Straight up, I’m way too passive-aggressive to be a complete asshole. All of my ass-like moments have been accidental or triggered by exhaustion and/or extreme hunger. I always feel horrible after the fact and spend way too much time apologizing because I’m not that person. Well, not on purpose, and I’ll try to eat more regularly.
The thing is, I’m too sensitive and cowardly to pull it off with any conviction. When someone upsets me in any way? I swallow my emotions, sigh with exasperation, and ask leading questions or just give them a weary look. My hope is that they will take then hint, apologize, and feel appropriately chastised by my silent ire.
Does it work? Rarely, but that doesn’t stop me from giving it another try. One of these days it’ll pay off. It’s a numbers game. Do something often enough, and you’re going to get it right at least once. The odds are your favour. Right? I mean, that’s just basic math, and no one can argue with math.
What’s the first sign of madness? Doing the same thing over and over. Oh, shush, you.
Fine, you’re right. My approach isn’t very healthy or helpful. People aren’t mind-readers and all that yakety-yak. But, however, and hold up a minute! I have a very expressive face. If I’m feeling it, then you can see it. It’s quite annoying, actually. Do you have to tell my face to shut up before it gets you into trouble?
I do, and it has gotten me into loads of trouble. Do you know how often I’ve been told to shut up and I haven’t uttered a word? People think I’m sarcastic, but I rarely voice my cynicism or wry wit. I save it for this space. When it comes to real-life human interactions, I’m rubbish.
I’m awkward, socially inept, and I have the attention span of a puppy. I chase squirrels in my head, and it happens at inopportune times. That conversation we were having? I missed 90% of it because a shiny thought popped into my head, and it was very distracting. I try to shrug it off and focus. Come on, not now. I have to be a real person and not some animatronic replica.
Then I hear you say something along the lines of, don’t you start, or haha, very funny. My stomach sinks as I snap back to reality. Oh, hello, gravity. What were you saying? What were we talking about? My face did it again, didn’t it? Damn it.
It would seem that my zoned-out expression is pure sarcasm. It’s my default setting. And yes, I know it’s rude, and I’m so sorry. Staying present has always been an issue for me, and I have very little control over it. I’m working on it, but I don’t know if construction will ever be complete.
I guess you could say that my face is an asshole? That makes it the only part of me that isn’t shrouded in covert aggression. You’d think that my silent assertions of indignation work more often than it does. One look at my face, and you’d see my displeasure. You’d bring up the pachyderm in the room, I’d say it’s alright, and we could carry on with our budding friendship.
I’m more of a forgive and forget about it kinda gal. As long as you haven’t maimed me or done anything equally as drastic then, we’re good. Let’s move on. Why harp on a tiny indiscretion? Seriously, we’re copasetic, and again, I’m easily distracted by shiny or fast-moving objects and/or critters so, I’ve already forgotten about it.
Squirrel! Oo, where?
Of course, my uncontrollable facial expressions would be more effective if I was honest. When asked what was wrong? I should stop saying that it’s nothing or I’m fine. I could swallow the rising panic and quell my people-pleasing tendencies. With a quivering voice and profuse apologies, I could simply express my emotional frustration. Use my words, as they say. You gone done me wrong! Or something more grammatically correct.
That would be healthier and more productive. Well, that’s what the experts say, but we’re just going to ignore them. That’s what we do nowadays, isn’t it? Scorn the wisdom of those that have spent a large part of their lives studying, training, and becoming accredited professionals. Science, medicine, contagious disease and the like. We’re just ignoring their finely honed expertise and, instead, take the advice of influencers and that one friend on Facebook. That’s how it works now, right?
What was I saying about passive-aggressive tendencies? I don’t have a problem. No, it’s fine. I’m all good. Why am I making that face? Shut up, face. Geez, self-control much?
And this is why I wish that I could be an asshole sometimes. Instead of worrying about what someone might think or feel, I speak my truth. Instead of hiding my needs, wants, and desires, I express them freely. This is who I am! Accept me or f*ck off.
I kinda, just a little bit, wish I was that kind of person. But typing the words made me cringe, and the thought of actually behaving like that is too much. I can’t do it. I just can’t be an asshole. Oh, but if wishing made it so. Sometimes, when it’s needed, I wish I could do it.
The other day, I was complaining about my neighbours. The weather’s warming up, so they’re out on their deck, smoking their cigarettes. Every forty-five minutes, I hear their screen door slide open, and a couple minutes later, the wind brings the smoke into my apartment. It’s not a pleasant smell, and now my place reeks.
Arg, it’s so annoying, but what can I do about it? They’re well within their rights to smoke whatever they like on their deck. They’re paying for the privilege. It’s their body, and they can suck on whatever they please. But, ew, it’s not nice. No offence if you are a smoker. Do you, and I wish you all the best. As a non-smoker, I just don’t understand the appeal.
I suppose, if I were a functioning adult, I could knock on the door and ask them to sit on the other side of their deck or blow in a different direction. How about being aware of wind patterns? They seem like reasonable people. It will be fine, probably.
Or, I could take my friend’s suggestion and buy an industrial fan. I could put it on my deck, facing theirs, and when they come out, I could crank that sucker up high. It would send their smoke back whence it came, and I could enjoy clean air. Problem solved. What an ingenious idea! Thanks for the tip.
Am I going to do it? No, it takes covert aggression to a whole new level. A level I’m not entirely comfortable with. Despite my natural tendencies, even I know that it’s not a healthy or mature way to solve this problem. It has nothing to do with the cost of an industrial fan, its size, or how much electricity it uses.
Okay, you got me. I briefly considered the idea. By that I mean, I spent an hour looking up sizes, cost, and shipping. You know, just a surface-level logistical inquiry. I scratched the itch, sorta speak. Then I came to my senses and realized that it goes too far. So, I terminated the search and closed my windows and deck door.
I’m experiencing a moment of reptilian instinct. It’s the part of us that’s solely focused on our own survival and thriving in our primordial environments. A cave person, barely walking erect, stomping through the forest with the club on their shoulder. Grunting and growl as they meet their basic needs. It’s an impulse that most of us have replaced with the desire for community.
And thank God for that.
Today, I’m briefly entertaining a simple idea. Life would be easier if I let my sensibilities dissipate and embrace my deeply buried neanderthal. I could walk around grunting and grumbling. I could take what I need and demand complete submission to my desires. Yours be damned! It’s all about me, me, me. Bwahahaha.
In short, life would be easier if I could be an asshole.
Let me be clear, I don’t actually believe that my life would be significantly improved by self-centred aggression. The world doesn’t need more people walking around like they’re the only person who’s worth a damn. Or, that one individual who thinks the world owes them because they graced us with their presence.
Nope, it’s safe to say that we’ve all had to put up with our fair share of people like that, and we’re not better for it. Nothing ruins a day faster than crossing paths with that kind of person. Also, few things bring strangers together quite like that shared eye roll and shake of the head. At that moment, we’ve forged a bond because, OMG, did they really just come in here like they’re the bees whiskers?
There’s something special about a group of people collectively giving someone the, f*ck off asshole, glare. It’s kind of precious and next time we should get t-shirts made. You know, to commemorate the moment.
When I say, I wish I could be an asshole? I’m not talking about that kind of person. For me, and my pathological need to make people happy and not bother anyone with my presence? Being an asshole comes down to speaking up, being heard, and voicing my needs. And I know that doesn’t make me a horrible person.
We should all have a safe space to do just that. After all, everyone has needs, and sometimes we need helping meeting those needs. As much as it pains me to say this, that includes me. No, say it ain’t so!
When I reach out, I feel like I’m imposing or being a nuisance. I apologize, or I just don’t ask because I don’t want to be an asshole. So, I sit in my discomfort and completely ignore that little voice in my head crying out. I’d rather suffer alone than reach out for help, and that’s messed up.
I’m envious of people who have no qualms about speaking up, owning their desires or asking for help. I know a few people like that. They’re brutally honest about where they’re at, and sometimes it comes across as bristly, but that’s not their fault. We’ve been socially conditioned to view this sort of openness and vulnerability as aggressive and selfish. It’s seen as a negative trait.
Why can’t we be honest, open, and share our needs with the people who love us? Or, maybe I’m going a bit far here, but what about being honest with people who could love us if we gave them a chance? If we let them really know who we are in a genuine, raw, sort of way. Is it just me, or does that sound kind of magical?
People who do that are often called crass or needy. It’s seen as weakness or rudeness. It’s something to tame but, maybe it’s time to praise and uplift these people. Hold them up as examples of vulnerability, honesty, and follow their lead.
I said I wished I could be an asshole, and this is what I meant. These precious people who unapologetically own their existence, needs and aren’t afraid to express that. I want to be more like them. I think, from a mental health standpoint, it would be a more authentic lifestyle and that’s very appealing.
Am I going to make the change? Well, the smoke is back and the industrial fan is still a no-go. Right? Yeah, my mental health is going to be under construction for a very long time.