Those of you who can remember daydreaming about what life would be like once you got out on your own have probably realized that nothing really changes – except, now, you're always broke.
Often it seems as though high school never really ends. There are still the popular girls we love to hate, the jocks we enjoy mocking and the smart, socially awkward kids that we just feel bad for. That is, until they're making more money in one day than we make in a week.
The truth is, high school doesn't end; it just turns into something called "workplace politics." You can only put so many people in one place before they start competing and putting one another down in order to get where they want to be on the totem pole.
For every person who chooses to take the high road to success, there are 10 others waiting for the opportune moment to take that success away. Here are four ways you can stop the cycle:
Choose Your Friends Wisely
I have been involved in numerous situations where a colleague or friend has attempted to ride the wave of my success, or even take credit for it altogether. I dealt with it head-on at the time, but in hindsight, I wish I used more discretion in deciding with whom to share those aspects of my life.
Real friends will not only encourage and support you wholeheartedly, but will also be there when things don't work out the way you hoped.
The friends just hanging around to bask in the glory of your successes won't be there for you in tough times, and you'll regret letting them string you along. It remains true that surrounding yourself with the right company is the key to success.
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
No one likes a show off, and the same is especially true in the working world. Give credit to those who helped you get to where you are, and they're more likely to have your back in the long run.
Nailed that presentation? Thank your classmate who stayed up all night rehearsing it with you. Got that job offer you've been wanting? Thank those who encouraged you to not give up.
Finally scored a date with that hot guy at the bar? Thank your wing-woman for talking you up all night. Chances are, her prospects for the night are not looking nearly as promising after she's lured the creepy friend away from your guy.
Kill Them With Kindness
This is one of the most painful ways to deal with the people who bring you down. I say it's painful because many times, all you feel like doing is making people feel physical pain after they screw you over.
But trust me, a gradual and repetitive reminder of what an ass these people have been is going to be far better than a single slap in the face or kick to the groin.
Think of it as the Chinese water torture of social interaction. This method is also very effective in that it allows others to see what an ass that person is, as well. Just channel Gandhi for a little while, and I promise you won't regret it.
Watch Your Mouth
Now, I'm sure there are those of you out there who simply cannot keep a good secret quiet for very long. Maybe you're the kind of person who buys the best Valentine's gift ever for his or her significant other and ends up spilling the beans about it the same day, even though Valentine's Day isn't for another month.
Or perhaps you're the type of person who gets that promotion, even when you knew Bob wanted it so baldly, and you end up bragging about it to the entire office ... including Bob.
People don't enjoy this kind of behavior, and it sure as hell doesn't do you any favors.
If something positive happens in your life, that's great, but be sure to share it exclusively with those who matter. Asking for attention will only alert others to the fact that you may be more successful than they are, and will invite not-so-friendly competitors and free loaders.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It