If you are among my close circle of friends, you know that in the last few days I’ve realized that deep down inside I am an asshole. I never would have thought this to be the case, but you know what? It’s true. And you know what else? I’m not mad about it.
See the thing about being an asshole is that assholes are generally happy people. They (we) really are. Because they (we) don’t have to waste precious moments of their lives doing shit they don’t want to do because they’re afraid to speak up for themselves. And they don’t lie in bed at night thinking about that thing they wish they had said when someone insulted them earlier. They don’t wonder what would have happened if they had just been direct in asking for what they want. Assholes do, say, and demand what the fuck they want and you know what? Moretimes they get it.
Because here’s the thing: a lot of people are afraid of assholes. A lot of people are so worried about being perceived as being nice, so consumed by wanting to be accommodating and willing and supportive, so terrified of being branded an asshole themselves that they will just bow down and give an asshole whatever they want – no matter how unreasonable it is – just to keep the peace. And once an asshole gets wind of the fact that she can get whatever she wants, do everything she wants to do and nothing she doesn’t want to just by speaking forcefully, it’s kind of hard to stop yourself from doing it. And it’s kind of really unreasonable for anyone to expect us not to.
I’ve always decried assholes for being selfish, for being takers, for refusing to consider the interests or opinions of the people who care about them. I thought they were soulless, scavengers, parasites. And that may be somewhat true. But it’s also true that assholes are really only assholes because someone allowed them to be. Assholes are only assholes because they choose not to accept responsibility for the happiness of the people around them and focus instead on satisfying their own needs. And I really don’t think there’s much wrong with that.
Here’s a little-known fact about me: beneath all my rough talk, beneath my raunchiness and my hard truth, I’m really just a big softie. For most of my life I’ve been a cry at commercials, too chickenshit to ask for things, give you the shirt off my back, seethe silently rather than calling you on your bullshit sucky baby punk. And as a result, I always found myself in relationships with assholes. And I was always waiting for that one person who would appreciate my generosity without taking advantage of my good nature. The person who would know that he could take everything in the world from me, but who chose to take only what is fair for him to have. I thought that that was what makes someone good, and that anyone who doesn’t do that is a fucking asshole.
And then I grew up. And what I’ve learned in my old age is that it is way more assholey to expect someone else to set and maintain your boundaries than it is to be a person who knows she can have what she wants and therefore takes it. There’s clarity and honesty and efficiency in the kind of person who just lets you know in no uncertain terms that they’re not gonna do this shit you’re asking them to do, no matter what. There’s a freedom in knowing that asserting your will results in getting what you want. And yeah, doing all that stuff doesn’t necessarily make you an asshole, but it does pave the way.
The thing about being an asshole is that you learn quickly that you can ask for what you want nicely and you may get it eventually, or you can bluntly demand what you want and get it instantly. So why bother being nice about it? That’s just wasting time. The first time you tell a friend in no uncertain terms that you’re not interested in listening to her whine about her self-created problems and she stops instantly you realize you’ve been wasting precious minutes of your life being diplomatic. And once you sit at the dinner table and grab the big chicken breast (pause?) without stopping to ask whether anyone else wants it and no one bats an eye, you will never not do that again.
So yeah, I’m an asshole and I’m not mad about it. Because accepting your asshole ways means saying goodbye to angst and disappointment. It means that no one in your life ever needs to wonder what you’re really thinking because you’ve boldly stated your thoughts. And it means that you don’t have to take responsibility for anyone’s happiness but your own. So to the assholes in my life who I’ve silently cursed for being selfish, I do apologize. I misjudged you. I see what you’re saying now. And to those of you in my life who think that an asshole is the worst thing a person can be, I say don’t knock it til you tried it.
But what say you guys – do you agree that assholes stay winning? Are you an asshole yourself? Do you think it’s possible to get what you want out of life without being an asshole? Speak on it in the comments.