Trolling Protocol

While it may be hard to over-value personal responsibility, it’s definitely easy to overlook and even easier to ignore.

If this exchange feels all-too-familiar, then, you’ll know a little about what I’m talking about:

via Dilbert

Pointy-haired Boss tells Capable Employee that he’s doing a poor job. Capable Employee blames Pointy-haired Boss’s new employee. Pointy-haired Boss decides to plead ignorant while Capable Employee activates trolling protocol.

Rinse and repeat until some other distraction becomes more important than this one.

We all have “programs” that a run consistently in our lives when certain situations arise – these protocols sometimes run silently, in the background, always aware and ready to be activated.

Some of these programs are useful while many of them are reactionary, built to inform or protect us from harm. While a few of them might be automatically (and outwardly) antagonistic, most of them are simply designed to minimize the harm that may come to oneself and any of the resulting collateral damage.

We want to be “fine” just as the next person wants to be “fine” – if we can just make it to the end of the day with only a few, minor irritations, then, we’ll be just fine.

But the truth is that there is something fundamentally broken with us, a native trolling protocol that is buried deep within ourselves that wants us to never forget of our own failings, our limited skill(s), and pokes and prods us, reminding us that we’re both desperately inadequate (and that we’ll never be happy) and insecure.

Consequently, personal responsibility can often times be the first thing to exit the proverbial building: “I’m so broken that I can’t possibly do what you’re asking me to do and so I simply will not try.” Instead, we’ll find someone to blame or, at the very least, stand in our place for a hot minute.

You see, we’re all equally broken; the specifics may simply differ. We’re all just trolling each other, working against our own highly-curated and engineered trolling protocol.

But, if you can find the strength to get help, to admit that you’re effectively powerless to create the change that you desperately want to experience via your fundamental programming, then you’ll have a real shot at re-engineering (and perhaps retiring, once-and-for-all) your trolling protocol.

Therapy, counseling, and community will be necessary components:

But first, you’ll have to reflect on the fact that you’re not that special, which might be a requirement far too demanding for some folks.