Whatever career you choose or life route you choose, there is one thing you can count on: no matter where you go, there will always be some jerk trying to complicate your life. Or to put it another way, every group contains a jerk.
What then should we do about this? How should we respond to this unsettling reality? You can only deal with jerks by acknowledging that they will always be jerks.
And you’ll discover precisely how to do that in this blog. Whether you have to deal with a regular jerk or an occasional one, you’ll learn all the tips and preemptive measures you need to thrive in the toxicity they spew.
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People who are assholes make you feel uncomfortable, and some assholes are worse than others.
What characterizes an asshole? People were asked to share their encounters with assholes at work, and some pretty repulsive behaviors surfaced: a boss who only invites his favorite workers to the office Christmas party; someone who frequently interrupts others; and a coworker who leans in and whispers, “I’m going to take you down.”
Of course, some assholes are worse than others, and being able to tell the difference between the latter and the former can be really helpful.
Therefore, the first thing you should ask yourself is whether encounters make you feel oppressed or devalued.
People will remember how you made them feel, not what you said or did in the end, as the late poet laureate Maya Angelou often stated. And when we label someone as an asshole in our minds, it usually happens after they’ve offended, discouraged, or unnerved us.
Gaining some control over a situation and learning how to decrease the impact someone has on your life, especially when it involves a coworker, begins with understanding how they make you feel. Then, you may get ready, prepare yourself for particular reactions, and even think about how your answer might be influenced by earlier occurrences in your life.
The second thing to consider if you experience these oppressive or insulting experiences is if the person is a one-time asshole or a persistent one.
It’s possible that your boss is utilizing a leadership approach if he or she tends to be a kind, the kind person most of the time but occasionally becomes a screaming asshole.
Researchers observed that when mild-mannered instructors became combative during a halftime pep talk, it frequently resulted in an improvement in performance. Conversely, coaches with a reputation for being disagreeable did not have the same impact during their irate halftime comments.
There are justifications for your employer being an asshole temporarily, but there are none for being one permanently.
Avoid being around assholes to prevent being accustomed to abuse.
Strange as it may sound, some people become accustomed to being treated like assholes to the point that they are unaware of it. They have blindness from assholes.
The author is aware of an IT worker who worked for eight years for a boss who was a persistent, callous jerk who never admitted error but constantly suspected others of misconduct.
This is a severe but typical instance of asshole blindness since the victim was not only tolerating the conduct; he also no longer recognized it. It’s similar to a particularly terrible scent in that you might initially detect it, but eventually you stop noticing it. Similar reasoning may be used to asshole behavior; while the latter may first annoy you, over time you grow accustomed to it and start to accept it as the standard.
This is a risk since it can cause serious wrongdoing to be accepted. Scientists also blame the sunk cost fallacy for its acceptance. This occurs when you invest a lot of time, money, or both into a project that you persuade yourself it’s worthwhile to continue even when it’s obviously doomed. When it comes to workplace asses, you can feel as though you’ve already spent a lot of your emotional resources tolerating their behavior that it would be best to continue working. In other words, if you don’t address offensive behavior right away, you can wind up disregarding it totally.
If the IT employee’s situation seems all too similar, you don’t necessarily need to quit your work, but you do need a new manager.
Since firms typically have both good and poor managers, according to leadership studies done by Google, it might be possible to keep your position and simply move within the company. Salesforce.com, a US software business, doesn’t need employees to get permission from their manager before transferring to a new division since it recognizes that people don’t always get along. But when these things happen, the organization looks into it to see if it was just a personality mismatch or if the boss really was a jerk.
Take the initiative and quit putting up with your jackass bosses now!
Keep a safe distance from assholes if you don’t want to “catch” their conduct.
You can’t always get rid of a**holes from your life. In fact, if you’re forced to sit next to an asshole all day, you run the risk of becoming “infected” with their negative outlook.
In fact, engaging in assholish behavior might be likened to contracting a disease through excessive exposure.
Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that we frequently adopt the unfavorable attitudes, actions, and feelings of others.
According to a University of British Columbia study, pupils who have emotionally exhausted teachers are more likely to have elevated stress hormone levels than students who have teachers who are not emotionally exhausted.
Researchers at the University of Florida discovered that just one instance of impolite behavior, such reading an offensive email, is necessary for someone to become a “carrier” and spread the bad behavior to others. According to the study, bad behavior can spread “like the common cold.”
Therefore, it is best to restrict your exposure by keeping a distance from those who are exhibiting symptoms in order to avoid contracting the illness. Maintaining a safe distance is essential. If you can, switch desks, floors, or buildings.
MIT scientist Tom Allen discovered in the 1970s that coworkers who were seated close to one another spent more time conversing and corresponding across all forms of communication. Additionally, since we now have more ways to communicate than ever before—including texts, social media, and email—this poses an even bigger risk.
In one interview, the author questioned a former Apple worker who had spent 15 years working for Steve Jobs how he had handled Jobs, who was infamous for his asshole behavior. The solution: he maintained his distance, sat as far away from him as possible in meetings, and even shied away from using the elevator with him.
Describe your asshole conduct in a different light.
We sometimes need to build defenses against assholes in extreme situations.
For example, Becky Margiotta, a former cadet in the US military, had to fortify her mental fortifications to withstand ritualistic hazing from her older cadets which included verbal abuse and other forms of humiliation.
Becky dealt with this gang of extremely hostile bastards by reinterpreting their actions in order to maintain her composure.
Cognitive behavioral therapy employs the psychological concept of reframing, which enables patients to reframe their issues in a constructive way and, in a sense, turn lemons into lemonade. Or in this situation, Becky reframed the hazing as being inventive and humorous and not in the least bit frightening, turning the assholes into allies. She even occasionally chuckled at the ingenuity of the hazers as they tortured her.
Simply told, you can make a bad or dangerous circumstance into a fun challenge by having the correct mindset, and this will help you do better in it. A study of African-American children who took a math exam discovered that the test’s framing had an impact on test results. There is a perception that African-American pupils are less likely to succeed academically, which some children may even internalize. However, students didn’t focus on this stereotype when the test wasn’t presented as an assessment of intelligence but rather as an engaging and difficult questionnaire, and outcomes improved.
In order to change an asshole’s conduct, you must first realize that you are not at fault. Instead, consider the possibility that there may be a perfectly logical explanation for their behavior. Perhaps you are unaware of a tough situation in their personal lives, for instance. Reappraisal is a type of reframing that has scientific evidence supporting its efficacy.
Students in a Stanford University study were shown “upsetting” photos of furious people, and their reactions were then observed and studied. After viewing the first set of photos, some students underwent reappraisal training, during which they were instructed to evaluate the possibility that the irate individuals in the photos may have simply been having a bad day and that the actual cause of their rage was someone else. Compared to pupils who weren’t given the chance to reevaluate, these students were noticeably less disturbed by the subsequent photographs.
So use reassessment to your own life as well!
Gather proof of the asshole’s behavior and consider your options before approaching them.
You’ve probably considered taking action against an asshole if you have to put up with their bothersome or damaging behavior every day. However, you should be aware that starting a battle with an asshole is a dangerous endeavor full of dangers. So, here are some suggestions to aid your planning.
Prepare documentation of the person’s prior actions first. You should avoid getting into a he-said-she-said argument unless there is an unquestionable proof of asshole conduct.
Gretchen Carlson, a Fox News presenter, presented substantial evidence to back up her claim that Roger Ailes, the powerful network boss, fired her because she declined his advances. Carlson had audio recordings of meetings with Ailes from over 18 months ago that were full of offensive comments. This proof led to the dismissal of Aisles, an apology from Fox News, and a $20 million settlement for Carlson.
But what if all you want is for the asshole to cease acting like an asshole without you having to submit a complaint or begin a lawsuit? There are actually two approaches to this.
The first option is a cool, collected confrontation in which you politely discuss your issues with the asshole in question. This works well with transitory and stupid bastards who are unaware of the consequences of their actions. It works well with arrogant people as well since they would be horrified to believe that they were being called assholes behind their backs.
The other choice is to approach someone aggressively, which is akin to fighting fire with fire and giving the offender a taste of their own medicine. Being an asshole to an asshole is proven to be effective with egotistical, Machiavellian types who see other people as a means of achieving their goals. According to a 2015 study, these people prefer to back off when confronted by another individual who is as selfish and uncooperative. So it would seem that sometimes acting like an asshole is the only way to get the better of one.
Make sure you develop self-awareness because, especially if you’re wealthy, you might be an asshole.
We want to avoid assholes whenever possible, and we also don’t want our loved ones to have to deal with them. These are the two basic ideologies for dealing with assholes. Make sure you aren’t an unsuspecting asshole yourself if you want to be able to check both of these boxes.
Every group has an asshole, and if you don’t know who it is, it’s usually you, according to an old joke. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to recognize your own asshole traits.
In reality, barely 1% of people openly admit to being assholes, despite the fact that over 50% of Americans have experienced ongoing bullying, either by themselves or by others. Therefore, if these figures are accurate, there are unquestionably a lot of ignorant dickheads.
But it’s necessary to acknowledge this if you’re an asshole. According to psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson, accepting and acknowledging how others see us, no matter how painful that reality may be, is essential to our self-awareness and happiness. Our interactions with those folks will be better and healthier the more we align our self-perception with their perceptions.
Self-awareness is much more crucial if you happen to be wealthy because the power it bestows increases your likelihood of turning out to be an asshole.
According to a research conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, drivers of the most costly vehicles would cut in front of other motorists 30% of the time and fail to stop for pedestrians 50% of the time. In contrast, drivers of the least expensive vehicles consistently stopped for pedestrians and only cut off other automobiles 10% of the time. In other words, wealthy drivers had a reputation for being jerks.
So keep in mind, even if you experience enormous success in life and are in a position of authority, don’t follow in the footsteps of so many others. Break the cycle and continue to show consideration for others.
No one wishes they had been meaner on their deathbed, a reader once remarked to the author.
The main idea of this work is:
An asshole is someone whose actions frequently make you feel hopeless. The best method to handle them is to prevent their actions from developing into a habit. Avoid asshole-filled surroundings, but if you find yourself there, there are techniques to lessen their influence. Keep as far away from them as you can while attempting to favorably frame their bad behavior. If not, gather proof of their actions and confront them about their wrongdoing. And remember to develop your self-awareness to keep from turning into an asshole yourself!
Advice you can use
Check for asses.
If you want to know if someone is a self-absorbed asshole, consider the following:
- Do they allow you to speak on the edge during a conversation?
- Is there a good balance between questions and statements?
- Do they seem to be listening to you at all?
- You probably have an asshole on your hands if all the responses are a resounding “No.”