It's time for one of those journals again ! (because I'm sick again and unable to do anything, that's why)
First of all, I'd like to state this : I've been a major dick for years. Not Regina Georg level, but quite some level, and I apologize to every single person I ever offended. I won't say I didn't mean to, because fifty per cent of the time, I really meant to. I was a dick and a bit douche, really really sorry about that and if it helps I'm really mortified about it. If anybody I've been a dick to reads this, consider my hand humbly reaching toward you if you want to have maybe a talk about it or start over or give me a taste of my own medecine. I'm not going away.
Anyway, moving on.
This journal is both a reminder to myself and a learn from my fail !
Dicktown : it sucks.
No, really, it does. Why are we mean toward each other ? I don't know. Well, there are reasons : maybe we don't like them, or we are jealous, scared, something like it. Maybe (and that was my case) we're doing it because we think we're funny (and your friends laugh along) or because we think we're being smart (and stronger since we're the one hitting), because lowering somebody makes us think we're higher.
But of course that's not true.
Being mean is being destructive, for absolutely no good reason (Which is the difference with constructive criticism. And sometimes we think we're being constructive when really we're being jerks. I'll get back on that.), and adds absolutely no value to anything.
I'm gonna put some examples now, to explain a bit more what I consider mean (anyway the day-to-day example)
Say, for example, that you're meeting this kid. He's insanely pretentious and sucks at drawing. He's so big headed he could probably cross the Atlantic on his own hot air. Is your reflex to tell him that his art is really shitty and he should shut up ? After all, you DID put a lot of work in YOUR art, so you'd probably feel justified in that. Boom boom, bad move.
I actually did that a few time and felt TOTALLY in my right. But I wasn't, of course. Why not ? After all, you could think it'd be a kindness to this kid, to put him back on earth ? Well, maybe if you know him a bit. If you don't, chances are, you don't really care about him, and he doesn't care about you, so really, nobody will listen to anybody here, days will be ruined, energy will be wasted. If you don't know him, it is not your place to speak up. If you're his friend, chances are you'll know how to go about it a bit better than "shut up you suck" !
Now, say, (and I did this one a lot too), that you're criticizing somebody behind their back to your friends. It's awesome, you're all having a great laugh at how bad this person is. Okay, I'm sure everybody does this one, and it's actually okay ! By saying "this person is bad" you're affirming your identity. It's through opposition that you define what is good and what is bad to you. Criticizing people isn't something we're going to stop doing anytime soon, and we all need somebody we can't stand, if only to complain about them and to make sure never to look like them.
So far, okay. But when you start being public about your dislike, when you start trying to get every dirt on them that you can just to mock and complain some more, when you try to ruin that person for good : this is it. You're a dick, you're THE dick. Suddenly it's not about healthy self-affirming and friend-bonding-over-dislikes anymore. This becomes a personal vendetta, for no good reason at all. No. Shut up. You don't have a good reason at all. You can never have a good enough reason to go and ruin someone's life. YES. EVEN IF THEY REALLY ARE THAT HORRIBLE. YOU DON'T. If they are morally unacceptable, ignore them as much as possible, maybe explain ONCE why their morals (not them !) suck. If it's really wrong and against the law, call the police, don't be a fucking pajamavenger.
When you're mean to somebody, it's really never really about them, and it's always mostly about you. You're not coming off as some strongly opinionated knight. You are NOT being a noble and straightforward person "as people were before we lost dignity" or whatever self-righteous justification you have to be an ass to other people (and generally, being loud about it.)
Here is what is happening : You're making a lot of noises about what YOU think. Maybe you'll succeed in ruin that person's life. Good for you, I guess. You may even have made friends with people that hated that person too ! Awesome ! More hate-buddies ! But there will also be people to take your nemesis' side. People who will start to wonder what the fuss is really all about, people who'll get tired of your drama and leave, people who'll start questionning "well what do they say about ME behind MY back then ?" and generally, you'll have generated a lot of anger, wasted a great deal of time you could have used better, and, walking through all that mud, you'll be wondering what to slay next.
Even assuming you made a great deal of connexions through your campaign to ruin that one teenager or something, they'll know you as the loud angry one who's somehow funny to watch. I'm not sure that's what you want, but hey, suit yourself. If you like entertaining them, I guess everybody has their own form of happiness.
And lastly, you completely blew your chances of seeing that hated person evolve. Maybe they weren't so bad ? You'll never know.
Here is a quote I remind myself when I feel my temper going short (which is often) : Everyone is fighting their own, secret battle, that you'll never know about.
You don't really have to add to that. Everyone has problems, some more so than others, but we really don't need to render ourselves more miserable.
Seriously Dicktown sucks
I seriously encourage you leaving this place. You'll feel so much better about everything.
Liking things is so much funnier than not liking things, and if you feel that strongly about something or somebody, you probably have a lot of room in yourself to love, okay ! That's why you hate in the first place !
By being nice, you'll have fun, make real friends who'll want to help you, and you'll feel much better.
So let's be nicer !
Okay, say now, we all Dicktown citizen realized how terrible we were being and decided to move to greener, happier countries.
How the fuck do we do that.
Well, first, if you're here, it's good ! Congratulations ! And don't beat yourself up too much. As Will Terrell put it, if you never were pretentious, you'll never understand humility. And if you never were a jerk, well either you were naturally nice (awesome ! I really admire you !), or you won't understand really why you need to be kind and nice. Having been a jerk, you'll be quicker to recognize when people are being jerks and call them out on it. You'll also mind what you say much more, and feel more compassionate toward both sides, because you've been there, and you got out of it, so they can get out of it too !
Anyway, that's what I think. I'm optimistic.
It's not going to happen overnight.
What will happen is this : you'll be presented with another situation in which you will be tempted to be mean. And you'll think about your new resolution not to be such a pompeous asshole. And you won't be mean. Maybe you'll just close the window. Or shut your mouth. You don't have to vomit rainbows ! Before being nice, you can start by not being an ass.
Occasions like that will keep coming, and you'll control yourself as much as you can not to say anything. And sometimes you'll slip. It's okay. We all have bad days.
As you get better at not making a fool of yourself, You'll be frustrated about that "shhh don't talk" policy. And you'll really really want to point out something because ON THIS YOU'RE CERTAIN YOU'RE RIGHT.
Here is how to go about it : point the thing. Quietly. Explain that in your opinion, this is wrong. Quietly. Be calm and polite. If you can add a smile or something that's probably best.
Maybe you'll be listened to. Maybe you won't.
Any case, congratulations ! You spoke about the thing without being mean about it. Definitely improving here !
Remember this is not really about the thing. This is about you. Success is not defined by weither or not the other person will change the thing, success is defined by you not being an ass, and ONLY by that.
As time passes, you'll get better. You'll slip again, but we all do. You will probably enjoy more things, feel happier. You'll be more comfortable about stating or not starting your opinion, and if you were a subject to the "being nice when you don't agree = being an hypocrite" equation, I hope you'll get out of that after a while (because it's wrong).
I trust that by being nicer, calmer, people will respect you more, and enjoy being around you more without fearing to get their ass handled to them. You will probably be very proud about yourself ! And I'll be very happy for you too ! You'll save so much energy, and you'll be able to use it to have a great time with people you like, or to work some more on yourself.
It's going to be hard, but it's going to be worth it !
- Apologize. If you can. If you blew it too bad, so bad that you can't, don't humiliate yourself. Move on, move on, and maybe one day you'll get the chance to undo the bad things you did. Or help with it. Maybe you won't. But you'll help someone else.
- Step away. Know that sometimes you are just not talking at the right time, or the right person doing the talking. You can't force somebody to listen to you, as frustrating as it is. Insisting will get you frustrated, angry, and when angry you'll probably be a jerk again. Don't do that. Step away while you can.
- Don't be entitled. Nobody HAS to pay attention to you.
- This one is obvious, but if something hurt you before, don't do it to other people !! This is basic stuff but it's sometimes useful to repeat it.
- If somebody hurts you, it can be useful, before lashing out, to tell them what they're doing is hurting you. I never did that before, because I was so afraid it would be used against me at latter times. ( this is from when I enjoyed being the occasionnal dick along with my friends, and I had this paranoia that I would be victim to it too one day. Maybe it was self-fulfilling prophecy, but I was. Most people don't keep track of your soft spots to fuck you up latter, though.)
- If you can get a friend to coach you, that'll be great. Tell them each time you DON'T tear someone to pieces when past!you clearly would have. They'll probably be happy for you and cheer !
- Get interested in people. If you start loving people, you can't be TOO mean to them, even when you sort of lose your self-control. Talk to them, discover about their life and stuff. Watch a lot of movies, absorb a lot of stories about all the kind of persons that exists. It will truly help you. Plus, movies and stories are great, okay.
I personally believe that all bad actions comes from ignorance (and yes, I blame Plato), because we think we're being the right ones.
We are not being jerks on purpose, we're being jerks because our sense of what is good, desirable and positive, is misguided ! If such wasn't the case, I really don't understand why we would feel the need to prove how bad someone is to justify attacking them. What we really want is to be Good, and if we are Good, we can only attack Bad people, because that's what Good people do, right ? They punch down the Bad guys.
But more often than not, there is no Bad Guy ! That person you're harassing on the internet is not some kind of evil mastermind, and you are no superhero. Sorry, Pajamavenger.
We also often think that being nice has to be "genuine", as in you're being nice because, really, you ARE a nice person, and thus, when you're being nice but don't feel like it, you're being an hyprocrite, so you shouldn't.
This is bullshit. The other person, most of the time, does not give a fuck if you're being smiling and polite because you want to be, or because you were well-raised. They appreciate it anyway.
Even if you're being nice and delightful to everybody just to feel good about yourself, what it really comes down to is this : you're being nice and delightful to everybody. People like that. People like you. End of story.
I'll widen the argument : any reason to do something good is Good Enough. Any reason to do something bad is a Shitty Argument.
So don't feel guilty if sometimes you feel like you're forcing yourself to be nice. It's okay. It still counts.
So, who else here has a past of being a dick ? Who is currently second-guessing their actions ? Who wants some tacos ?