Do you or someone you know suffer from bad credit? Have you felt the anger, frustration or resentment bad credit creates? I sure have. Why just today on the tennis court, bad credit sprung its ugly head once again. Doubt me, do you? Then read on!
We’re playing our third (and last) set. I’m paired with another lefty, somewhat older than me, but a semi-regular partner. We’re playing against two righties, one of whom is about my partner’s age and the other slightly younger than me.
My partner snags a hard forehand smash near the net and volleys a low shot near the feet of the younger guy. He is only able to wrist the ball into the net. He moans in frustration and begins a 30-second monologue about how poorly he hit the ball, how he has stunk all day, why he doesn’t like doubles, blah, blah, blah.
Apparently, my partner no longer existed. The shot he hit was so amazingly easy that he probably shouldn’t even have been on the court with the other three of us, other than we could no longer call it doubles with only three players.
Or, it’s just possible, perhaps, maybe, that the shot my partner hit was a darn good one. Great, in fact, considering both the force and angle of the attempted passing shot and his deft redirection to a spot his opponent was unable to return the ball.
That got me to thinking of how often on the tennis courts players don’t give credit. Oh sure, there are a few “nice serve” or “good shot” comments, but more often the players claim they missed the ball, they made a mistake, they stink, etc.
THAT got me to thinking how hard it seems to be for people everywhere to give credit. On the playing fields and in the workplace (perhaps even in the home, but my range of experience isn’t as wide there). Maybe it’s a competition thing. Whether you’re trying to win points or trying to win promotions or raises, it always seems like you’re in competition with someone.
I think the fallacy comes from some people mistaking giving credit to others as taking away credit from themselves. It’s (apparently) a difficult concept to grasp, but there are plenty of times you can do everything, I mean everything, right and still come up on the short end of the stick. My philosophy has always been “I can’t stand losing but I don’t mind getting beat”.
There were plenty of people more talented than me at my jobs. I didn’t get annoyed if they got promoted over me. Similarly, I want to win every time I’m playing tennis, but there are other players much better than me. It’s when I play poorly and lose or when I make mistakes that would cost me the promotion, that’s when I get annoyed.
Still, I have caught myself, in the fire of battle, getting mad at myself at missing a shot or making a bad decision that I thought (in hindsight) I should have done better. The key is catching myself and making sure, if it’s warranted, to give credit to my opponent (and conversely, stop beating myself up).
I loved giving credit to the people who worked with me and deserved it. I was thankful they were that good because it made my job easier (my problem at work was always my inability to keep quiet when people weren’t doing a good job. You can get away with some of that at the direct report level, but when its peers and above…eh, not so much).
So, yes, I am troubled by the growing bad credit problem today. Maybe I should talk about this with my fellow tennis players. I’ve hesitated because I thought the offenders wouldn’t care or change, but perhaps I’m not giving them enough credit.