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  • Writer's pictureDr. Neal Nybo

Put this Patton Oswalt kindness lesson to work on office bullies



Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt attracts his fair share of online trolls and detractors. How he handled one of them might be a strategy you can use with an antagonist in your office.

Upworthy reports Patton's kind response to an abusive X commenter led that person to tears and a humble apology. The X user had replied to a post by Oswalt with "I just realized why I was so happy you died in Blade Trinity!" and "And you shoot basketball like the sawed-off little man you are."

Oswalt ignored that jab and instead, reacted to a different post from the man - Help after Sepsis, Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Coma- gofundme. Here is what Patton said and did.


"Aw, man. This dude just attacked me on Twitter and I joked back but then I looked at his timeline and he’s in a LOT of trouble health-wise. I’d be p____d off too. He’s been dealt some s____y cards — let’s deal him some good ones. Click and donate — just like I’m about to."


Then Oswalt donated $2000 to the $5000 fund. His followers pushed the total donation to $12,000. What was the man's response? I think you will appreciate it -


"Patton. You have humbled me to the point where I can barely compose my words. You have caused me to take pause and reflect on how harmful words from my mouth could result in such an outpouring. Thank you for this."


Obviously, obnoxious coworkers won't always, or even usually, have a life-threatening problem we can contribute money to, But,


Every person we meet is carrying a heavier load than we can see.


Remembering, and tapping into that reality may get us a better response than another hurtful or negative retort, or the silent treatment. Being open to opportunities to be kind doesn't require we go looking for them. Oswalt didn't reach out to the poster. But, when he saw an opportunity, he responded with kindness.




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Do you have a group or team that would benefit from this kind of kindness and positivity training? Take a look at my motivational speaking page.

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