The People We Deal With

Once while Hadrian walked in the woods of a foreign country, a slave of his host ran out at him with a sword. He grabbed the man and took hold of him while he waited for the attendants who came to his aid. When it was established that the man was deranged, Hadrian asked that he be turned over to doctors and treated. And so the incident ended without the slightest agitation.

This is how we could all respond to the people who come at us. The passive aggressive rivals or snippy family members or bad friends. Hand them back over to their kind before anyone is harmed and move on. Understand that they are ill in their own way and only acting out the symptoms of their affliction, whatever it may be.

Soon enough, like Hadrian’s example, the reality of the threat will dissipate and all that will be left is the anecdote. If you can view it like that always, then there is no reason to be upset or shocked or rattled.

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.