I have always been one who dislikes covert operations. If you dislike me, please tell me straight up. Don’t run around behind my back (backstabbing) telling everyone else that you do not like me.
That goes for your evaluations and judgments about me. Don’t tell everyone else the truth about what you think about my decisions, but then turn around and smile and nod to me. Go ahead and let me know what you think. That is the only way to an honest and open relationship. I am truly interested in an honest and open relationship.
In fact, backstabbing and betrayal; it’s sort of a “button” for me. So, I have been self righteous about this for decades. I pride myself in being open and honest with people, including my staff.
And then, then, the horrible happened, I had to work for a woman who was not, in any way, interested in fairness or equity. Her most important function was to shore up her own ego, and she often performed this task by putting others down – but only subordinates – she never denigrated her supervisors (of course!).
Guess what? I became a backstabber and ultimately a betrayer. A backstabber talks about you behind your back, a betrayer is disloyal, which is much more serious. I have always been loyal to my supervisors/companies/vice presidents, or anyone else in a position of power in my chain of command. After all, I won’t work for anyone or any company that I cannot believe in and feel confident about. It is easy to be loyal if you always work in a way that is in alignment with your belief system.
Somehow, this woman got ahead of me in power and she wanted to remind me of it every. Single. Day. She was condescending and malicious. She was also a backstabber and a betrayer. She was hateful about everyone and told me so. She was hateful about me, but did not tell me so. Of course, I knew. So, I talked about her. I had to, I had to get rid of the poison that ate at me every time I had to tolerate her lying and manipulating. I needed venting space and I took it, but only with like minded individuals.
Eventually, I had to leave. The job was making me sick. I knew it was time to go, so the first chance I got, I ran and ran and ran. I did eventually become a betrayer. I emailed her supervisor’s supervisor with a report on my experience. I didn’t like doing this. I had to. It was my way of getting rid of the woman’s hatefulness. No amount of washing myself could rid me of her mean-spiritedness, so I documented it.
So this is the story of how I became what I detest in others. It’s also the reason why I left that employment, because I cannot be that: angry and mean, inferior and vindictive. I need to be who I am and who I aspire to be: loving, generous, honest and open.
The difference between myself and her is that I had to do what I had to do in defense of myself. She may also be working in self defense, but her defense is who she is. For me, that behavior is an aberration. I hope that is enough. I hope that the fact that I will use those tools, but not BE those tools is enough. To my very soul, I never want to lose who I think I am.