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Wisdom is choosing exactly who to offend.


Today ,I want to write some thoughts after taking the Wealth Creation Blueprint super simple quiz devised by my friends and business mentors Raymond, Dr. Sun and D’Niel. They took one whole year to design this quiz to make it as elegant and simple as possible.

Please go take it too–It just takes 2 minute and is super fun! Basically the test informs you of your personality, strengths and weaknesses, and tells you clearly what might tend to motivate you. In addition, it also informs you about what motivates others in any business context, so that you can be more aware.

So I took the test and I got…”Challenger”.


Whahaha, isn’t it kind of amusing?

According to this test, a challenger like myself tends to make “unnecessary enemies both within and outside the organisation” because that’s in my nature. It’s heartening to therefore know that awareness of this tendency is the first step to minimising this unnecessary consequence.

Anyway, it turns out that Raymond is also a “challenger”, and then we spoke about this personality type in the group chat with all the business mentors.

Raymond was sharing that when he was younger, he practically offended everyone and he is now more selective about the people he offends.

Yet exactly what does Raymond mean by being “selective” about offending people? It actually means to be aware that there is a cost-benefit analysis to offending people.

In other words, check your “return on investment” before offending, or choosing to respond to an offence.

So first, before we decide whether to respond to:

  • a stupid comment that doesn’t affect you in verifiable terms;
  • a stupid comment that affects you in verifiable terms;
  • a stupid behavior that doesn’t affect you in verifiable terms;
  • a stupid behavior that directly/ indirectly affects you in verifiable terms–

–we should be practical and think about the costs and benefits.

Take for instance something which happened to me this morning. I got this troll comment after a wildly popular facebook page shared my blog-post on MP Josephine Teo’s comments about Singapore’s dwindling birthrate:

Screenshot 2016-10-13 23.40.44.png

So well, this anonymous coward “Jenni Lee” made derogatory comments against MP Josephine Teo and myself, since my post was praising MP Teo’s candidness and skilful handling of the media.

But should you reply to anonymous trolls? The answer is no, because why would you want to fight or argue with an anonymous person? There’s no return-on-investment in it. Furthermore this anonymous coward is incoherent and I don’t even know what “she” is talking about. Since when is MP Jo a “feminist” or a “slut”? You get my drift. -roll eyes-

As a social media manager I see trolls like that all the time, and they just have no life, so you can ignore them.

Therefore, the first rule to this cost-benefit analysis to offending people is to ignore 99% of the people who have offended you.

Because– what’s the point? There is no benefit to giving a response and they waste your time, attention and generate negative energy.

So when should you actually choose to respond to people who have offended you in the first place? It is when:

  • there is a cost to not responding (e.g. to protect your own reputation and good name);
  • there are acceptable or manageable costs (e.g. you can afford to cut the person off forever, or simply don’t give a shit); or
  • when there are actual benefits to giving a response. (e.g. you get positive publicity for “standing up for yourself”, or eyeball sales because of all that controversy”)

To the point on protecting your reputation, you should only act to offend when a person of similar standing talks shit about you.

So for example, if a nobody were to make “defamatory” comments about you, you don’t go mad and threaten to sue. That frankly, simply reveals a lack of anger management.

Even if people of equal standing make defamatory comments about you, you don’t go mad and threaten to sue in public too. Always mediate in private. For if you threaten to sue and ask them to retract comments in public, they might instead issue corrections, of which the statements can then be interpreted as “fair comment”. Then you lose, too!

To the second point on acceptable or manageable costs–well, if you can afford to cut a person off forever or simply don’t give a shit, you might as well ignore.

To the third point on actual benefits to giving a response–yes! Do it by all means for either net positive publicity to improve your image (to ultimately sell a service) or to sell stuffs!

Before that, because you want to control this whole controversy as best as you can, make sure you have media friends who are loyal to you. Any use of the media or social media can afterall backfire, so be absolutely sure of the loyalty of your media friends first.

Then go ahead to stir shit. Any form of managed controversy is great if you have actual physical goods/ services to sell. Because then you can just go ahead to offend. Great brands will polarise anyway and people who hate you will never buy your goods or services, so who cares about them?

People who love you will love you more for stirring shit. E.g. Xiaxue.

So you see, at the end of the day, wisdom is really all about choosing who to offend.🙂

And it’s like doing algebra by the elimination method, because you should only offend (back) when:

  • You have to protect your reputation towards people of equal or greater standing; or
  • If you have a product or service to sell–then any form of managed controversy is good. Because then you get additional profits!😀

The rest of offending people is just a waste of time or bad anger/emotions management. So before you decide whether to respond to an offence, look at who is talking to you. Before you decide to offend someone in spite of them doing nothing to you, also look at who is talking to you.

So my personal takeaway is to be slower in reacting or talking whenever I find someone irritating. Because my responding gives them power. Best to just ignore. 

Another point is that “challengers” type cannot suddenly go soft and gentle and meek because that would confuse their tribe members. So basically, you cannot go against things that are in your basic nature, even IF you can choose to consciously stop to offend people.

Probably, the solution to “soften the edges” of my “Challenger” personality is to learn how to ignore 99% of random rubbish antagonists say.

So I’d work on that, HAHA.

What a great discussion stemming from a simple wealth creation test!

I’d encourage you to take it now because the assessment is accurate. Raymond, Dr. Sun and D’niel are working currently on the full version of the reports, and I’m super excited about it! Such a huge privilege an honour to be part of their discussions!

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