You know, I was just on the phone with a client of mine and we had an interesting conversation about how to deal with assholes. There is no other way to put it, right?
My client wanted to figure out how to get a particular asshole (“Mr. Asshole”) to like him. No matter how nice my client was to him, Mr. Asshole still acted like an asshole. That is, Mr. Asshole was still confrontational and disagreeable about almost everything. I told my client that an asshole is one because there is always shit coming out of their mouth.
There is no reason to befriend everybody. If you are nice to someone and they are an asshole to you or are just plain old rude to you, then you have done nothing to them to warrant their behavior. You’ve been nice, self-aware, non-confrontational, and you haven’t challenged them. You’ve killed them with kindness. Yet they still choose to be an asshole.
So what’s the point? You need to understand and accept the fact that you can’t make everybody like you and respond favorably to you.
The way I look at it is if someone is being an asshole, it’s really your ego that doesn’t like it. Your ego may not like that you can’t succeed in getting this person to think the way that you are thinking. Your ego may not like that you can’t get this person to respond favorably to you.
It’s also your ego that doesn’t allow you to just walk away from someone like this. If I have to deal with an asshole, then I will kill them with kindness during the one or two obligatory minutes I must spend talking to them. When I then walk away, I will just mutter “asshole” under my breath and walk away . . . because I just don’t care.
I don’t really care if somebody doesn’t like me or doesn’t respond favorably to me. All I care about is that I treat everyone with respect, kindness and integrity. That is the kind of person I am.
So if you are dealing with an asshole, you need to remember that it’s just your ego that is affected by them. Then drop the ego, and just walk away.
You know, it’s funny. Let me share with you a perfect story about needing to drop the ego. When I was recently in Hawaii, I surfed for four days. On three of those days I kicked ass – I got up on the board, I surfed and I had a great time.
I was there with my ex, Alison. She just started surfing not too long ago, but she’s already good at it. She’s one of those naturals. So on surfing day number four, I knew I felt a little stiff. I do yoga on a regular basis, so I went into a lot of yoga poses to try and unlock my body and get rid of some of the stiffness I was feeling.
I was still stiff after I did that though, and my intuition and my gut told me to just go out in the water and swim. Because I used to be a competitive swimmer as a kid and used to be a lifeguard, I should have just had a great time swimming the day away in the Pacific Ocean . . . but of course my ego wouldn’t allow that.
My ego made me get up on that surfboard because I wanted to surf one more day and because I wanted to prove that I could do a good job at it four days. So, what happened? My lower back jammed on my left hand side, and I spent the last couple days rehabilitating it.
By the time I post this blog, my back will be fine. The question is: Will I learn from my experience? That is, the next time will I trust my instincts and honor my body, or will I allow my ego to rule once again?
The analysis is no different when it comes down to dealing with assholes. You have to trust yourself. You have to be open, and you have to drop that ego. The more you keep that ego, the more hurt you will experience. So remember that not everyone is going to like you and you can’t catch every wave.