I’m not sure it’s as much about understanding the negative consequences as it is about not caring. After all, this sort of behaviour is what gets you fake, groupies, validation and even job offers. The negative consequences don’t matter today.

We need to get better at asking why people are feeling this way and are seeking the external validation and attention that comes with bad behaviour.

In my experience, bad behaviour is an expression of pain and attacking whole groups has to do with the attacker’s own fear and insecurities. And, like it or not, we need to address those things.

The recent internal study at Google on successful teams hits the nail on the head by underlining the importance of psychological safety at work and this presents an opportunity for you, Yonatan Zunger, and Humu.

We live in a super-individualist world where we are expected to be perfect at work and not show any vulnerability at all, ever. This leads to creating an “other” to attack for displaying anything less than perfection because it’s easier than admitting that we’re not perfect.

It’s no wonder his message has found so many supporters.

The question is: what are we going to do about it?

My suggestion is that we need to teach people that:

  • The only validation that matters is internal and no amount of external validation (money, admiration, status etc) will fix that
  • Rejection is not a judgment on a person’s worth
  • Vulnerability is essential to building community and should not be feared or exploited
  • Perfection is an unattainable goal and chasing it is unhealthy. Accept yourself, warts and all, and team up with people who have complimentary skills instead
  • Happiness is an attitude, not a destination and can only be found within oneself