Are you Really Whom You Project Yourself to Be?

I had a fascinating Negative encounter with someone on Twitter; someone whom I was following (emphasis on “was”) who wasn’t following me.  Now this man has been in the sales training/coaching/speaking business for a long time, has a successful business with a long list of accomplishments, including over 20,000 Twitter followers.  That’s a lot of followers, folks; I’ve got about 200 at this point.  I’d been following him because a number of other people whom I admire not only follow him, it’s obvious they hold him in high esteem.  So much so that I thought this is a man I’d like to get to know.  The best part of this new “retirement” career of mine is all the wonderfully supportive people I’ve made friends with.  Anyway, if you have your scorecards ready, pencil me in as the raw rookie juxtaposed to the mighty Joe DiMaggio.  From everything I’ve read, DiMaggio was just as surly and sarcastic as my Twitter guy, whom I’ll call Joe.

It all started with a tweet of Joe’s: “Stop what you’re doing immediately and think of one thing you’re doing well and give yourself a round of applause!”

I thought it was a great tweet and decided to tweet back in equal portions of humor and seriousness: “May I take a bow, too?”  [That was the humor part; here comes the serious stuff.]  “Just kidding.  Terrific idea!  Not just about business, either; being a husband, father, & friend, too.”

Joe came back with this: “You sure can take a bow…Ladies and gentlemen, the great Robert Terson!  How’s that for an opportunity to take a bow?”

I’m a bit stunned.  Is this guy ribbing me or being sarcastic? I wonder.  Admittedly, I can be pretty thick about these things: I’m always looking for the best in people.  I ask myself, Why would he take an intended positive comment and go sarcastically negative on me?  It didn’t make sense.  I took another look at my tweet.  Did I screw up?  Was my intended humor out of line?  If it was, I couldn’t see it.

I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt: “Actually, that’s a bit more than my sense of humor had in mind, but…I’ll choose to take it as YOUR sense of humor in action.”

Joe comes back with this: “Whatever works for you.”

Well!  Now this thick-headed senior citizen knows for sure that this Guru of Gurus is indeed being sarcastic.  I spent five minutes debating whether or not to send off one final reply before I clicked him out of my world.  Alas, I couldn’t resist.

“One thing, besides lack of a sense of humor, which doesn’t work for me is gratuitous sarcasm.  Makes me roll my eyes in wonder.”

Not a peep from Joe.

Click!  Goodbye, Joe.  With over 20,000 followers, folks, I doubt Joe is going to miss me much.

Immediately I visualized a blog and here I am typing away.  The point I want to make is this: Joe projects himself as a positive guy; no doubt he believes that about himself.  But I ask you, What’s positive about taking an intended supportive comment and turning it into a negative?  This is a man who teaches win-win, yet went out of his way to create a lose-lose.  Obviously I rubbed the man the wrong way, but c’mon, even if I was out of line, which I don’t think I was, Do his actions comport with the image he projects of himself?  Hardly.

Maybe he was having a bad day; we all do.  Maybe someone who doesn’t like me caught his ear, his judgment was clouded by that, and BOOM—he let loose.  The “maybes” are endless.  The bottom line is that we all should be careful before we p— on someone for no good reason.  More than likely, it’ll say more about us than the guy we’re attacking.

The next time you’re tempted to throw a gratuitous cheap shot at someone, keep that in mind.