61 – If Someone Gives You a Test, Keep It

Don’t let people toy with you. This is about respecting yourself. Cultivate a reputation that people who want toys will become toys if they try to play with you.

Of course, there is a time for fun and it is good chivalry to be hardy in friendship and jest in the staff lounge. But, at work and with truth, you are not a toy.

I once had a friend irritated at my self-confidence. So, he lied to me, and invented a false claim to attempt to disprove me—”just to see what I would do” as he explained five minutes later. And, he found out what I would do. I have never had a meaningful conversation with him since.

If someone plays “devil’s advocate” with you, treat him like the devil’s advocate: Send him to Hell; make the conversation painful enough that he wished it would end. Call him “Satan” and tell him to get out of your way before you trip; that’s what Jesus did when Peter played.

The easiest way to combat someone who makes up tests just to toy with you is to take them absolutely seriously all the way to the end. This works much like shoving the stick farther into the dog’s mouth to make him want to release it, or grabbing the punch that comes your way and pulling the arm to keep it going.

As you progress in your life, people will criticize you and, when that doesn’t work, they will invent hypotheticals, all the while hoping to offer you some kind of “benefit”.

Real situations need real facts to treat them. Take all hypotheticals seriously: “That’s a hypothetical and I won’t speculate on it. And, frankly you shouldn’t ask me to.”

“But, what if you were talking to someone else?” they protest.

Practice these words: “I’m talking to you and you should be present with me.”

Whenever someone calls you a name, wear it like armor. Quote it everywhere, never let them forget the nickname they made for you.

If someone decides to become your self-appointed examiner and give you a test, take it, but don’t give it back. Whatever anyone gives you becomes your permanent property.