Monday, November 23, 2015

Never Celebrate Someone's Failure

How do you know when to celebrate someone else's failure?

Let's take the Cardinals game on Nov 22. Great defense on both sides leading to a tie and 40 seconds to go. 

Cardinals QB was taking a unique approach to his offense, just trying to get in field goal range. He does a weird move at the second down and takes a knee. Everyone on the sidelines, stands, tv and radio (myself) starts to wonder what just happened. 

As he geared up his team for the next play, now 10 seconds on the play clock, a Bengals defense player 'mocked' the Cardinals QB. Next thing you know, a flag was called for "unsportsmanlike conduct" allocating the Cardinals 15 yards and an automatic first down. What does Palmer do now? Field Goal and the cardinals win the game: 34-31.

I'm sure the Bengals player got an earful after the game but the lesson is when they lose, everyone loses. And to answer the opening question: it is never a good time. Too often do we celebrate other people's failures, especially when we've been hurt. And most of the time we make up excuses to enable the behavior. 

This week was especially difficult for me. Trust at work broken. Trust in myself being jeopardized. Trust in my family- I guess I take this one for granted. 

How do you recover from broken trust? It's all in your attitude. 

Some people use the opportunity to take a negative approach since they were "hurt." But that's how you stay within that cycle. 

If you let things go, you'll recover quite rapidly. Yes, you'll still be in pain but you know your worth and you can set the boundaries of what pain to let in and when. 

The emotional investment takes a toll on me and no one else. And there's a slight ounce of hope that my actions will be contagious and people will learn from their behaviors. 

Conversing about recent trust issues with a friend, he brought up a comment about why the nice people finish last. I've always known that there was some truth to this but it was different to hear it out loud.

"It's the nice ones that get labeled as 'stupid' and are easily taken advantage of."

As he continued to share his stories, I contemplated my stance but realized that I didn't want to stoop to the level of those who take advantage. I will still be nice and be who I am and you're at a loss for not appreciating it. 

The main reason why I don't change is because every now and then, you might just encounter someone from the nice team. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity and let the pain change your world view. But that is when you lose. You lose the will to take a chance, the opportunity to learn new things or the time wasted agonizing on the past. 

The next time your trust is broken, you can choose to walk away from the person and situation. Celebrating their pain will only cause you to be sucked into their failures. 

Just when you think the other team is losing, they get an automatic first down and score the winning field goal. 

Take a deep breath and be grateful for the positive moments you had with them. I'm sure there were some. Then be grateful that you got out of their deceitful circle when you did. 

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