In chess, there is a strategy that arguably exceeds all other strategies. It is discussed in hushed whispers around the dark wood paneled chess halls. It is not for the meek or the faint-hearted. The Queens Gambit.
The Queens Gambit works like this: Player 1 seemingly makes a mistake… he exposes his Queen (his mightiest attack piece) to her death. Player 2 is left chuckling at the stupidity of his opponent and happily takes Player 1’s Queen of the board. What Player 2 doesn’t realize is that Player 1 WANTS for Player 2 to kill his Queen!
Player 2, by taking that Queen, has now left a chink in his strategy. The bait was so tempting, that Player 2 temporarily dropped his strategy to take it… but he/she forgot that it isn’t the killing of the Queen that wins the game, but the taking of the King.
Player 1 had calculated how Player 2 would weaken their strategy by attacking the Queen. Player 1 now proceeds to mop the floor with Player 2… and without the Queen.
Sometimes in life people say really bad things about me. Instead of reacting to their accusation, I try to instead keep marching on. This non-response serves to embolden my opponent. After all, if I didn’t defend myself, that must mean that I’m guilty!
The opponent will continue accusing me and get louder and louder. They become so confident that they have me by the short and curlies that it becomes the whole of their strategy against me. They are killing my Queen.
Then one day, seemingly out of the blue and without any great flair, I cut their legs out from under them. I quietly tell them that in fact they are wrong and prove myself with evidence.
Even though I bring them the courtesy of telling them that they’re wrong in a quiet and dignified manner, they have loudly and proudly set all eyes upon themselves. Everyone is staring. My opponent has publicly decried me over a single issue for so long that when I take that from them, they shrivel up like a popped balloon.
In Judo, this is akin to letting your opponents great weight and size be used against them.
So the next time someone starts saying something nasty and untrue about you… attempt to suppress your reaction. Let them go on and on. Even if they stop talking about it, let it go for a while. Gather up your proof and evidence and hold it to your chest.
Then one day, out of the blue and publicly, calmly and with grace let your opponent know that they had it all wrong from the start. When/if they ask you why you didn’t correct them before, shrug and say something akin to “you seemed like you were having fun telling everyone”, or “I’m not overly concerned with what you think of me”. This is not only a brutal coupe de grace to your opponent, but it also serves as a cautionary tail against the next time they want to degrade you 🙂