Being a hard ass is occupying so much of my thinking time these days that I might have to add a whole blog category for it. Category: Does this count as being a jerk? Or, Category: Suck it up, everyone! Or Category: Fishing for compliments is not advised in THIS pond, sucka.
Oof. Rambling follows.
I make a point of not offering unsolicited judgements about people (I’m not so arrogant as to think I know what people need to hear), but for my own sanity I do pipe up and extricate myself from the kind of sweeping statements that my friends make a lot. “We’ve all been there.” “We all know this is great.”
Category: does this count as being a jerk? What if I don’t manage to be witty about it every single time? What if sometimes it reminds people of things that make them twitch?
That makes people feel bad. I don’t like to make people feel bad. But I love getting to the bottom of unflattering truths because it’s so helpful and satisfying in my own life, and I don’t want to give that up just so some wimps can keep their vanity intact. (See? Being a jerk. Who calls her friends a bunch of wimpy peacocks?) This whole situation makes me uncomfortable, so I’m pretty sure there is something unflattering I need to find out about myself (rather than a good reason for me to find new friends).
An obvious starting place is that I don’t have a lot of sympathy for people feeling bad. Or rather, I don’t have much sympathy for people who fail to take responsibility for their feelings (e.g., blaming jealousy on someone else), or who fail to adjust their silly expectations (e.g., confusing what you want with general manners or laws of physics).
I’ve been trying to track down reading material to give me ideas about how to be honest about everything without being a jerk. It’s become the major crisis of my self-esteem.
So far, I’ve come up with a list of virtues I should probably work on: compassion, patience and forgiveness to soften the blows; silence and apathy to contain the damage; and trust to make it all possible. I’m pretty good at the patience and forgiveness, but not much else. I think I’ll make a chart, Ben Franklin style.
The one clear benefit of all this pondering is that I’ve finally figured out my gang name, 7 years after Galen the Lucky Ass, Matt the Ghost Ass, and Rebecca the Tight Ass founded The Asstastic Four. With me. The Hard Ass.