The Underside

Our first impulse is to try to stop people’s unpleasant behavior. But when you think about it, often the things that bother us can be more beneficial than the niceties we seem to want so badly. When people are:

—rude or disrespectful:

They underestimate you. A wonderful gift.


You won’t have to apologize when you make an example out of them.

—overly critical:

Managed expectations.


Make your accomplishments seem all the more effortless.

—For all behaviors that provoke an immediate negative reaction.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.