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My Kingdom for a Thicker Skin

posted by BatSheva Vaknin @ 12:17 PM
Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I hate conflict.

Which, in a word, completely sucks.

OK, I know! “Completely sucks” is two words; you are right!

See – I hate conflict so much that I anticipate it and try to defuse it before it even happens.

It’s no accident that I – a singer, writer and performer – spent about 8 years of my professional life overseeing the Customer Care departments for major corporations.  It was my job to make sure everyone was nice to everyone, that all conflicts would get resolved and result in the greatest possible benefit for all involved.

Similarly, it’s no accident that despite my passion and talent and hard work I have poured into my creative endeavors, I have yet to reap any real professional (read: financial) success from them. Why?

I hate conflict, weren’t you listening?

(*sorry- was that too abrasive?*)

The older I get and the more I care about making money, I realize IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE MONEY WITHOUT CONFLICT. Whether it’s the contract negotiation process, the inter-office relationships, the client and/or lawyer disputes that arise in the independent contracting business… conflict is everywhere. The more famous a person gets, the more people ‘out there’ want to take that person down. How could a girl afraid of conflict survive out there in the real world?

It appears to me that the people who have the distinct advantage are the ones who are not just not afraid of conflict… they love and EMBRACE conflict.

You know those people? (Or maybe you ARE one of those people?) You know, the ones who gets all excited and high at the prospect of a fight; those people to whom the word “NO” rolls off the tongue easier than any other syllable. (I was raised in the improve comedy world of “yes, and” where everyone involved agrees to agree, no matter how absurd the premise.)

O, my kingdom for a hierarchical society based on the principles of improv!

But in the meantime… I think I have no choice but to toughen my skin.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Improv comedians always agree. Standup comedians are notorious fight-pickers. Yet another reason it makes NO SENSE for me to do standup...

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