That’s not because I’m less intelligent or physically able. I run Tough Mudders on any day of the week, and got top of the class in mathematics.
Look, for example, at the 2016 or 2020 US elections. Donald Trump had the media, celebrities, rich and powerful, news networks, etc. all against him. He had to work so much harder to get the votes than his counterparts. In the 3 days before the 2020 vote, he held 14 rallies over 2,500 miles, compared to Joe Biden’s 1.
Whomever you vote for in politics, hopefully you begin to notice other examples across life.
When you’re a good, well-meaning person trying to do a good job – with no malicious intentions or agenda – it suddenly becomes nigh impossible. Because nobody else matches that description.
Here’s an example that just happened to me yesterday in my management job. Context: my feedback scores from my team are high – meaning the people I manage think I’m a good manager. They’re much higher than my peer managers’ feedback scores are. And I’m 22. And only 3 months into my first management job.
I can only assume that the other managers in other shifts were jealous (though that is an assumption).
My manager went on my laptop when I wasn’t looking, sent some messages, and read my emails. He then found me and told me I’d messed up a promotion which I’d had no involvement in. Two other managers bombarded me with messages saying this is very bad, too. I was sure this promotion had already been announced and the replacements arranged. Nonetheless, I began to question myself, and then question my team members as to why they took matters into their own hands when the promotion hadn’t even been announced. I then re-sorted out the promotion and training for the most qualified candidate – bearing in mind my job is busy enough and doesn’t include promotions.
At the end of the day, one of the managers let slip that the promotion had already been sorted like I thought, and I was indeed right all along. But being the well-meaning person I am, I assumed they were telling the truth. They were all playing a very public, very humiliating prank – or ‘banter’ as the legal defence would – on me.
The result of that was that I was excluded, demeaned, & bullied. But I deal with that regularly anyway. The more significant result is that I looked foolish in from of my teams, which made me lose their respect, and diminished my ability to manage them. Which in turn will bring down the feedback they give about me.
See, bad people feel the need to bring good people down. Good people just want to do an honest job, and so save time by not playing games, politics, or worse and do a better job as a result.
Good people make them look bad. So bad people feel the need to bring good people down to their level.