Never Place People On A Pedestal
Lest you want them playing football with your feelings.
Humans are complex creatures. While we’re capable of sacrificing our personal preferences and routine habits just to stick to a job or tolerate a bad manager, it doesn’t always stay suppressed and comes out in more undesirable ways. Ways that could burn bridges and refine your personality.
Sometimes even the best amongst us have to suck it up and play the corporate game just to stay where they are in life or to maintain their current standard of living. While that might be the case across the board, there are certain situations where your manager or boss wants to make your life hell just for the sake of it.
They either have their an ulterior motive which they use to justify their actions against you, or would like to keep you suppressed and docile so that they can grant favours to someone else instead of you. Being thankful and appreciative of their efforts is one thing. Upgrading them to the status of a God, and constantly sucking up to them is another.
Here’s a lesson on why to never place someone on a pedestal.
It was one of my acquaintances whom I’d met through the common running club we were a part of. I had requested him for a job at his new company and we had started working together. Well, not really requested. It was more like something that just came up during one of our conversations in which I casually hinted that I was looking for work.
A lesson I learnt here the hard way is to never accept a job through friend or connections. I know people get the best jobs nowadays solely through connections and networking, but they usually have the merit to show for it. Rather, what I’m trying to say is do not accept a job you’ve received solely through connections. Always have the merit and experience to back it up lest the connection backfires later on and backtracks on their promises. Which is what happened to me.
Yes, even your best friend can do that to you. Welcome to the world of lies, deception, and deceit.
When you accept a job from someone only because you’re on a first name basis with them, you give them the magic wand that controls what you can and cannot do, what you can and cannot say, and how you can and cannot behave. In case they happen to be manipulative and have got you into the company only to fulfill their own agenda, you have no choice but to do whatever they say. After all, you’re there for the experience, and cannot drop everything at the first sign of trouble. Once you put them on a pedestal, they start kicking your feelings around like a football, knowing fully well that you’ve got no choice but to shut up and tolerate their shenanigans just for the sake of the job.
But this doesn’t happen early on, as you still have the chance to flip them the bird and move on. They’re clever and they know that. Rather, this happens very slowly and methodically as you’re learning the ropes in the organization. They interject their dominance over you very gradually and cunningly build up to complete domination over a period of time. And before you know it, you don’t even know why you’re afraid of speaking with them the way you used to before.
This basically happens in stages, which I’ve listed below:
They start questioning your beliefs
This guy who had employed me started to question my veganism and my reasons for it. When I gave him logical and convincing answers, he started to ask me who my role model for veganism was, and whether I would falter if my role model did. There was this Godman mentality that the had. Since he himself was slave to a godman, he couldn’t accept the fact that the rest of us could be totally fine without a “mentor” in our lives. At least that’s what he called his godman. A mentor.
Then they try to break those beliefs
He continued to plough through, to see whether I would give up on veganism just because he asked me to. He obviously didn’t do this directly. He prodded at it, one question at a time: He asked me what I’d do if I went trekking to the Himalayas and couldn’t find any vegan food. He asked me how I’d stay vegan while travelling, where vegetarian food itself is tough to come by. I took none of these seriously since I knew his motive was to break me, and force me to leave the company. That was what he wanted all along.
The final nail in the coffin
After systematically breaking all your personal boundaries which you most willingly let them do in stages, they go for the kill. This is the last nail in the coffin which will either make or break you. How you react to this sets the stage for your future and whether you’d be continuing with the friendship, or with the company.
When he finally realized that no amount of taunting or questioning my belief system could break me, he thew a fit in full public view. We were seated at a cafe, where we were enjoying our evening coffee after completing a marathon together in the morning. He flared up and threw a fit at me right in the middle of the packed restocafe. He didn’t yell as loud as to cause a scene, but his choice of words sure did make me feel like it. At that moment I couldn’t believe I had to stand him for another 8 hours for the long drive back home to our home city. It was one of the quietest and longest road trips I’ve ever been on.
When we got back to work the next week, he pulled me aside for a meeting where he politely asked to leave. This was what he had wanted all along. Instead of indulging in all these roller-coaster moves, he could have just asked me directly. Since I refused to follow any of the practices taught by his Godman, he was agitated and didn’t find any common ground with me anymore. He didn’t directly tell me this. I just knew it to be the reason for weeks of taunting and attempts to break my belief system.
When you place someone on a pedestal and there’s something of yours that’s on the line, you willingly put yourself in a hostage situation. Now you’re permanently indebted to them for doing you that favour, and have to play the games that they play. I’d have to say that it was quite a learning moment for me. Now I know how to deal with these types early on as I can see the warning signs from a mile away.
Remember, not everyone is benevolent and altruistic out there. Most people aren’t. There’s always an ulterior motive.
Never place people on a pedestal no matter what kind of favours they do for you.