The Asshole’s Checklist

Sometimes I feel like I’m surrounded by assholes. Sandwiched between them even. Perhaps that’s my lot in life. Maybe it’s my destiny. But I refuse to just sit around, and do nothing.

Here’s the Poop

Regardless of the degree of dysfunctional indoctrination one may have suffered at the hands of utterly incompetent authority figures (parents, priests, or psychotic gymnastics coaches) I believe that at some point there comes a time when we need to recognize that our lives are a result of our own choices. Furthermore, if it seems as though things are a little out of whack, as though we are aiming for a certain goal, yet constantly landing wide or short of it, it’s because a little re-jigging of one’s behaviour is in order.

Such is the case with the assholes in our midst.

You are the narcissists, the self-aggrandizing fops, the arrogant schlubs. You are windbags, blowhards and self-proclaimed know-it-alls. On a scale of 1 to 10, Ishmael Reed being a 10, you are unequivocal sadness, and I would rather chew through my wrists than have coffee with you. Unfortunately.

How Do You Know If You’re An Asshole?

If you’ve been told, three times or more by no matter whom, that you are a “jerk”, a “douchebag” or, of course, an “asshole” then tah-dahhh, you are. Three times, that’s all it takes. Same goes for “kind”, “generous” or “genial”. And no, once does not count (in either case.)

Oh, and for the record, if you are an asshole masquerading as kind, generous, or genial, we all know you’re an asshole in disguise. Well, most of us anyway, some people will fall for it.

Sorry. (For them.)

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not who you are that’s the problem, it’s the way you choose to conduct or express yourself. It’s the choices you make while in the presence of others (because let’s face it, who gives a crap what you do in front of the mirror or in the privacy of your own living room).

If you are an overbearing, egocentric prima donna, then Jesus loves you.

(But everyone else thinks you’re an asshole)

Choosing Not to Be (an Asshole)

Step 1:

Listen.

Step 2:

Choose to really “hear” what you are listening to.

Step 3:

If, what you are listening to is a life partner (vs. the voice-over at the planetarium, or the weather report), look at the speaker. Do not fidget. Do not look away to attend to other, more pressing matters such as the email that just dropped into your iPhone or the opening sequence of SUITS. And, for God sakes, do not walk out of the room until a mutually satisfying conversation has taken place. You need to check that out – do not rely on those godforsaken “instincts” of yours.

Of course there are other scenarios, but I’m quickly losing interest in this subject.

Being a kind, caring and generous person in this world can be, at times, challenging, I won’t lie to you. But with baby steps, just about everyone can get there. And how do I come to be a veritable guru upon the inelegant subject of assholes? Well folks, sometimes is just takes one to know one.

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