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Isn’t it interesting how so many people believe they have a vested interest in a community and yet secretly do everything in their power to oppose that? How about those people who happen upon a community, dissent from that community, bring a bunch of other dissenters with them, and still manage to act the same way that they felt they were being treated? These and more are the people often labelled cancers, quislings, and sycophants that we as a people have to deal with on a consistent basis. Rather than vaguely throwing pot shots at them, I’ll list these types of people and hope that you’ll recognize them in your own life.
Without further adieu, top five ways to destroy community:
5) Throw your integrity out of the window.
Tell people exactly what they want to hear and do exactly the opposite constantly. If you say you’ll be there at 5, be there at 5:30pm and don’t apologize for it. And do this to a bunch of people who know each other this sort of thing. Say you’ll pay for your dinner, but leave a lousy tip because you know there are four to five people around you who’ll indefinitely pick up the tab because they don’t want to be embarrassed. And again, don’t apologize for any of this.
4) Act just like “them.”
There are situations when one encounters a community and wishes to raise his or her voice about things going on in the community. If the community validates it, then that’s beautiful. If they don’t, the dissenter has the option to either stick or leave. If the person decides to leave that community and develop their own, isn’t it incumbent upon that person to change the rules of engagement? Why would you just make the same rules for a different organization when that’s the same rules you made? The worst part is, the person probably took some other objectors with them only to make them wish they were in the previous organization. Oh, and if you’re that original dissenter, never apologize for this.
3) Never shut up.
The old axiom says, “There’s a reason why we have two ears and one mouth” and that’s never truer. Find your way into as many rants as possible, push it upon anyone willing to listen, and never listen to what people may (or may not) tell you and watch that community crumble.
Let’s clear up my definition of snitching, which is aligned to the original definition: snitching means you’re telling on someone to a higher-up in order to remove or replace blame from yourself. Thus, snitch as often as possible. As a matter of fact, embellish and exaggerate. Take the most innocent comment and change a verb here and there just to give it a negative connotation. Associate your words with “good” and treat everyone else like competition. Oh, and if you get caught, never apologize.
1) Have a chip on your shoulder.
I’m particularly seeing this with people who have no reason to sound like this. There’s a whole set of people who act jealous when life has treated them so well that it’s astonishing to see these actions. Everything’s a “I’m gonna get them back” or a “They’ll pay me back.” If you really want to erode the good graces of your most fervent fans, make sure you walk around like the whole world hates you and you’re going to take revenge on these incidents. Don’t let anything go. Make life difficult at every chance you get for everyone on the way to the hypothetical top. And never apologize for any of it.
Actions speak louder than words, and so if you choose to destroy community, follow these five steps and it’ll go away in no time.
As someone who loves helping to build community, I make take every fifth word and find its antonym. I’d make sure I got to places on time. I might act like a leader and a positive role model would. I’d actually listen intently and remember some important details about people I’ve met. I’d always share my disagreements in a professional manner, and if I couldn’t, I’d just shut up. I’d take nothing personal and let go of writing indirect epitaphs to others.
If you fit in any one of these categories, there’s still hope. The first concrete step you can take is to admit you’re sorry. And mean it.
Jose, who’s giving away books tomorrow and wonders why you’re excited …