So, they’re all going to the wine bar again this lunchtime. You hate that. You hate the smoke, the noise, the inane chatter about last night’s TV.
But do you tell them this? No, you do not. You need to be one of the crowd – blend in. You need them to think you’re there, in spirit if not in body, without actually being there. Easy. You get out of it by saying you have to do some shopping, visit a friend, go to the gym.
Don’t disapprove of the way they spend their lunch break – this will make them think of you as an outsider. Nor do you tell them you’re staying in the office to catch up on some work – they will think you a creep. But it is fine to say you are going to do some shopping and then find somewhere nice to park up in your car with a soft drink and a decent sandwich – and your laptop. You can get all that extra work done but you don’t have to let them know.
Don’t tell them that you think drinking at lunchtime is unhealthy and unproductive – tell them you’ll be along in a bit and to carry on without you – ‘get one in for me’. This way the lunchtime crowd will accept you as ‘one of them’ without you ever having to be one. You will be accepted if you don’t disapprove.
Or perhaps they all go bowling together on a Tuesday evening. No, you don’t say ‘but bowling is for geeks isn’t it?’ Instead, you can say, ‘ah, Tuesday evenings? That’s my night to take my mother to the cinema I’m afraid’. Or how about you swallow your pride, your standards, and your disapproval – and actually go. Who knows, maybe you’ll have fun. But you will blend in and you won’t show that you disapprove of your colleagues. Smart move.
How others spend their leisure time, their money or their lives is no concern of yours. The smart mover concentrates on their own path and ignores the route others choose to take. Keep focused on where you are going and ignore anything others are up to. By ignoring it is easier to stop making judgments. If you make judgments you categorize yourself and thus make it much more difficult to be flexible and to move easily from situation to situation. By judging others you, in turn, get pigeon-holed yourself – not a good place to be.