How To Deal With Assholes And Not Be One Yourself

April 11, 2018
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It has been sometime since I have vomited out a profanity laced article that tackles the lighter side of all this personal development shit. With that in mind, I want to tackle a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Dealing with assholes.

Perhaps it is because I have been an asshole as often as had to deal with them that I am so fond of the subject of finding ways to cope with them. Perhaps it is because the longer I live the more variety of assholes I find in this world. Perhaps it is just me getting old and miserly and growing fully into my curmudgeonly ways. Whatever the reason, I have never had a shortage of assholes to deal with in my life.

And because of that, I have found many ways to handle their assholery and even found a few ways of not adding my own particular flavor of asshole to the mix.

If you are offended by profanity, stop reading this. It only goes downhill from here. If you are under the age of whatever is acceptable for reading swear words, read this in secret without your parents knowing. Do not read this out loud if their are kids in the room and you don’t want them to hear “naughty” words, probably even if pets are in the room, as some pets can be highly offended by such uncouth language. In fact, you probably shouldn’t read this out loud at all. I am not sure what the universe is going to do to you for saying this many cuss words in such a short amount of time. You have been warned, and I refuse any negative karma you throw at me for writing this disgusting mess.

How To Deal With Assholes

Understand that everyone is coming from someplace broken

This is the best way I know how to deal with assholes. I just look into their eyes, their angry, sullen asshole eyes, and I imagine all the pain and sadness and hurt and accumulation of broken hearts and shattered dreams and ruined hopes that live in there and it is all I can do to not break down in tears and hug them and tell them that it is all going to be OK.

I mean, think about it. Every person you meet has gone through so much struggle and pain and tragedy in their lives. People dying. Broken homes. Abuse. Loss. Physical maladies. You have no idea how much suffering someone is going through at the very moment of their assholeness and that should give you a little space to open up to the possibility that they are really hurting right now and that is why the are being an asshole. I am not saying that everyone’s struggles and pains and tragedies are the same but everyone has had some and their experience of them is not very much different then your experience of them in most cases.

I am merely saying that we should appreciate that people come from a lot of misery, from infancy to adulthood, and they carry that around with them constantly. Is it fair for them to to shit all over other people because of that? No. But we can develop a little compassion in those situations where we have to deal with difficult people if we remember that most people are coming from a place of hurt when they are assholes and knowing that people are hurting should make us want to help, not contribute to their harm.

Remember that we all just want to be happy

Yes, most people don’t know how to find happy, so it comes out as screaming and yelling and overreacting to small, imagined slights or projecting insecurities on others in toxic ways, but at the end of the day, all anyone is trying to do is find a little fucking sunshine that they can hold on to in this world.

And that’s the problem. Happiness is just some formless, intangible, random heat. It can’t be grasped or held or captured. It just comes and goes when it wants like some flippant beam of sunlight and sometimes we slip into a little golden ray of it. And it feels all warm and fuzzy and we get those little tingles over our skin, until suddenly a cloud comes and throws us into shade again and happiness is gone and everything is cold and we go storming off to chase it down again and strangle the living shit out of it for being so flighty.

We need to remember that everyone is seeking that something that makes them feel warm and unfortunately most people have been indoctrinated with the idea that to get what they want they have to shit on what other people want. Hence, they become assholes. If we can understand that most people’s actions are merely their misplaced movements towards whatever happiness they can find, it allows us to see their struggles in a different light and develop a connection with their search and our own. 

Focus on your reactions

Holy shit do I hate when people walk really slowly and I am stuck behind them. Seriously. You have no idea how many times I have fantasized about punching an old man in the back of the head because of how slow he is moving. What the fuck old man! I am super god damn important and have super god damn important places to be!! Can’t you hear how loud my footsteps are and all the purpose in my stride?! Move!!!

And in those moments, where I cock back my arm and make a fist, and find that shiny, soft spot in the back of his head I take a breath, I unclench my fist, and I remember that sometime the biggest asshole I have to deal with is myself. That voice in the back of my head that is whispering all this entitled bullshit into my ear and telling me to step on anyone else to get what I want. I wish I could punch that voice, because it does not good to respond to assholes with your own asshole behavior. 

The assholes that you have the most difficulty with are not always going to be external. They are occasionally going to manifest as your own reactions towards others and the repercussions of those unskillful activities. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies and the only surefire way to deal with ourselves is to get honest and work to change those things that make us contributing assholes to this world. This means digging into what makes you tick and what explodes your excrement all over the world and rooting those things out in the slow process of awareness and self-improvement. 

How To Not Be An Asshole

Keep your shit together

I have to let you in on a little secret. It’s a hard secret to know but it’s a true secret and one that you really need to understand if you are not going to be an asshole in this world. Ready? Ok. Here it is. Nobody gives a shit about your feelings. Boom. Fucking bucket of truth shit right there.

OK. OK. Some people will sometimes care about your feelings but the average everyday stranger, the people that we are most often assholes to, those people don’t give a flying fuck about your bad day or your shitty marriage or your sick grandmother. It sucks, but it’s true. And that’s OK. They don’t have to. You should definitely have some people in your life that care about your feelings, and I am sure you do, but usually you have to compartmentalize that baggage and emotional upheaval in a way that you are not constantly puking it out into the world because no one cares and no one understands. All they see and hear is someone being an asshole.

What I am saying is, we have to get better at working through our life issues internally and in reasonable settings and not drag it with us through our day and snapping at people who don’t deserve it or committing actions out of places of misplaced anger and aggression. Meditation helps. As does talking to people close to you in a comfortable setting. Giving yourself reasonable outlets for your sadness or anger. Hobbies. Fitness. Whatever. Just find other ways to deal with your shit besides randomly spraying it all over unsuspecting strangers.

Stop Being Negative

Listen. We all know this world is going to shit and we are flying down a mountain at a reckless speed in a vehicle with no brakes and the guardrails are off the road, but we can’t have everyone in the world running around like a fucking chicken with it’s head cut off. Some people need to keep their shit together because that goes a long way to not being an asshole.

Most of the time people are assholes because they let all their toxic, negative, pessimistic, garbage spill out of their dirty mouth holes. Everyone already knows the world sucks, so stop adding your particular disgusting flavor of doomsday prophecy to the mix. It’s not original and it smells just as shitty as everyone else’s.

Instead, why don’t you try to puke some rainbows? Maybe go naked-bareback-a-unicorn-down-a-yellow-brick-road this mother fucking world for a little while and spread some cheer. If the world needs anything it just needs more positivity. A bigger sense of hope. Something to look forward to. I am not saying turn a blind eye to the tragedy of all this shit.  I am saying that none of it is as serious as we want it to be and a whole hell of a lot more to be hopeful about then there is to despair.

Remember that you are also a piece of shit

Ok. Ok. I am obviously not really saying that you, or anyone, is a piece of shit. Well. Some people are pieces of shit, but that’s besides the point. I am just being purposely salacious to get the point across that whatever asshole things you call out in people, you are full of asshole things as well. Infact, those things you see in others that drive you bat shit crazy, they are probably things you don’t like about yourself. 

We are all so fantastically flawed. Everyone of us a broken diamond, and pointing at the little cracks and impurities in someone else’s shine means you are not paying attention to the cracks and impurities in your own. Most people know what is wrong with them. It’s why they are assholes to begin with, to cover those imperfections up, and no one needs you to point it out to them.

Better you spend a little time in trying to identify what character qualities you are lacking in yourself and turn your attention to improving those things instead of spending your energy on being a flaw detector in others. You have an opportunity in every agitation you find in others to find the source of it in yourself. And after having done so, you can root that shit out and have one less asshole quality in you that makes you less of a piece of shit. 

Be Happy For Other People

You want to know a really easy way how not to be an asshole? Be sincerely excited about other people’s fortunes instead of turning it around as a reflection on the lack of your own fortunes. You know what I mean. When someone tells you some really good news and that pang of jealousy stabs your heart and the why-not-me’s start dancing around in your head and you steal the enthusiasm of the moment with a lackluster congratulations and a piss poor excuse for shared excitement. We have all been there. It’s natural but it’s an asshole thing to do.

Celebrating other people’s accomplishments is a way to celebrate the fact that the universe lets anyone achieve anything at all. The fact that good shit can happen to anyone is an awesome lottery to play. Sure, you are going to get shit on constantly, but every day you keep scratching that ticket and every once in a while you hit a jackpot big enough worth celebrating and when that time comes, you are going to want to share it with other non-assholes who will celebrate with you. So, be happy for other people and other people will be happy for you.

Summary

I am not even going to offer an apology for all the profanity in this article. I think each and every “asshole” and “shit” and “fuck” and every other expletive is necessary. Because all that offense is the hallmark of an asshole, and as I said at the beginning of this article, I have given as much as I have received in the asshole department.

But more than that, it’s all necessary, in my opinion, because it tempers some of the seriousness of the epidemic of people just being really cruel to one another for no other reason then that they are having a hard time working through the daily, weekly, yearly, lifetimes of pain and sadness that lives in all their hearts. Because they are really scared about what is happening in the world and their first reaction is defense. Because they honestly don’t understand how to be any different than a reaction to all this craziness of life.

But don’t be that person. It’s OK to be scared. It is. We all are. It’s OK to have all that pain and hurt and sadness inside of you and not know what to do with it or who to take it to and who to trust with it. We all feel that way. It’s OK to not know where this world is going and sincerely fear for the future of humanity. Every single one of us is unsure and we are all looking for hope.

But none of that is an excuse to be an asshole. If anything, it’s a reason to be anything but.

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