Sklover’s Monday Thought: When People “Throw Bricks”

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“I could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at me.”

– Taylor Swift

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Honest to goodness . . . I never imagined I’d be quoting Taylor Swift in one of my Thoughts for the Work Week. But this quote sheds light on an interesting experience, a common dynamic, one that sometimes can unsettle – even destabilize – you at work, and elsewhere.

Almost everyone has had the feeling, one time or another, that someone else is displeased simply because they, themselves, are happy, or content, or have had a success. Clients have shared with me, many times, that one part of the experience of being promoted at work is the feeling that one or more of their colleagues seem unhappy for them, perhaps envious, or jealous. Gee, if it is so common for us mere “mortals,” one can only imagine how many bricks superstar Taylor Swift has had to dodge!

Where does that jealousy, that envy, that need to “throw bricks” come from? I’m not a psychiatrist or psychologist, but I think it comes from a kind of “hole in the soul,” an unmet need, an incompleteness, a lack of self-confidence. Regardless of where it comes from, how is it best handled?

First, by recognizing it for what it is: the other person’s problem, nothing you have done to cause it or deserve it. Achievement is not a crime.

Second, by occasionally, and gently, giving that person a bit of what they seem to need, offering gestures of support, maybe an occasional praise, even an extra smile.

Third, by not reacting negatively to it, as it can only “get you down” into the “negativity hole” where they live. If truly needed, if no matter what you may do to be helpful, nothing seems to work, avoid such people.

Fourth, and most importantly, not permitting those “bricks” or those “brick-throwers” to stop you from continuing along your path to success, your pursuit of happiness, your living your “best life.” The worst “brick-throwers” want only to get you into a battle of bricks. Don’t fall for it.

The ultimate challenge presented by the “brick-throwers” and their “bricks” that we all face at work and elsewhere is to simply “brush off the brick dust” and proceed on down your personal “yellow brick road.” Just like Taylor Swift has done, to her best life, and to the fun and joy of the millions upon millions of her faithful fans. “You go, girl!”

This quote, both insightful and impactful, was sent to us by long-time client and Working Wisdom family member, Joycelyn W. of South Canaan, Connecticut. Thanks, Joycelyn, for the wonderful contribution.

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