For example, I played a trick on someone where I made him look foolish for a short period of time. I was with some friends, and we concocted a plan to fool this manager (at another store in a company I worked for) into believing in an impossible product by just having "random people" (my friends) come in and ask for it. It worked pretty well, and for an hour, I had him going mental trying to figure out why all these people kept coming in for this product. At the end of the hour, I let him in on the joke. Bwah! Nothing big. But he got mad. Apparently REAL mad. I didn't know he could take what I considered a "harmless joke." He thought I was out to make a fool of him, like I had some deeper plan. So he reacted by an even more massive joke, but it was poorly thought out. He convinced me that I sold something used in a murder by first sending in a scary guy to buy the item (a knife), then a few days later, pretended to be the police, stating that I sold what later turned out to be a murder weapon (of a real crime in the papers). I was in trouble now! Trouble was... I didn't know it was a prank. He had no "release," so I let my management know (he didn't tell them), and then I called the police back (not knowing they never called me in the first place), and then when the law got involved (they were desperate for leads on this case, the real murder, I mean), hilarity ensued! When the manager finally let on in a panic it was a joke, he had pissed off our company, pissed of the law, and basically made himself look so stupid that he basically ruined his reputation. He could have ended the prank when he had his friend pretend to be the police with me thinking I sold a murder weapon, and then when I got all scared, said at the end of the call, "Ha ha! Joke! Pbtbththth!" I mean, HOW he pulled the beginning off was GREAT, I mean I had no idea! But he didn't think it through.
I don't get fucked over very much. I think the last big thing was the whole BBS-that-shall-not-be-named thing back in 1998. Before that, in 1992, some meddling wench tried to break up my marriage as an attention getter. Before that... I dunno, people I knew then were in their teens and early 20s, and I can't really hold them to stuff they did back then. But I did learn one of the best, and most valuable lessons ever:
People who fuck you over, like do something really evil ... always fuck themselves over in the end.
You don't have to do a damn thing. It took me a while and a WHOLE lot of patience to come to this conclusion. For example, the girl who tried to break up my marriage by claiming to everyone I wanted to sleep with her, did this to a LOT of people, and soon, had no friends. I also could have gotten counter-revenge with that manager, but why? He was badly burned by his own handiwork. Two companies that fired me because they got someone cheaper were BOTH robbed by the person who replaced me.
I used to think this was magic or karma of some kind. But, really, there's a lot of logic behind this. First off, you should admit you can never control anyone. You can't control what they feel and do, they have to LET you control them. But you can control yourself. So if someone pisses you off, the best thing to do is change what you do when interacting with this person. The most obvious is to back off. Those who take basic Judo know this "You push I pull" type of principle, by letting the energy of your opponent work FOR you, and all you do is redirect the leverage. You can also just assume that you have accepted their behavior. Like I know some of my friends will flake for parties or are make up stories about stuff, but I can plan around that. I don't even get mad anymore, because everyone's got some quirk; no one is perfect. But I feel that way because I changed myself, not them. I have to go on.
Sometimes it's not easy. Sometimes you are fuming because some jackass did something so stupid and selfish, you just want to find them and beat the crap out of them. The most common way this backfires is that the jerk will play the hapless victim. I mean, if they got you fired at work because they were an ass and blamed it on you, and you go to their house and beat the living daylights out of them, you'll feel good only for a short while until the cops arrive. He might even claim he doesn't know you, and that you followed him home to mug him or something. "Save me from that bad man," he'll say, because remember, you already knew he was a liar. Nothing is EVER a liar's fault to a liar. So who are the cops going to believe? Yeah, the guy bleeding all over the carpet. What if you get out of control, and push the guy down the stairs where he breaks his neck and dies? Damn ... now you are in some REAL trouble. But if you just do nothing, maybe you'll feel like your honor has been compromised, or that "he got away with it, the little bastard!" Yes, let him have his victory. Get another job, and move on with your life. That guy is going to get his soon enough because his type of behavior encourages others to harm him. Soon, you'll forget about him, or maybe he'll just be reduced to an anecdote. I can't even remember the names of the guys who bullied me in high school anymore. Most of them grew out of it, moved on, or got expelled. The longer time passes, the less important their actions seem to become. You just have to be patient. Or forgetful.
When I was studying Buddhism, I learned that vengeance itself is a weakness. It represents the unresolved. What the person really wants to the actual memory of the event erased in himself and others. Instead of resolving the conflict from within, they seek to eliminate the evidence that it ever happened. They are being controlled by external forces, which means they have lost control of part of themselves, and an enemy can take advantage of that. If you think about it, we're all manipulated by our weaknesses: fear, uncertainty, doubt, and insecurity. We often give power to things in our life that don't deserve it. I know I do, and I work a lot to try and solve this. Life's too short to worry about vengeance like a character in a Kurosawa film.
Avoiding revenge is one less thing I have to worry about.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000248.html