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I got great advice once from a good friend at Microsoft about not “flipping the bit switch”. A bit switch is one that is either on or off, positive or negative. We were talking about people who were hard to work with, and Harry cautioned “just because they’re difficult doesn’t mean they’re not valuable”.

Flipping the bit switch was categorizing a person as “bad” or “not worth the time” or “not smart” and then having that decision color all interactions with the person. Rarely are relationships so simple as to be able to classify them as “on” or “off”. People shouldn’t judge you by one dimension, calling you an asshole. If you’re an asshole beyond the bit switch, well, then, that’s just that.