JOYkwondo

The Martial Art of Joy

Day 20: Dealing with Bullies and Difficult People

“You have very little morally persuasive power with people who can feel your underlying contempt.”

—- Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Training Exercise

The training exercise for today is gutsy. Today, you are going to kill someone with kindness. Welcome to your first JOYkwondo battle.

I want you to entertain somebody who is difficult in your life. Do something unexpectedly nice for someone who rubs you the wrong way (and probably knows it). Buy them something random from the store and tell them it was something you thought they might like. Take them out to lunch or for drinks. Invite them along for some bowling or golf.

You can get as extravagant as you’d like with this, but don’t feel the need to go overboard. THE MOST IMPORTANT PART is that you be genuine. Don’t act sarcastic or bitter the whole time. They CAN’T KNOW how you really feel about them right now! They already think you don’t like them, so it doesn’t favor you in this battle to prove to them what they already know. The real power comes when you prove them wrong, and they realize you’re actually pretty gosh-darn fantastic!

You may not see the result right away. Don’t feel discouraged if, at the end of the encounter, they still act hostile toward you. You’ve still planted a seed, and you can rest assured it did something to them, whether they show it or not. Something is crumbling and is being destroyed. Don’t expect their unpleasant personality to change if it’s just naturally who they are. But keep an eye on their behavior toward you as time progresses. I think you’ll like this new superpower of yours.

Write about your JOYkwondo battle in the comments section, and be sure to include a testimonial of your victory. Remember to keep a copy of your report in your portfolio for yourself. Also, don’t forget to write your Joy Journal entry for the day!

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