Dislike Vs. Disrespect

I’ve come to realize that there are 3 types of people¬†in any working environment;

  • Those I like and respect
  • Those I don’t like, but respect
  • Those I don’t like and don’t respect

The first category consists of those who we naturally relate to and those with whom there is little chance to get into a conflict. And by conflict I don’t mean a full blown argument (or fist-fight) but more accurately those subtle ego/emotional disagreements that often go without being confronted. This first category tends to lean towards “friend” than “work-colleague”. All good there.

The second category is the tricky one. And this category often naturally includes one’s superiors at work.¬† We don’t “like” them because there is a high chance for the aforesaid ego/emotional conflicts to take place. This makes the relationship generally distant and the presence of such people slightly uncomfortable and unsettling. Still since the dislike is due to a very subtle personal discomfort, there is still room for one to respect and admire the other person for what he/she is or does as a professional. And often despite the discomfort, one looks forward to working with such people because there is a lot to gain from the relationship as opposed to withdrawing oneself of that opportunity.

Then comes the third category. The people who prove themselves to be absolute tyrants. They thrive on their ability to cause discomfort in others’ lives. They smile to themselves as they walk away from a person that they’ve just emotionally wounded. They feed on a person’s weakness like a blood-sucking vampire and boast about how good they are at manipulating people. They enjoy surrounding themselves with people who are in need and pursue to exploit them. These people deserve no respect and will earn none.

Now, why I thought of writing this article is not just to point out these three categories, but more importantly to highlight on the realization that while we make our judgments about co-workers this way, we can personally be all three categories as well. I will not deny that I have definitely been all three. This is why I really appreciate it when someone tells me their honest opinion about what they think of me. They are by all means doing me a favour. As difficult as it may be to take such feedback especially when you’re being a tyrant, if you are able to move swiftly away from that initial “just you wait, rabbit” reaction and work on mending the mistake and invest in building bridges, you end up being the one who comes out of the situation victorious. Unless of course you like continuing to be an absolute B.

Great leaders and iconic celebrities have often known to be difficult to work with but they would never have become who they are/were if they moved from category 2 to category 3.

Think about it.



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