Richard Maun – How To Suffer Fools Gladly

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How To Suffer Fools Gladly

22 December 2014

Let’s be honest here, do you ever use the phrase…

‘I don’t suffer fools gladly.’

I have. It’s a common phrase that we have generally sucked in from our parents and our parents’ parents too. It’s phrase of frustration and exasperation, and sometimes is used like a badge of honour by someone who feels superior and wants the world to know. The phrase is often repeated to me in coaching conversations and the set format suggests this is a little cliché we have borrowed from someone else without thinking it through. I mean who are these fools and what’s wrong with suffering them gladly? Presumably if they are fools and we have to suffer them then we should do it with good humour?

Perhaps we could think about what we are really saying to the world here – namely that we get to feel superior and can be dismissive when we judge ourselves better than someone who is with us. Maybe we think our ideas are the best ones, or we ‘know’ we have the right answer …how lucky for us to be so sure of ourselves!

People are people …everyone has a back story, a self-dialogue running in their heads and worries popping up in their consciousness. Who are we to judge someone in the moment and decide arbitrarily that they are a fool? We may carry the phrase in our heads and it may have been well meant in some distant past, however we can update our thinking and instead of being tough with people, we can be reasonable.

When someone is annoying us we can say in our heads:

‘I wonder what it’s like for them? …Is this a new situation for them, are they tired, stressed, out of their depth or just doing their best?’

Let’s consider what they might be seeing when they look at us!

Everyone has value and we can choose to suffer fools gladly, because they are not fools, they are people like us making their way in life and doing their best with what they have about them.

So this week have fun and enjoy being in a more relaxed frame of mind.

Have a happy Christmas and thank you for reading these blog posts. The archive now has over 4 years of content and you’re welcome to browse.

And for an added Rich Bonus you’re welcome to listen to my Business Life radio show on Christmas Day from 12.00 noon to 2.00pm. It’s a pre-record and so I get to listen too! We play good music, share fun Christmas stories and are joined by a top marketeer from the University of East Anglia who peeks behind those clever seasonal adverts we all love to watch.

Go to and listen live, or via a smartphone radio player app or in Norfolk on 107.8FM …free and easy and full of fun!

Next week: A Free Gift For You


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