Monday, October 14, 2013

The Big Three: Being an asshole is so easy. Aim higher.

I think it has been pretty exhaustively demonstrated on this site that I am fully capable of being a total asshole.

It just comes natural.

It is so easy - so scary, crazy easy - to behave as though nothing (and no one) else matters. To speak without thinking. To be misunderstood. To over-react. To be completely oblivious to how your behavior effects others. So I am hitting the breaks.

No, not the brakes. The breaks. I'm actually taking a break from all of the things that I am doing and saying and thinking and feeling that have affected me or may affect someone else. Because it is the right thing to do. And the best way I can think of to do that, is to identify what I am personally doing to be an asshole, so I have come up with "The Big Three", which is my version of the Trifecta, aka The Bermuda Triangle of Assholery.

1. Communicating very important information via text or email.

Two bad things can happen: your words may be misinterpreted, or they may not be received at all (and then the very worst possibility is also out there: that they WILL be received, but not by the intended recipient). I cannot begin to explain the times that texts have caused me personal anguish. That a poorly worded email has left me sitting awake at night. That I have had "senders remorse".
If you need to put something in writing I can dig that - obviously - but preface it with a phone call or some face time. And I am not talking about the i-app Facetime, I mean actual face time. You know, the act of talking directly to another person. Be bold. Be brave. Put down your internet. Talk it out.

2. Over-communicating in general, is kind of my jam.

You have all basked in the warm glow of my oversharing light (in my mind I think it's blue, like a KMart special, but most other people think red, for alarming). I am the person who sends 3 page texts, and exhaustive, emotional emails. I frequently delete and re-record when I am leaving a voice mail. I have no ability whatsoever to "hit the high points" - my note taking in school was basically transcription, and my note-writing as an adult requires a lot more than a small card. Rein it in, sister. I gotta rein it in.

3. Talking ABOUT someone instead of TO someone.

Ooooh. Ouch. Yikes. This is a biggy.
I am so SO familiar with this, and I suspect at least 50% of my asshole maneuvers are an 18 point turn around this gem. See if you can relate: someone says/does something shitty (intentionally or not) and instead of taking a deep breath and saying "umexcusemewhat?" to that person, you instead turn your back and say it to the person standing right next to you. Or better yet, you text it - because we all know how well that is going to work out. Before you know it, texts are flying, people are talking, your words are being reported to the person you didn't have the balls (or energy) to speak with directly, and everything is much worse than before because now, the asshole has the upper hand. You are the big mouth wimp who can't say it to their face. They are suddenly in the rarefied air of the high road which, considering their shitty, shitty behavior, is dizzying and confusing for them - they don't get up there much. It's actually the very last place they should be hanging out, because from up there they can easily lean over, shit All. Over. You. and not even get any on their shoes. They walk away smelling like a rose and you've been dumped on twice. It's like the ultimate form of self-sabotage.

So, there we have it. The vortex of assholedom.

Once you're done swimming around in it, shower off and start fresh. It's a new day, and someone else is bound to piss you off eventually.

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