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Axios Finish Line: Jettison the jerks

Axios Finish Line: Jettison the jerks

This article originally appeared in Axios Finish Line, our nightly newsletter on life, leadership and wellness. Sign up here.

If I could undo one thing from the past 15+ years of running Politico and Axios, it’s this: indulging in bitterness over bad people or bad actions, Jim writes.

  • Why it matters: Every hour spent exacting revenge — or bemoaning bad values — is time not spent doing and building good things with good people.

Bitterness blows. Truth is, bad people do bad things — and nothing we can do will change them.

  • You win by doing the right things for the right reason — and ignoring the jerks, haters and narcissists.

It’s easy to get sucked into their negative energy. Here are a few hacks to avoid that:

  1. Just say no. Too many people are too timid to bluntly tell others when they are jerks or unacceptably negative. Draw — and state — boundaries. And when someone keeps crossing them…
  2. Crush the cancer. We choose our friends, colleagues and main interactions. Eliminate — or at least dramatically curtail — time with anyone who sucks life out of you.
  3. Be ruthlessly pragmatic. People very rarely change in dramatic ways. If someone is an ass over and over, stop wishing or thinking they’ll change. Chances are, an ass they shall forever be.
  4. Seek and savor the good ones. Most people are good, so marinate in positive relationships, at home and at work. Feed off that energy.

The big picture: One of the smartest things we did when we started Axios was to make a common vow to purge anyone with bad values and motives, regardless of talent.

  • It has made for a happier workplace — and life.

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