A few thoughts on handling assholes

As someone who’s received a good amount of hate mail, plenty of criticism and yes, even death threats, today I’d like to talk about how to handle assholes.

When someone acts mean or crudely to you, it’s because:

*He thinks you dislike him
*He is threatened by you
*He is a jerk to everyone
*You’ve given him a reason to dislike you

Here’s how to handle this situation:

1. Pause before you react. Think honestly about what he said. Don’t defend the accusation unless you’re being appropriately attached.

2. If you’ve clearly messed up, own up. No excuses. Simply offer a valid reason why you did what you did, even if it’s as simple as, “I wasn’t thinking.”

3. Ask for more detail. Fully understand what happened. Also ask him to help you avoid similar problems in the future.

4. Don’t over apologize. Thank him for his feedback.

Now, sometimes you’ll discover absolutely NO reason for someone’s cruelty. He’s just an asshole to everyone, you think.

Good! This means you won’t have to bother wasting much time or energy with this asshole. Try one of these options:

IGNORE IT. Smile and move on. I can’t emphasize the importance of smiling. Assholes thrive on your anger. So, when you’re faced with a one of them, smiling really, REALLY pisses them off.

DEFLECT IT. Either say, “Wow, you’re really upset about this,” or “You must be having a bad day.” Don’t get sucked into the “bait game.” Don’t get defensive or upset. Instead, responses like this reverse the direction of the conversation and show the jerk that you refuse to take ownership of the his problem.

Good luck. May the Schwartz be with you.

How do you deal with assholes?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag


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