Cajole and Flatter

“If you behave like a good boy, mummy will buy you a sweetie / Xbox / Play station.”

” If you don’t behave like I say, you can’t watch the football match.”

“Mummy likes it when you are good, see she has bought you some chocolates and let you stay up late.”

“If you meet your targets you will get a promotion.”

“If you don’t do this, I will have to circulate a public email to name and shame you into doing it.”

This mixture of cajoling, bribery, punishment and flattery, is not uncommon. It underlies much. Anyone at mid-level in an organisation might recognise this. For whatever reason people seem to need to be cajoled, persuaded or forced into doing their jobs and this includes “bosses”. The sense of personal responsibility, or impeccability even, is rare. Without a carrot or a stick, many simply will not budge.

This need to nag people, to hassle them or threaten them, into doing their jobs was a major factor in why I quit university all those years ago. I made a decision back then, I was not going to get drawn into a situation where I had to beg or nag self-important people to do their jobs, nor was I going to clean up after them like toddlers. In my world people need to be responsible / proactive. If someone does not get back to you quickly then it is a clear indicator that working with them is going to be an ongoing hassle. Life is way too short for hassle. This response time is one of the “tests” which I have remaining.

As part of my inquiry into why I seemed to offend people I got myself tested for Asperger’s and the psychologist was pretty sure that I did not have this.  {I can be too frank for the liking of some.} She thought that I might have an unrelenting standards schema. {I was recommended a book “Reinventing Your Life”, which is well worth a read.} So, I looked into this. If you put this schema in conjunction with entitlement / grandiosity schema in others there is an explanation for the frustration I felt. She commented that she could possibly help me with this putative schema of mine. I am happy with my standards and do not wish to change them. So that was the end of that.

If this need to be cajoled and persuaded is sourced in childhood conditioning as hinted at above, it runs deep. There are also and lot of “little emperors” and “princesses” out there. Because of it, people miss out on a whole lot. And with some people unless you flatter them or otherwise butter them up, they won’t listen to you. In boarding school this was called brown nosing, elsewhere arse licking. It is a strange old world.

Here are some questions pertaining:

Do I have to be flattered, nagged, cajoled or otherwise persuaded before I will do anything?

Do I have to be threatened in order to move?

Have I ever simply done something because it was impeccable so to do?