Blog: The Soundboard

Think of Arfaib's blog as a virtual round table. A place for debate, discussion, the coming of minds, where innovation is refined to perfect, where resolve is conceptualized and solutions are calls to action.

At this round table, we are not passive viewers of injustices.  Arfaib is a soundboard, where history is heard in the voice of the non-victor. At this round table we are motivated by the idea that change and social justice is achievable.

How you ask a question dictates how it will be answered.

When We Accept Bad Behavior

After you read “Is. He. Nice.” Let’s think a little about what it means When We Accept Bad Behavior.

I am less concerned in examining the context of the actor vs. the receiver. I want to think past the binary of who is right or wrong. Rather what it means when we let ourselves die by a 1000 cuts. The snob and the shade we are asked to ignore. The condition it leaves ones state of mind. The position it leaves you when you next have to interact with the giver of the cut, the insult dished cold. It starts to feel like your voice is slowly smothered out. And you feel the pressures of tone policing… and being nice, collegial, sisterly, lady like…professional?

Why is that fair? Where is the equity in that?

My issue is when the responsibility is weighted on the receiver of the insult. The caution game one must play. The power dance between who has subtle and who has obvert power. Where does it really leave us? Resentful. Sad. Overwhelmed. Beaten. Playing silent games until, the straw, that tiny sleight of hand, shady eye roll, the effort to dismiss or disenfranchise, brakes the patient back.

The weight of this dance on the psyche is a clear danger that may lead to an impolite outburst. Few pay attention to the danger of the normalcy built to allow bad behavior: “Oh that’s just who they are”, “Oh she is older and set in her ways” … “culture” … “work style”. ALL EXCUESES, presented as reasons to tolerate the marginalization of your feelings. “You have a right to your feelings” even in the most caring of settings is dismissive. However, I am entitled to equitable respect. When you are asked to ignore bad behavior for the greater good, a priority is set that does not include a place for your …anything, and least your right to respect. It is forged for the preservation of bad behavior, in the land of no respect.

Bad behavior is never a one off offence. In the land of no respect bad behavior has supreme jurisdiction.  It is impunities. It is THE death by a thousand cuts. You bleed out. You bleed out all your patience. You bleed out your self-respect.

You bleed out.

Worse, it validates your worthlessness in the eye of the offender. Every time you ignore bad behavior, even for the sake of politically politeness, it diminishes and soils any good effort.  It condones a culture of bad politics, ego and I-centered-metrics, selfishness. And in any community that is poison.

No workspace can live with it, no marriage or relationship, no family can grow healthy with it, no country can govern properly with it. 

Bad behavior should be checked, not with pettiness, but with reason. Taking the high-road, should not mean accepting bad behavior as “just her way of doing things”. Taking the high-road is without shaming the insulter, reminding them of what is valued and calling to their attention how their action is not inline with the greater mission of the community. To do otherwise is to undermine your foundation and bring resentment across the board.