“If you ran into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole – you run into assholes all day, you are the asshole.” (source)
I’m saying this from my personal experience: when the whole world looks like a shitty place, it’s because of one or both of these things:
- Your own view of the world is screwed up (perhaps you are feeling like shit)
- You are looking at the wrong things
We are constantly looking at the world through how we feel: when we feel good, the whole world and anyone participating seems good.
It works in the opposite way too: depressed person doesn’t consider the world as a shitty place because it actually is so, but because he feels so.
The fact is that this world has so much good and so much bad – there’s no use in weighing which one is dominant. The more you focus on the bad side of the world the more screwed up it seems.
I’ve been preaching about the importance of having good influence in your life and this is one part of that philosophy. Seriously, get rid of people and other influences that are bringing you down.
It may feel hard if they are the only people you are hanging around with, but there’s a good chance that you may find something better. In my case, it was the best thing that I did. YMMV.
9 additional tips on how not be an asshole:
1. Practice empathy – put yourself in the shoes of others
Good way to see whether you should act like you do.
No one wants to be around someone who doesn’t treat others with respect. Maybe you want to be someone that others don’t want to be around, but chances are that you don’t.
It’s easy to see whether someone is disliking what you say or do. Open your eyes and watch instead of being so focused on yourself.
2. Feeling good is more important than being right
You can’t win an argument, you don’t have to win a conversation and there’s no need to correct others.
It probably feels next to impossible not to do those things, but once you are determined to stop it and keep from doing them for a while, the urge will go away.
Recommended reading: 77 Life Lessons That Would Have Saved Me a Lot of Tears In The Past
3. You are the biggest loser
By being an asshole you are hurting others, but most of all yourself.
I have never heard of anyone who treats others with disrespect being content with themselves and their lives.
You might think that the reason why they act like that is because they are not happy, but it’s easy not to see that those two are inherently linked:
Low quality of life results of assholery and being an asshole results to low quality of life. It’s a great example of downward spiral.
4. You are not better or worse than anyone else
Being a dick is all about ego and how you see yourself in contrast to others. Most of the problems come from either seeing yourself above or beneath someone else.
Think about someone being mad to/about someone that’s successful or being an asshole to people who they view being beneath them.
Both are screwed up.
See others as equals, because that’s what they ultimately are. Wealth, looks and degree of attention that anyone gets doesn’t make them (or you) more valuable than anyone else. Nor does the lack of those make them less valuable.
Then it comes only to this: why wouldn’t you treat someone who’s equal to you with healthy amount of respect?
5. Focus on something else
The fact is that whenever you are acting like a dick you are focusing on something that’s tingling some sensitive part in you.
Why the hell would you focus on something that you don’t like? Don’t even say that you can’t help it because you totally can.
Focus on something that you enjoy and that you are grateful for. Not only does it get rid of yourassholeness, but it also makes you enjoy life a lot more.
6. Take responsibility
That other person isn’t at fault for what you say or do. Take responsibility for your own feelings, actions and words.
Think about what it means when someone is creating negative feelings in you.
It means that they have the power over your emotional health and you are giving that power away willfully.
Stop being a victim.
7. Don’t expect to get instantly rid of it
It’s a pattern that you are playing out.
Changing that pattern doesn’t happen instantly, like someone creating a habit of exercising doesn’t become automatic in just a few days.
Momentum applies here too: the more you act like an asshole, the more you feel like doing it. The less you do it, the faster it releases its grip on your behaviours.
8. Shut the fuck up
When you are feeling like shit and you feel like expressing your state of mind, be quiet.
Don’t say anything – just let it pass or think hard whether you should say what you were about to.
9. Seek ways to get rid of your negativity
In some perverse way you may even be addicted to the negative, but ultimately it’s not a good way to live.
You can try my getting rid of negative thoughts manifesto, though it may be a heavy read.
- 5 Simple Steps to Not Being a Total Asshole
- How to Stop Being a Cynical Asshole
- 5 Tiny Steps to Quit Being Such a Jerk