Dear Dr. Archer,
I need some psychological advice on so called 'two-faced' people. They keep coming back and forth into my life for some reason!
After many efforts -- painful efforts -- I had to endure in order to be appreciated in my home country, I’m now fighting against jealousy from colleagues and fighting the sabotage of my plans by my superiors.
I was finally beginning to relax, feeling that I managed, and thinking that with my patience and perseverance, everybody was my friend -- even my enemies liked me. How naive I was!
Yesterday I had a joint project with someone who had fought against me in the past, but gradually after four years, he had become my friend, and finally appreciated me for what I am and what I can do in my job.
At the same project a nasty other person was participating, as well. That person openly expressed his jealousy and hatred for me, by criticizing me in front of others, trying to make me feel beaten up and inferior, trying to break my confidence, but I always resisted and he did not really harm me.
I heard those two talking because I was in a waiting room, and they were in the corridor, unaware I was just behind a closed door. I heard the first person tell the second that he wants to give him a great promotional project.
This is a project I specifically asked him to give me two years ago, and he told me he wouldn't give it to anyone else. Now I heard from his own mouth him offering the project to this other person -- who by the way is far inferior to me in the company rankings, as well as in real ability. This is not to mention the ranking of his character.
There it was. A two-faced person; I heard it with my own ears. Something broke inside me, instantly. Since then, I look at him, and I no longer feel like smiling.
I could never expect he would prefer to help a creepy person, yet he did. He looks so ugly in my eyes now. Two-faced people are the worst, don't you think? The disappointment is huge.
I guess very few people can stand the test of who is really a true friend....
Before I talk about human nature and friendship here’s what you must do in this situation. First, think about the project and write down a list of ideas on how you would do it.
Then schedule a time with your boss to discuss the new project. Tell him that you have several ideas. Talk it over and tell him you are ready to get started. Make him tell you that he has chosen someone else and then tell him that you were promised the job and are very disappointed.
Two good things may happen here: One he may have been lying to the other person and give it to you. Two, after hearing your ideas he may change his mind and give it to you. No matter what, you will be confronting him, holding him accountable for his words and will get to hear his rationale.
Even if it doesn’t help this time it may help in the future. Also, even if you don’t get it let him know that you are available if need be. After that, you’ll have to drop it, but good luck; it may work out yet.
There is an old saying, "One who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure". Unfortunately, Marcia, human nature is human nature. A real friend is considered a precious treasure because they're so hard to find. Unfortunately, there are many people who say one thing, yet do another. Never forget that actions speak louder than words.
There's nothing you can do about human nature, Marcia, but there is something you can do about yourself. I realize you were disappointed beyond words as a coveted project was given to somebody else. Do not let it get you down. Keep your morals and your principals as a beacon to follow in how you act and how you treat others.
There's another saying, this one by Doug Larson, "A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your success." Be careful; there will often be those who want to move ahead, and will do so at any cost; these are not friends.
The fact is, Marcia, there are honest, hard-working good people in all walks of life. They're out there, so always give everyone the chance to prove their worth; in other words, don't assume everybody is two-faced, because there are many, many, many good people in the world.
It's just the bad ones receive all the attention! As for yourself, be true to yourself and be the sort of friend you would like to have. Don't be two-faced yourself.
Do your best at work; it will pay off one day. I know it's difficult, but don't hold grudges -- it will only hurt yourself in the long run. Smile, smile, smile, and be nice and kind. If you do this, you will come out the winner. If you can't, you'll become even more miserable.
Very, very few people can pass the test of who is a real friend, Marcia, you are so right about that. However, once they're found, they're priceless. And they're worth all the trouble you went through to find them. Take care.