Tuesday, August 7, 2018

My most recent detractor

It's been a while, but could I have forgotten how exhausting it is have a person close to you that despises you? A person who uses every utterance, measures your comings and goings and categorises everything once discussed when you were friends?

After I sat through a 45 minute diatribe the other day I had been given plenty of free character assessments. Many of the criticisms where just, others were simply wrong, but the most hurtful where the ones where my detractor didn't know what on earth he was talking about.

I was accused of short-changing my students in my university teaching but the guy has nothing at all to do with university teaching. He took a quote of mine "I give them the answers in the exam; how on earth can they fail?" and took it to mean that I simply phone it in.

I have close to a thousand students a year - from school leavers through Chinese postgraduates to middle and senior SA managers who are likely to disagree. And a few detractors.

As I come off a pair of super engaged one-on-one meetings where one of them gave me a spontaneous hug on leaving (I'm not a huggy type) I can honestly say this to my detractor:

"Spend a bit of time looking inwards before you start trying to find too much fault outwards"

Or is that the problem - you looked at yourself and it scared you? Never mind - we all get that, too. And I'll introduce you to the rest of the club of my detractors. They're mostly good people - I think you'll like them. And at least you'll have a conversation starter.