Last week sparked a lot of controversy. Sweet. This week, I answer more questions:
Von’s asks, My question for next week: Why do people who treat others well get shit on, while those that are assholes get second chance then third chance then fourth chance then fifth chance etc? Why can’t I treat people like assholes do, so that my friends will treat me better? (Ok two questions.)
I can image a lot of reasons why people who treat others well get treated like shit–one of the big reasons could be sincerity. If one has a reason to doubt the sincerity of a kind word, one probably will doubt it and treat someone poorly.
That being said, I believe there is a perception in our culture that kindness is a weakness. People who are “nice” are “nice” because they don’t have the temerity and strength of character to be assertive with others. At some point in our development, we go from treating other’s with kindness to a sort of hyper-individualism. In this scenario, Assholes are treated better because, on some level, we want to be more like them. Assholes get respect while those who are kind get treated poorly (typically by assholes).
To make matters worse, we get mixed signals on how to address these hurts. Sometimes we are told to let it go, sometimes we are told to mend fences and others we are told to treat each others how we are treated, instead of how we want to be treated. When I run my treatment groups, I constantly struggle with getting the kids to realize that how they respond to being hurt is why they are in group in the first place. To an individual, my clients believe that fighting is the way to clear up even the smallest misunderstanding.
In our society, the Asshole (or Jerk, or Bastard) is given a higher place than the peacemaker.
Von, I think you need to chose who is worth your friendship. Those who are worth are the ones who you are willing to talk to about why they upset you. I know this isn’t as easy as it sounds; however, it is the thing to do. Point out, nicely and assertively, the concern, the hurt and why it hurts. If a dialogue begins because of those statements, run with it. Think about it before you take it to heart–but think about it honestly.
As to the second question about why you can’t treat people badly–I’m sure you can if you try a bit harder. Would you be able to sleep at night if you were an ass to everyone around you?
Personally, I have a hard time sleeping when I’m a jerk to people who need to be told off. I also bet that I am not alone in this situaiton. It is not the telling off that is the problem–it is the way in which I do it.
Honestly, I believe that everyone–even people that make me physically ill–need to be treated well. It is only human to flub up and treat someone poorly. We, as people, should strive to do better than that. It is a difficult pill to swallow. I frequently screw up and rant about how I want to do (or say) X, Y or Z to some cobag. Certain times, I believe that that is acceptable and reasonable, as long as it is a measured and equivalent response. Striking that balance isn’t easy, but it is something to strive for.
So, Von, you could treat someone badly, but that does not mean you are guaranteed better treatment for it. Besides, we should try and do better than that–even if all we want to do is destroy those who annoy us.
Shannon asks, Is it appropriate for a significant other to still use the pet name of their ex when referring to said ex?
No. Pet names and most terms of affection are off limits when the relationship changes. IF the relationship is good, then occasional terms of endearment are okay once placed in the new context–but on the whole it is not appropriate.
The World’s Most Adorable Girlfriend asks, Why does Burger King’s Whopper taste so divine and hurt so bad on my thighs? What is the meaning of this dichotomy?
This is a minefield question AG.
You’re talking about global food resources, body image, our fast food nation and the philosophical implications at (and between) each post. That is a lot to think about.
First, realize that the Burger is bad for you. It may taste good, but that is probably due to the chemicals slathered on the poorly treated beef. The chemicals in the burger will be with you for a very long time, well past AG’s WheelChair Race Days. Your body is processing the processed food the same while I process my paperwork–store it until I know what to do with it. At least I can throw my paper out…
AG is beautiful and should not concern herself with what the BK does to her things–however, she should worry what that processed junk does to her health.
That being said, I had a veggie burger at BK today. It was passable.
Keep the questions and the controversy coming!
Technorati Tags: Advice, Advice Column, Ask a Bastard, Food, Controversy
ONE OF US! ONE OF US! ONE OF US!
I cannot imagine that BK veggie burger would be good. I will stay away from the BK, but it’s always going to call me and taunt me. We have a dangerous relationship like that.
Marty, you inspire me to be a better person. You look at life in a way that is so unique and kind. Your advice to Von was so sweet and dead on.
Believe me, having been in VON’s shoes, I would love to launch into a nasty tirade (or worse) against those who irritate me or hurt my feelings. Hell, I’ve been known to go after someone for being a cobag (see Entitlement). I probably will post an angry rant within a week…
…but this is exactly why one has to strive to be better. Angry rants and diatribes may be cathartic, but catharsis doesn’t work in the long term.
It’s like being in the closet for me, it’s get really old and you get tired. (Not that I am in the closet or that there is anything wrong with that.)
Being angry and hate filled has gotten old and I am kinda done. There are people I do not like and that is OK, but for the others — I am going to start celebrating them. You have inspired me to do this! Thank you for being so great.
AG – a) I will take you to Burger King and buy you whatever you want. b) I agree – I’m tired of the angry me.
TheMarty – Thanks for the well thought out great answer. I love you in a totally non-sexual-you-are-with-my-best-friend kind of way. YOu are really really good people.
Screw that Von, I heart Marty in a sexual way that is not allowed. (Shannon, I have no intentions of moving to Chi so it’s kewl.) He can get us boyfriends because he teh rocks the boys club.
Marty, I took the first step and forgave someone tonight on my blog. It’s been more than 15 years — it was time. It felt good.
My question for next Monday. How can I get to know someone(s) (ok a guy or two) over email and IM? What are good questions to ask to make sure they are not serial killers?
Heh. The first time I went to visit an interwebs friend, my mom asked me a similar question.
Ask A Bastard:
What is the line between trying to be a better person and trying to be someone you aren’t?
If I clone myself, and my clone turns out to be an asshole, am I responsible for his assholishness?
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