I am not a firearms instructor. I hope I am more than that. My life does not revolve around firearms and neither does my training or teaching. My life goals and the same for my students is excellence. Excellence in family, in profession, in martial skills and anything one chooses to do. And I want to discuss how sometimes the virus of others may tend to derail those goals. And it is true…people are carriers of viruses. We know the aggressive virus that drives a team and gives it an energy and a momentum that makes amazing things happen. We also know the impossible virus promoted by those who think everything is impossible. Infected by that virus, nothing will ever get done by anyone.
Here is a secret…surround yourself by those with good viruses and eliminate those from your life with negative viruses.
Here we go.
The Complainer – we all know one or two. They are only happy when they are telling others how they were, are presently, or are about to be, thoroughly screwed and left bleeding and covered in feces by someone or something. Their self-misery is their self-identity and they want to share it with you. It isn’t that they want sympathy. They just want everyone else to be like them…miserable. If you were to ask them how life is going, they would reply, “Its taking forever”.
That is not say that not being a complainer you endure the unendurable, or never change anything for the better. There is constructive complaining, but it is always followed by a solution put into place. “I am cold” is followed by making a fire. “I am hungry” is followed by preparing food. “I am scared” is followed by obtaining a weapon. Complaining and creating a solution is fine. Complaining for the sake of expressing unsolvable misery is not.
The Hand Wringer – a cousin to the complainer. The hand wringer is an incessant worrier. I see this a lot in older people. Their primary function in life is to worry about the weather, politics, the dog next door, the government, global warming, and a myriad of other things. The hand wringer creates paralysis through fear. A team infected by hand wringing will sit and wait, and wait and do nothing…ever.
Again, that is not to say that we don’t consider potential problems, and develop solutions should they arise. That is just good tactics. But the hand wringer and the complainer carry negative viruses that you need to eradicate from your team, your business and your life.
The Village People – This is a breed onto itself. It’s the “you didn’t build that” crowd. I was having a conversation recently with a gent that had just come from shopping at Walmart. He spoke with the cashier and noted to her that Walmart had made billions last year. And then he asked her if she had received any of that from the company. The Village People are in essence “light socialists”.
The hapless cashier likely does a good job and earns a wage suitable for her task…but that is all she is owed and entitled to nothing else. But the Village People despise the fact that someone is making money. They will despise the fact that you are making money. Related to the Complainer, they despise success. If you seek success, they will slow down your journey, and drag you into mediocrity.
The Life Drainer – “If God wanted men to fly, He would have given him wings”. I was actually considering naming this sub-genus as the “Flat Earther”, but “Life Drainer” is more descriptive. The Life Drainer’s mantra is that it cannot be done. If they are religious Life Drainers, they will say it shouldn’t be done, and rattle off some obscure scripture to back up their positions. You know the type I am sure. If you accomplish something, they will minimize it somehow. Never having accomplished anything of note in their small lives, they will seek to make anything others accomplish as small as possible as well.
I saw a child beam proudly over an accomplishment once, only to hear his Life Drainer grandfather tell him that a kid in China half his age had done more with less. The Life Drainer and Complainer are twins. When somebody comes up for a solution to a Complainer’s whine, the Life Drainer will reply with “It will never work”.
The Complainer, The Hand-Wringer, The Village People, and the Life Drainer are people that you must exorcise from your life, your team, and your business if you want success, excellence and happiness…even, and maybe specially if, they are family.
What other toxic personality types can you think of?