As you become more successful and established, you will encounter people who want to use your success against you. These are people you can’t win with. The more successful you are, the more your time is worth. If these people can waste your time, in their minds they win.

A person you can’t win with will learn what your goals are and present themselves as someone who is useful toward these goals. They may even help you some in the early going but this is simply to buy some of your attention. When some trust has been established, the person will begin to undermine you. The moment you broker negotiations with the person to make the relationship work better for both parties, the person will act like a victim. Somehow your success has harmed them. You become a successful person by caring about and filling the needs of others, so naturally this has to be used against you. Whatever your goal, whether it is professional, political, or personal, this person will make themselves the customer service experience from hell.

The reason I call these people “people you can’t win with” is for two reasons:

A) So long as this person is associated with you, you will be hampered in achieving your goals.

B) When you engage this person directly, they engage in sophistry and never look for win-win outcomes.

Since these losers make themselves out to be victims, it is important to have clarity on the sequence of events they claim aggrievement over. Every single time it is because they didn’t like something you said. It is that simple. They had parents who didn’t let them win, attacked them for their opinions, and kept them in an intellectual cul-de-sac. They’ll do the same to you, if you give them the power. These are people that never: won an MVP trophy, won a debate (by independent arbitration), won the talent show, lost the weight, lifted the weight, got the blue ribbon, sold out the show, placed best in show, and so forth. They never experienced the sweetness of triumph and so they will deny you your triumph as their consolation prize.

The reassuring thing about becoming successful is that success is a greater teacher than these losers ever could be. You can never heal all the resentful ouchies these people carry around with them. It’s not about you. It’s about their own smallness. They’re not ready to grow out of something that you have already. Carry on with your life’s fulfillment and disassociate yourself from these people so that others know you want nothing to do with them. Look to greatness and leave petty resentments far in the rearview. Success is contagious but so is being a loser. Take care to cultivate greatness in your circles.

What a different world we would have if we listened to those who tried to convince us of the greatness of others, instead of listening to those who attempt to convince us of the smallness of others!