I’m a bit of an asshole and by that, I mean I’m a pretty big asshole. It’s a problem I’ve been trying to deal with for some time now, but it’s proving to be hard to shake. My sarcastic responses are deeply rooted, years of self-protective reflexes have led me to go for the jugular and I tend to be pretty impulsive, which doesn’t help matters much. I’ve been trying to watch what I say and be mindful of how I come off, yet no matter how hard I try, and even though it’s rather large, my foot always manages to find its way to my mouth with surprising ease.
An Asshole’s Options
So, what to do? Well, there’s the obvious answer… Stop being an asshole, but that really hasn’t worked out. It’s one of those easier said than done kind of things… So what does that leave? Well, you can just be okay with being an asshole, but honestly, I’m not. I wish I was one of those people who didn’t feel bad after I did something awful, but, annoyingly, my emotional awareness tends to catch up to my impulsive actions. You can find people who like assholes, and thankfully they exist, but sadly our appeal is not quite as great as we’d like to believe. So all that’s left is to accept that you’re an asshole, but still find ways to improve.
Where An Asshole Should Start
The temptation is to focus on diminishing the negative, on being less of an asshole, but I’ve found it to be an ineffective tactic. It turns out, at least for me, the better approach wasn’t to stop doing things that hurt others (although I’ll want to get around to that eventually). I’ve been far better off enhancing my positive qualities first before dealing with the abundant negative ones.
Even An Asshole Has Strengths
Chances are, if you’re one of the people who is actually aware of and worries about being an asshole, you have them. If you’re not worried, well, why the hell are you reading this? But I digress… Let these natural strengths lead the way. Emphasize what’s working for you and let that enhance your relationships. Don’t get me wrong, the whole asshole thing is far from acceptable, but if you’ve been one long enough, it isn’t all that easy to change. And frankly, since you’re an asshole, people will know when you’re faking.
Don’t Pretend You’re Not An Asshole
Don’t pretend to be nice; focus on enhancing the (likely few) areas of your life where you already are. One of the downsides (and occasional upside) to being an asshole is being fairly transparent, so a charade really isn’t going to help much of anything. However, this same vulnerability can be just the redeeming quality you need. Vulnerability is relatable… well, at least it is when you don’t use it as an excuse to cut someone else to shreds…
What Came First? The Chicken Or The Asshole?
Impulsivity and insensitivity come into play, but a big part of being an asshole is often just being defensive. It’s often all about self-protection, but more often than not, all that you end up doing is isolating yourself. Much as I tend to enjoy them, most people don’t like assholes. And when people don’t like an asshole… well, the asshole tends to become an even bigger asshole. It’s an annoying cycle for everyone, so just stop it already…
Lean on your (again, likely few) strengths; when you do, there tends to be far fewer reasons to put your negative instincts in the driver’s seat. By leading with the positive rather than indulging in the negative, you cut down on the need to lash out. When you see the difference this can make, you can’t help but take notice and find yourself wanting to be less of an asshole (or at least a little less of one). Let that build long enough and you might just start actively trying not to be one. It’s no easy feat, but it can often be a worthy one… trust me, I speak from experience here…