Source:The New Democrat
How do I stop being an asshole?
Last night, I went out with my husband to enjoy a big festival in town. We both noticed a sign from a distance, but as we approached, another reveler stood directly in front of the sign to read it. “Wow, I hope no one else wants to read that sign, maybe from another angle,” I commented to my husband loud enough for the reader to hear. My husband quietly chuckled and hugged me, saying “Oh, you.”
Later, a woman with a pram cut across our path, not looking where she was going. “We get it! You’ve spawned! You’re more important than us!” I said to her. Another quiet chuckle from my husband.”
Read the rest of Heather Havrilesky piece at New York Magazine
“We typically don’t think of being an asshole as a good thing, but there’s a difference between “good” assholes and “bad” assholes.
HOW TO KNOW WHO YOU REALLY ARE
We all think we know ourselves well, but psychological studies show otherwise. In fact, most of us are somewhat deluded about ourselves. I put together a 22-page ebook explaining how we can come to know ourselves better.”
From Urban Dictionary
“An inconsiderate, arrogant, uncaring, selfish, borderline sadistic, apathetic, mean, spiteful, dishonorable, bastard of a man who could tempt the Pope into a fight.”
I guess my definition of assholes is more inline with Urban Dictionary than what the two women over at Ask Polly were talking about.
I have two definition for what it means to be an asshole: someone who has a bad habit of speaking about things that they just aren’t qualified to talk about and aren’t unaware of that. People who consistently speak out of ignorance: who speak out of their ass, to be blunt about it.
My other definition of what it means to be an asshole is inline with The Urban Dictionary’s definition: “An inconsiderate, arrogant, uncaring, selfish, borderline sadistic, apathetic, mean, spiteful, dishonorable, bastard of a man who could tempt the Pope into a fight.” Someone is had no feeling for others feelings. A person who gets pleasure out of someone else’s pain and discomfort. Someone who consistently puts other people down for the pure pleasure of it.
What the two women are at Ask Polly were talking about sounds more like a prickly, oversensitive person who feels the need to weigh in on everything that she disapproves of. Someone who is overly judgmental, a prick to be completely blunt about it. Which is different from someone who doesn’t give a damn ( to be too kind ) about someone else’s feelings. There are pricks who are actually highly intelligent and then there are assholes who aren’t and are so stupid that they don’t even realize that they’re assholes. So in that sense at least, score one for the pricks, while the assholes do what they do best and lose again, this time to the pricks. With the pricks saying: “Hey, at least we’re not assholes. At least we contribute to society.”
So I guess what I should do here is to explain why good people shouldn’t be either assholes or pricks.
Seriously, people should at least be smart enough to know who they are, what they know, and where they come up short. And to use a pop culture political phrase: people should stay in their lanes in life ( not just on the road ) and if there’s something that you want to know more about, actually bother to learn about what you want to learn about, before talking about an issue or profession let’s say, as if you’re some college professor ( Ivy League, not Alabama ) lecturing others about that subject. Don’t speak out of your ass and you won’t be an ignorant asshole in life. People should always be smart enough to know what they know and then take it from there.
As far as the other asshole, the person who is let’s say a jerk and who is constantly putting people down for the pleasure of it: do you want to be a good person or not is where this comes down. I’m not talking about critiquing people who deserve to be criticized or even being wrong about your own criticism, but people who are simply mean to be mean and enjoy being mean.
The extreme version of assholes would be serial killers who murder innocent people for the pleasure of that. Ted Bundy, comes to mind and many others like Richard Ramirez. A more mainstream version of an asshole would be a high school bully who perhaps doesn’t even know any better. So in that sense at least the high school bully meets both of my definitions of asshole. Which might be their first accomplishment in life.
I’m not defending pricks here, but compared with assholes there like the tough cop who perhaps bends the rules to bring down the assholes so the assholes can’t hurt any more innocent people: you rather have the prick on your team, than be associated with any asshole. I guess you could be both a prick and an asshole, but for the sake of this piece let’s say they’re different people.
Another word for prick would be snob: someone who looks down at other people and thinks that they’re better than everyone else, or at least the people that they don’t associate with. And the only reason why they don’t associate with people outside of their circles, is because they believe that they’re better than those people. And pricks generally look down at other people for superficial reasons like money and employment status. A prick would be a person with not just a college education, but a degree from a Northeast or West Coast school, who looks down at people who work hard for a living just to support themselves and their families. Who go home tired and even sweaty from work everyday and perhaps every night.
The way to not be a prick:
Don’t judge people simply because of how much money that they make, or what they do for a living especially if they’re contributing to society and aren’t criminals. We need cops, teachers, plumbers, construction workers, military personal, and just because these people don’t make as much money as new-tech workers, bankers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, etc, doesn’t mean that they’re inferior: it just means that they don’t make as much money.
Don’t judge people by their social media status and have this idea that you’re too good to be associated with someone simply because they don’t have that many followers. But instead judge those people based on whether you personally like them or not and are interested in them or not.
Don’t judge people based on how much they know about pop culture and celebrity culture, reality TV, new-tech, etc: just because there are junkies and faddists who feel the need to have whatever the latest gadget is and have this lifelong need be one of the first 5 people to buy whatever the latest smartphone is to the point that they’re camp outside the store the nigh before to guarantee that they’re one of the first 100 people ( let’s say ) to buy whatever the latest gadget is. Some people buy gadgets because they’re status symbols to them and feel this desire to always be up to date with those devices. And then there are people who buy those things based on need and what they’re interested in.
Instead of looking at people based on how much money they make, what they do for a living, how informed they are on new technology, what their favorite coffee drink and coffee house is, whether they go to coffee houses or not, are they into reality TV and celebrity culture or not, how about you bother to do the non-asshole thing here and get to know people and judge people as people. Instead of judging them based on their race, ethnicity, religion, culture, sexuality, etc.
And you might actually learn something in life and meet new, good friends that will also like you for who you are, not because of their social status. And you’ll never have to worry about being either an asshole or a prick. Or you can always just be who you are and deal with that, because life is always about choices and consequences. So always make the best choices for yourself, instead of for others.