– What not to do?

When ripped off, deceived or given ‘the run-around’ many people make the mistake of just getting getting very upset and either (a) internalising this (and doing nothing) or (b) inappropriately attacking or angrily abusing those concerned (sending nasty messages or confronting directly and offensively with only generalised accusations). Either such response can readily fall into the trap of the kind of response those acting in bad faith are usually ready to capitalise on – especially as the response of those who tend to ‘blow off steam’,  take a merely negative stance of complaint, and/or are easily diverted or obstructed in various ways which accelerated the chances that they will ‘just give up’. And as everyone knows, too much habitual acquiescence is ultimately demoralizing (as well as encouraging the crooks, the bullies and the disingenuous of all shades) and too much  ‘impotent anger’ as well as stress is also a danger to long-term physical and mental health.

Complaining can be therapeutic but additionally more constructive or at least more strategic responses are needed. This depends on the situation of course and who or what is being challenged. But as a rule or ‘default strategy’, if you must confront someone then you should do this around evidence or facts and with questions seeking to clarify further the situation (rather than with aggressive accusations per se – at least until you are sure about this). Therefore you should try to develop at least a working or provisional plan and strategy before engaging people either face-to-face or by emails and other forms of indirect communication and due process (where available).

Even more so than typical government bureaucrats, insurance companies and corporate customer services (etc) tend to have a ‘secret policy’ which should give heart to those want to stand up and challenge an unfair situation. This is the instruction or understanding that they should try to avoid extended battles with ‘difficult people’ or at least the ‘wrong people’ – especially those who have a deep and genuine grievance. Anyone can drastically become more effective by responding  to unfair situations in ways which indicate to others that that they are not going to easily give up (persistence being a central key), that they won’t default to self-indulgent and self-destructive responses such as inappropriate abuse, and that they are likely to go to some trouble to implement a plan of thoughtful response. Even if an explicitly successful outcome is not likely or not achieved, a ‘moral victory’ can still be meaningful, – especially when it involves making sure that anonymous attacks, gossips or similar machinations are exposed one way or another.

As we like to put it, the hunted can become the hunter or, to use a related metaphor, someone who also ‘goes fishing’ in reply. Calm, focused and persistent efforts to devise an effective plan of response and collect evidence or related support to achieve this can produce many unexpectedly productive as well as regular outcomes or direct benefits. The links below will explain further and will be developed further with some relevant examples