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Tear Down Strategist
Temple Grandin
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Dominic John Repici
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Tear Down Strategist

There are at least two ways to improve your status relative to the people around you:
  1. You can make contributions that are recognized as helpful and useful, which are appreciated by those around you, or

  2. You can tear down the people around you, causing your unchanged status to appear more respectable in relation to them.
Tear down strategists are people who have chosen to practice number two on the people around them (pun intended).

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In his younger days, Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star newspaper because his supervisor said that he lacked creativity.

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Ben Franklin also wrote a nice bit of satire that speaks to this strategy:

           Your Business is to shine; therefore you must by all means prevent the shining of others, for their Brightness may make yours the less distinguished. To this End:

         1. If possible engross the whole Discourse; and when other Matter fails, talk much of yourself, your Education, your Knowledge, your Circumstances, your Successes in Business, your Victories in Disputes, your own wise Sayings and Observations on particular Occasions, &c, &c, &c.

         2. If when you are out of Breath, one of the Company should seize the Opportunity of saying something; watch his Words, and, if possible, find somewhat either in his Sentiment or Expression, immediately rise to contradict and raise a Dispute on. Rather than fail, criticize even his Grammar.

         3. If another should be saying an indisputably good thing; either give no Attention to it; or interrupt him; or draw away the Attention of others; or, if you can guess what he would be at, be quick and say it before him; or, if he gets it said, and you perceive the Company be pleased with it, own it to be a good Thing, and withal remark that it had been said by Bacon, Locke, Boyle, or some other eminent Writer; thus you might deprive him of the Reputation he might have gained by it, and gain some yourself, as you hereby show your great Reading and Memory.

         4. When modest Men have been thus treated by you a few times, they will choose after to be silent in your Company; then you may shine on without fear of a Rival; rallying them at the same time for their Dullness, which will be to you a new Fund of Wit.

         Thus you will be sure to please yourself. The polite Man aims at pleasing others , but you shall go beyond him even in that. A Man can be present only in one Company, but may at the same time be absent in twenty. He can please only where he is, you wherever you are not.


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