How to Deal with People Who Undermine Your Skills

We are living in a dark period, for sure. I totally understand Britain is going through a difficult time right now. But I had been looking for a job – any job, to be honest – since early this year. As a content writer and journalist with LOTS of experience in writing online, it has been a pain to go back to the market. The only reason I can imagine is that I don’t work for a corporation since 2018. And it looks like having a name on a badge and 35 managers above you makes a lot of difference.

Funny to say that my freelance meanless job paid me enough money in four years to afford – by myself- to live and make a deposit on my first mortgage application.

However, I had lots of different feedback on current interviews. I totally understand there are plenty of people trying the same lucky job application you are going for. But the truth is that what scares me most isn’t the job-hunting game.

In my opinion, dealing with people who undermine your skills can be a frustrating and demotivating experience. And I am not talking about interviewers or the recruitment team. But people judge your work according to their knowledge of what success means to them.

Unfortunately, we all know someone ( or many ones) like this. They are usually bragging on LinkedIn about how like the corporate world should be.  I also know from my experience, these are people that are highly educated and probably never had to take public transport in life or struggled to pay for their monthly rent without family help. Oh well, life can be easier for some of them out there – especially if you are an “heir” – as we like to say in Portuguese.

However, it is good to remember that there are a lot of supportive people out there. It is always great to see people sharing their career paths and experience to know you are not alone. You can always ignore it or try to avoid following braggers. But I truly believe that it is important to follow some tips to protect your mental health when using social media such as Linkedin as your main job-hunting channel.

Here are my tips on how to deal with people who like to underestimate your skills.

Share your personal experiences

Everyone was there. You start a new job, people are curious about yourself. Then, after some days at the new workplace, you already have the ones who will judge you no matter what you do. They don’t like you. And that is fine. But when you work by yourself, especially working on the Internet, it is more difficult for to people know the real you. They know what you publish, and blogging is not the most respectful job nowadays.

Begin by sharing your personal experiences of working or interacting with people who have undermined your skills. This will help in connecting with your readers who may have gone through similar experiences. I do share my career path on my website. I do share the successful campaigns and also the growth of my brand. Yes, it is a brand. And I do believe that what you do for providing yourself – from cleaning to the manager of a bank is a job, anyways.

So, yes, every time someone highlights that “blogging is not a job” or what you do is not as important as what they do, remember that it is irrelevant. Remember that your life choices and personal battles are real. And maybe, anything was easier for you so far. Never was. It is not everyone who will walk in your shoes. So, be prepared to address the issue. Sharing this post here I can honestly send to the Internet the message – it is not right to undermine anyone’s job.

You are not inferior. Every knowledge matters.

Highlight the different forms of undermining

Elaborate on the different ways in which people undermine skills, such as nit-picking, belittling, or taking credit for someone else’s work. By recognising the different forms of undermining, readers can more easily identify them and take steps to address them. Exactly like I am doing here, It is important to highlight your skills. You have been through a lot in life and it is all part of the learning path as well. I don’t know about you, but when I moved abroad, I had to start from scratch.

By this, I mean working in factories and learning skills that I never imagined having in life – such as becoming a watch repairer.  I did. For some years. Then, I moved on. And I am quite grateful I had the chance to learn something that would help me to pay bills for a while. No shame on it. And I tell you it because I know for a fact that some people feel ashamed of working in or with what they consider a sub job or nothing related to their career.

Discuss common responses to undermining

Share how people commonly respond to situations where their skills are undermined, such as feeling angry, demotivated, or questioning their own abilities. It’s essential to acknowledge these emotions and share the steps you can take to overcome them. Don’t let people make you feel inferior.

To start with, do not engage in negative behaviour. It is always better to build up a positive relationship focusing on your professional approach. You can always address the situation by giving a few tips to colleagues on how not to treat another work colleague online or in person. From what I can tell from my own experience, people don’t care. If their life is going alright, they will prefer to make you feel inferior. Always.

It’s common to feel demotivated or uncertain about your abilities when someone undermines you. One way to overcome this response is to build your self-confidence it is the time to focus on your strength.

Provide tips to handle undermining behaviour

Offer practical tips and strategies to help readers handle people who undermine their skills, such as setting clear boundaries, communicating assertively, and building a support network. Encouraging readers to communicate their ideas and demonstrate their expertise can also help counteract undermining behaviour.

Awareness is key. Take the time to recognise and understand the specific undermining behaviour you are dealing with. This will allow you to address it more effectively and develop appropriate strategies to counteract it.

One of the main objectives here is to establish clear boundaries and expectations for how you want to be treated. Communicate assertively and consistently reinforce these boundaries when necessary.

Trust your judgment, and document those incidents if it is possible. In a work environment, it is possible that people will think differently sometimes. It can cause all kinds of clashing moments. If you are a blogger, just like me, the best thing is working harder, counting your blessings. The more people underestimate you, the more you can improve your skills. Just don’t give up. Ask for support if necessary, but never gives up.

Empower your readers

End your blog on an empowering note by reminding readers that they have the power to address and overcome undermining behaviour. By building resilience and self-confidence, they can develop their skills and show their worth to those who undermine them.

By sharing their personal experiences, highlighting the different forms of undermining, discussing common responses and providing practical tips, bloggers can help readers effectively deal with people who undermine their skills. I don’t think I need to add anything to these statements. That is what it is. Unfortunately, these people are out there trying to make you feel small. But remember that your path is valued by the steps that you give every single morning. If you are working on your own steps for a while, you are doing fine.

Simone Ribeiro
Hi! I'm Simone, a citizen of Britain, where I live for over a decade, and of Brazil, where I was born. Midlands Traveller is where I combine my passion for travelling, business and an Eco-friendly lifestyle.

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