It’s Not Me, It’s You! – The Bob Principle – Part Two

Read yesterday’s blog “It’s Not Me, It’s You! – The Bob Principle – Part One” first…

So what do you do if you have a Bob (it can be a female – so a Bobbie) in your life, someone who finds, creates, and spreads problems? Consider these suggestions:

1> Respond with a positive comment

When a negative person tries to drop a problem in your lap, respond with something positive. If the comment is about a situation, try to find the bright side. If it’s about a person, point out a positive trait you’ve observed.

2> Show your concern for someone being criticized

Anytime a person’s motives are being critiqued, the best thing is to give him the benefit of the doubt. No one should presume to know the heart of another person. That’s something only God can judge. Believe the best in others (and express that belief) unless the individuals prove otherwise to you personally.

3> Encourage steps towards resolution

Anytime someone brings you a problem he has with another person – and he hasn’t personally addressed the problem with the other person – he’s really engaging in gossip. And if you listen, you are too.

The best way to deal with gossip is to direct the complainer to talk to the person with whom he has an issue. Encourage him to meet one-on-one and work things out. And if he brings up the issue again, ask him point-blank: “Have you addressed this with him yet?” If the answer is no, refuse to discuss it or go with him and help bring reconciliation to the situation. 

4> Ask Bob to THINK before speaking

Not everyone will respond positively to your suggestions. But if you have a strong connection with Bob or you are in a position of authority with him, then ask him to THINK before he speaks using this acronym:

        • T – Is it true?
        • H – Is it helpful?
        • I – Is it inspiring?
        • N – Is it necessary?
        • K – Is it kind?

If he can answer yes to all of these questions, then it’s appropriate for him to proceed.

So, here’s a question: What if you are Bob?

I’ve written a lot about what to do if you have a Bob in your life. But, what is you are Bob? If you are not sure, ask yourself these questions:

        • Do I experience some kind of conflict every day?
        • Do people often rub me the wrong way?
        • Do bad things just naturally happen to me?
        • Do I have few friends and wish I had more?
        • Do I always seem to say the wrong thing?

If you answered yes to several of these questions, then you might be Bob (or Bobbie). If that’s true, remember the first rule of holes. When you’re in one, stop digging.

The first thing you have to do is to admit you’re Bob. The second is that you must want to change your lifestyle. 

Begin by following the guidelines above. Use the THINK questions before you speak. Try to see the positive in every situation. And ask people to hold you accountable for your attitude and actions. No one has to be a Bob forever.