Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It’s been a slow realization. But no less shocking for the gentle way it has hit me.

But I have enemies.

People who don’t like me. People who snipe about me behind my back. People who plot and talk and actively seek opportunities to bring me down.

Some of you may shrug. Some of you may live and work in environments where this is the norm. Some of you may have immured yourself in a den of poisonous vipers so long ago that you now see such acid writhing as part and parcel of normal existence. Living with daggers aimed at your back is as normal as the sunrise.

For me it is a relatively new thing.

Up to a few years ago I considered myself to be someone who operates as peaceably and as harmoniously with my surroundings as possible. I naturally gravitate towards peace and appeasement. I don’t like making waves or being in the midst of stormy seas. Life is too short to contend with such unnecessary stress.

Over the last few years though I have slowly awoken to the fact that I exist alongside those whose methods of behaviour and operation are diametrically opposed to mine; opposed to my sense of right and wrong. This fundamental opposition alone, I suppose, has drawn the line in the sand for me and for them. Mistrust grows fat on itself and is forever hungry and whines its complaints to both sides.

It is not a nice environment to find yourself living in. I don’t relish it. I don’t feed off it as others do.

But I have amazed myself by surviving. By weathering the various storms that my enemies have regularly blown up for me.

And it has had a curious effect. I am no longer scared. No longer scared to stick my head above the parapet. No longer scared to stick with what I think is right even in the face of opposing demands. They have done their worst and I am still here. I am still me.

More than that I have discovered that I have a loyal support network around me to combat these cowardly would-be assassins.

It might shock my enemies to learn that there is no sniping, no bitching, no plotting that they have ever undertaken that I have not known about and not known who the authors were.

People talk. People snipe. But mostly they talk and snipe about those who do the talking and the sniping.

My response is and always will be to carry on as normal. To live to the best of my abilities and to work as professionally as I can. Dignity does not care if we like someone or not or if we are liked or not. It merely demands a certain mode of behaviour.

We sell our dignity down the river at a cost only to ourselves.

To my enemies then, I say this: carry on as you are; smile to me, offer fake camaraderie whilst badmouthing me behind my back. I know who you are and every word that you say.

When I smile back at you it isn’t because I like you or wish to appease you. Not anymore.

It is because you cannot touch me. It is because, really, genuinely, you do not matter.



Dicky Carter said...

I wanted to cut and paste the last 2 paragraphs of your post into my FB bio: excellent stuff.

Steve said...

Dicky: thank you. Feel free to cut and paste away!

Löst Jimmy said...

Alas, a common feature of my previous workplace. A terrible environment where grudge, gurning and goading was king.

Fuck 'em all, if you excuse my French

Gorilla Bananas said...

Yes, enemies are best ignored unless they confront you directly, but some of us have bosom enemies. You should never ignore a bosom enemy because that's being a spoilsport.

Keira said...

Nice work, I am really glad to be 1 of several visitants on this awful site : D

Katriina said...

That is all.

Suburbia said...

Sounds an unenviable working environment.

libby said...

Fulk'em...(saw you at Trish's)and carry on as you are.

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: you have restored my joie de vivre.

Gorilla Bananas: I misread that as bosomy enemies. Is it possible to have bosomy enemies? Alas, I suspect it is.

Keira: so terrible to have you here! ;-)

Katriina: ta.

Suburbia: it's an unenviable environment no matter where one encounters it.

Steve said...

Libby: do hope fulking makes it into the next Oxford dictionary.

Between Me and You said...

My God, Laddie, that was spectacularly rousing! Almost expected you to finish with 'We shall fight them on the beaches' and a blast of 'Jerusalem' to boot!Don't worry about the perpetrators....they'll get their day.

Steve said...

Nana Go-Go: never in the history of blogging conflict has so much been written by so few...!

the fly in the web said...

I think it is while you are thinking the 'enemy' as normal people that their spite is hurtful.

When you realise that they are dross, not on your level, then their spite doesn't matter.

But to get from stage A to stage B you need the support of friends.
You clearly have plenty.

Steve said...

The fly in the web: both real and in the virtual world. Thank you.

AGuidingLife said...

This sort of behaviour sits in many worlds:work, social media circles and sadly even some familes. I would like to sit in the dignity camp with you if I may.

Steve said...

Kelloggsville: certainly. There is, alas, plenty of space.

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Your last line is very poignant for me at the moment. Don't let the bastards grind you down.

John Going Gently said...

you know, the older I get, the more enemies I make.... I think its a product of being
more confident
less tolerant
and in some ways
not giving a shit!
people I like and love that think ill of me upset me like a teenager
people I dont like
well they can think what they like
f*ck em!

tee he

Steve said...

Very Bored in Catalunya: I know; I was thinking of you a little as I wrote this.

John: "its a product of being
more confident, less tolerant". Yup. Absolutely hit the nail on the head.

Owen said...

Well said, good sir... stand tall... never let the bastards wear you down.

Sad to observe that we live in an acid world, toxic people all over the place. The trick is to avoid them, or neutralize them, or ignore them. You are right, they don't matter.

Vicky said...

Ignore your enemies and they will soon become bored with you and move on....

Steve said...

Owen: we need some kind of alkaline agent or maybe just some yeast. I'm never sure which.

Vicky: as a rule, I have to say, that does generally work. But it can take months to work.

Unknown said...

Go Steve! Go Steve! Go Steve! You tell them! Thumbs Up! (again) :)

London City (mum) said...

Stevie - you are the genuine article. In more ways than one. Their loss (certainly not yours!) for being so shallow and insignificant.


Keith said...

With great age comes great wisdom.

And if they do it again, set me on to them. I'll bite 'em, I will. I will.

Steve said...

Hannah: thank you for you upraised thumbs.

LCM: that's an endorsement and a half. Thank you muchly.

Keith: hope your gnashers are nice 'n' sharp!

Nota Bene said...

As soon as there's more than two people in a building, there's an enemy to be ignored...

Steve said...

Nota Bene: so true.

Being Me said...

Sing it, ...bearded... sister!

I'm the opposite to you: I was clued up very early on and my education continued (I was mercilessly bullied and jabbed at, sometimes even by 'loved ones') until I was forced to draw a line in 2004 and say 'no more'. Imagine how useful these types would be if they put that power to GOOD, positive use. Never ceases to amaze me that they choose the negative (and seem unaffected by it... but they're not, they never are completely).

Steve said...

Being Me: sister? Now I know I have finally made it! And you're right about people never being unaffected. Karma gets everybody in the end.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Brilliant words and so true. I have also learned not to be too bothered about people not liking me.

Their loss!

And most of it is surely jealousy anyway as they realise they'll never be as nice as me. Or as talented. Or as modest... ;- )

Steve said...

Laura: I'm one of the precious few brilliant people around who acknowledge all you have said as true but am still brilliant enough to like you. ;-)