November 7, 2007

Do You Show It?

This discussion is more for the men, but I think women can get something out of it as well.


"Bond, I've always tried to teach you two things", said Q. "First, never let them see you bleed."
"And the second?"
"Always have an escape plan."


Although it is wise advice for the spy world, we're going to look at it and expand on it.


"Gosh, Uncle Bob, are you a spy?"

Let's just say that I've had some dealings with, uh, unsavory characters in my time. And some of them still owe me favors. Youse guys payin' attention? (Sometimes you have to talk that way so that they understand you.)


Never let them see you bleed.
Right. If you're wounded, the bad guys will be even more ready to charge in and finish you off. And you can't show your weaknesses. How does that work for daily living? In the business world, you can't let your competition see that you're wounded or vulnerable. That also applies to office politics.


It also applies to daily dealings. If someone hurts you, don't show it. That just signals them that they got to you, and they're ready to do it again. Worse, they'll tell your enemies and the party really gets interesting — for them. Clam up about it. If someone's taking verbal shots at you, one way to diffuse it is to laugh it off. Better yet, go along with the joke and show you're a good guy:


"Say, Bill, you're really clumsy today. Are you always that way?"
"You should have seen me trying to get a job on the bomb squad!"


Now, this doesn't apply to family relationships, necessarily, and not to a "significant other" (it's mostly for dealing with enemies). Nobody likes the "silent treatment", or having to guess what's wrong. The true aspect here is not to lash out in anger. Think about it for a while, decide if it's important in the first place. If it is, then you can go back to the person in question during a quieter moment and say, "That thing you said yesterday really bothered me." Much better than whining. Nobody likes a whiner. Capice?


Always have an escape plan.
Great for the espionage world, useful for us peasants. If you have a plan, have another to fall back on if the first one goes down in flames. That means learning things and branching out. I've always believed in learning at least a little about many things, like Leonardo DaVinci did. That knowledge gives you something to make plans with. Go into situations armed with knowledge. Be prepared, like a Boy Scout is supposed to be. Bring supplies, documents, support, whatever.


Sometimes you do need to "get out". I'm not talking about relationships, necessarily, unless you've thoroughly examined your heart and your head. What are your options? What do you feel? Take it slow, brothers and sisters. You may need to get out of a bad job. Is your résumé up to date? Are you checking for opportunities? I know when to bail out when the cops are watching, that's another escape plan. Even better, have sense enough to leave things alone that will harm you or those you care about.


I get hurt quite often. No point in whining or showing it. Sure, I do show it, sometimes. Trust is rare and slow for me, but I can let some things out to friends. (I'll talk about trust another time.)


So, I'll leave you to ponder the advice that Q gave to Bond. Meditate on it.

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