Overuse Of The Word Asshole

Jen once again has got my mind racing with a million thoughts. She's got me thinking about assholes and getting by on assholery. Her perspective is good. And after thinking about it, she's probably right. That if we stop and think about the assholes we encounter in life, there is probably a good reason for why they act the way they do. And that they probably are meeting some need by acting that way. Their actions have served a meaningful purpose for them.
However, what I can't reconcile in my mind is, at what point does an asshole become accountable for the feelings they hurt or their actions that cause pain in someone else? Why do they get off with being an asshole and having hardly any capacity to worry about their actions? Or is the non-asshole's job to steer clear of them once the asshole has been detected and defined? Again, in my mind, if we dismiss the asshole's actions as being a survival technique, basically, and keep practicing compassion and mercy, yet all the while, the non-asshole is getting ripped to shreds. Crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
While I think compassion is important, self-preservation and having respect for one's feelings are important, as well. I wish that I could compartmentalize my feelings enough so that I could stow them away somewhere else when confronted time & again by an asshole. However, I know that I'm not that strong. (So there is my crutch.....).
I think this might open another can o' worms though. The run-in with a random asshole and the run-ins with chronic assholes. There is a definitely a difference. For instance, the asshole you encounter in Target while shopping (who may very well be a chronic asshole, but since you only encounter them once, god willing, they are just your standard, wild run-a-muck asshole). Then there are the assholes you encounter on a regular to semi-regular basis, be it a co-worker, a family member, a friend of a friend, etc. And wouldn't it be rather egotistical of myself to think that by my mere compassion alone I've turned an asshole into a non-asshole? If they are adults, surely by now they should understand or have some knowledge of what is appropriate or not. Saying and doing hateful things just because he/she is an asshole is a rather pathetic excuse. That opens the door for those people to say and do whatever they want with little or no regard to anyone else.

I think the chronics are the ones I'm struggling with in this post.
And maybe the lesson in dealing with this is that I need to learn how to better handle my emotions. I know I can't change their behavior.
Mercy is something I struggle with too.
In fact, my intent with this post was to discuss mercy.
That might have to wait until tomorrow.

5 ripples in the pond:

maigh said...

When dealing with my ex recently I said something to my sister about him continually dropping bombs on me. My sister said "that wasn't a bomb, that was a fart. Open a window".

I like. Especially since farts come from...well...

Oh, The Joys said...

mmmm. Mercy. I'll look for that.

Joker The Lurcher said...

i'm afraid i'm not a big enough person to be compassionate about people that behave like shits, whatever their reasons. i am rather hard line with them. there are people who have had tough times who still manage to be kind and gentle to the folks around them. people who are nasty need to be given a wide berth!

thailandchani said...

I am willing to have compassion for someone who finds it necessary to spend all of their energy being 14-karat a-holes. That does not imply however that I will have them in my life.




jen said...

i look forward to your thoughts on mercy, and cracked up over chronic assholery.

i suppose i think that we can stay saner if we just allow it not to affect us, but it's hard, those chronic ones.