someone asked me a year ago “how do you tend to deal with difficult people who have power over you?” over email, and my response is embarrassing as always but still relevant today:
february 6, 2012
i am hopelessly irreverent. m used to be genial in situations and then tease me/wanna be me for being all “i don’t give a fuck.” the truth is that i sort of play with fire. meaning that i’m honest when people mistreat me / exercise a power dynamic all over me and i don’t do fake well. even if that only means silence, but blank-faced and knowing.
i “talked back” (b hooks) to the head chef one sunday brunch on account of his being extremely rude and domineering. he called me into “the office” and we sat down. he’s a very tall young guy with an imposing figure - strikingly attractive - and i’m sorta little but m used to tell me i have a lion’s shadow. like the kind of person who doesn’t really seem short. once the door was closed, he tried to begin a conversation about what’d happened, i was bold, and he immediately became less able to form sentences. he was intimidated because i was flatly honest and because when those things happen, i’m sort of pushed by a nonchalance that comes from being turned off. he hasn’t talked to me like that since.
i guess i deal with difficult people who have power over me by seeing if we are actually compatible. and the exploitative nature of the relation making it one with which i am not often compatible, it is rare, if possible at all. so this means that i am often willing to leave. and that i do.
another option is to do fun / freeing things out of their eyesight? and/or mock them in conversation (which these types overwhelmingly seem oblivious to). make yourself laugh. i started a series of drawings mocking work - drawn at work.