The Problem With Being a Suck Up
The brown-noser.The behind-kisser.The groveler.
You know who I’m talking about.
There’s always one, isn’t there?
There’s always some unfortunate dude or lady at work or amongst your friends who thinks their ticket to success or inclusion is to suck up to any and everyone whose position they envy – beyond what is necessary or appropriate; beyond what their pride or integrity should allow.
Soulless losers with no opinions or spine of their own.
You know… the ones you hate, the ones you can’t stand, the ones that kinda make you puke inside JUST a little bit.
Or, maybe it’s YOU.
You think pretending you share some group’s lame interests shows your similarities. You think ripping on others LIKE you to those NOT shows your strengths against their weaknesses. You think doing your bosses laundry when he has no right to ask shows your determination and willingness to do what it takes.
In today’s white-collar world, where competition is fierce and status means more and more, the temptation to become one of “them” – a total behind-kisser – is becoming stronger.
But why should you NOT do it? Why should you put yourself or career at risk to those who will?
Why be yourself when kissing-behinds is so easy and (maybe) so profitable?
1. People want it, but they don’t respect it.
People LOVE themselves. They LOVE hearing how awesome they are, because it makes them feel important and valued. It makes them feel good. We all do.
And so there’s nothing more awesome in the world to a person’s ego then some dude worshipping at their feet; who’d DO anything and SAY anything to feed the narrative in their minds that they’re so important or so powerful.
But do you think they RESPECT this person? Do you think they view them as equals?
Respect is something shared amongst those who’d have reason to respect each other. In the social pyramid of society, respect is lateral.
Worship, though, is only ever upwards.
Because people worthy of respect do NOT kiss behinds. And when you do so, you show your true place on that pyramid.
And it isn’t high.
2. You think it helps you, but it labels you.
You think by going above and beyond what is reasonably necessary or AT ALL expected will help you. You think it’ll win you favor or esteem in the eyes of those above you – so that when the boss is in search of someone to fill that new position, or when the social circle you’re trying to claw your way into needs another friend, they’ll come crawling to you – because you have so much in common, and speak so highly of them, and do so much for them.
And maybe they will.
But you will NEVER be an equal.
You’ll have won what you wanted, but received what you DIDN’T expect – that when you’re the behind-kisser for the INITIAL time you know a person, you’re expected to be the behind-kisser for the REMAINING time you know that person.
You are and remain – in their mind – the behind-kissing lesser person they can control and push around.
Your position may change. But your status does not.
3. Your pride and integrity are worth more than the salary you make or the “friends” you have.
When you think you’re less than others and behave as though you’re less than others, you BECOME less than others. You ARE less. You are nothing to them.
When you do every freaking thing they tell you to do, and tell them every freaking thing you THINK they wanna hear, you show nothing of your value. Only that you have none at all. Only that your Self means nothing to you and should, then, mean nothing to them.
But what is your pride worth? What is your integrity worth?
FAR more, I promise you, than any job you might get, or salary you may earn.
So GET the job. GET the friends. Get whatever you want from whoever you want.
But EARN it.
Get it because you’ve commanded their respect and they value you as You. Not because all they know of you, and all they remember of you, is that you eagerly bend a knee, to kiss their behind.
Because you don’t need to grovel, or suck up, or kiss behinds to get what you want in life.
Adam Alvarado is the founder of The Last Broken Home, where he writes about how the effects of our childhood and circumstances (our broken homes) create the messed up lives we now lead, and how to change it. You can be his bff on Facebook or stalk him on Twitter.
Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work. Be Brazen!