Acting Like an Idiot Is Not Exactly a Good Way to Get Anywhere

It must be like 7-8 years since I last got upset over something work-related. Today, I unfortunately acted like an idiot.

I had a pretty heated conversation with one game developer and attacks were done back and forth. It was stupid, and definitely not a professional way to deal with issues. (I don’t have a clue what made me get into this verbal fight). At one point of the discussion I started using my brains, and stopped to think whadda heck is going on here? Why am I defending myself like this?

I’ve always told people that they don’t need to prove or defend themselves to anybody else. I really wondered how come I went into defensive mode. I seriously don’t understand this. The bottom line is that in life I do what I want in a way that’s hopefully as positive as possible, and if people don’t like what I’m doing then they don’t. It’s as simple as that. There’s no need to prove anything to anybody.

Anyway, I think I managed to positively contribute in the discussion in the end, and helped getting it back to the right track. I was still bit pissed off, but at least the war was over. I thanked him for his opinions and said he is experienced developer. I tried to find good points and admitted my own shortcomings in certain areas.

After saying bye, I started to think how I should treat with this person. I thought that if we’d talk more, we’d just run into more fights or somewhat negative attitudes. I wanted to make things right, because if we wouldn’t talk anymore it could leave a bad feeling about the incident.

I felt I was trapped: if I’d talk with him, it could probably lead into a new fight over something. If I would stop talking to him, I think there could be some bad feelings that would be harmful.

Then it struck to me…

If you act like an idiot, you can try make things okay by apologizing
I don’t know why I get into the fight in the first place, and I don’t know why I didn’t apologize earlier, but when I figured this out it all came clear to me. I would apologize my behavior, congratulate the other guy for his talent and wish him good luck.

And after that, I wouldn’t be seeking to discuss with him. In my opinion, there was fault in me, but I also think that our personalities or something might not match, so it’s perhaps better for both us to stay far away from each other.

By apologizing my behavior (and truly meaning it) I’m correcting things (hopefully), and I can move on. There’s no bad blood between us anymore (well, at least not on my side – of course I cannot be 100% certain what the other guy thinks) and there’s no reason for me to be defensive or prove something to him. End of story.

Man I feel like an idiot getting into stuff like this.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. It’s good to think about the ‘why’ though. In order to prevent the same outbursts in the future with possible other people. In my experience it is often miscommunication (on verbal or non verbal level) ;)

  2. yeah in fact later after “the heat of the moment” even if you do think og a great response, you don’t need to say it because you are no longer feeling funny.

  3. Its probabbly wise to avoid confrontation at most areas in your life.
    It could be on the road, or at workplace.
    I find myself many times thinking of a great idea or response, a few minutes or even a few hours after I was required for an answer or to think of something.
    So maybe in some times it is really better to delay your response, and take time to think of it, rather than speaking your mind immedietly.

  4. Hey, that reminded me about: “Don’t argue with an idiot. They will only drag you down to their level, and beat you by experience.” (although in this case it wasn’t about “he was idiot”, it was more like “we both acted in stupid way”. He also apologized his behavior, so all is fine now.)


  5. Well we always have bad days – the important thing is recognising it and putting it right, and stopping it from happening sooner (or at all) in the future.

    Here’s the thing, even if you believe you are right in your statements, it’s still possible to act like an idiot in putting those statements across – especially if you offend the other person (with accurate or inaccurate statements). If you ever loose your “calmness”, even if the other person is an idiot, then you’ve have gone wrong somewhere. Some Chinese saying I read the other day said “He who throws the first punch has admitted that they have lost the argument”. In fact I believe that if EITHER person throws punches then BOTH people have lost the argument, because it should really be a discussion not an argument. Even if the other person is punching you, it’s possible for you to still remain calm and deal with it by: walking away, letting them carry on so that they run out of steam (this one is funny), or saying the right thing to calm them down (this one is difficult).

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