This Is How To Deal With A**holes

by Jorrie Varney
StockFinland / Getty

Assholes are everywhere. I’d give you a couple examples, but at this point we all know what they look like, so instead, here’s a quick tutorial on how to deal with them.

Step one: Don’t.

I mean it, if you come across an asshole, just walk away. Feel free to tell them to fuck off prior to your departure, of course. Maybe even let them know everyone else hates them, too. Whatever you have time for. I don’t have a lot of time for assholes, and if I told every one of them to fuck off, it would quickly become a full time job. Can you imagine if that was a lucrative career? We would all be DuckTales rich. “Fuck you, Susan. I saw your racist post on Facebook this morning. No, I’m not coming to your work baby shower-potluck-thing. Your meatballs taste like shit, and this is like your 3rd kid.”

*Collects $100 dollars*

It would be fun, but really, the better route is probably kindness in many situations. You can play out the alternative in your head however you like, though. Maybe envision throwing your sandwich at the guy who rolled his eyes at your lunch order, or draft a profanity-laced response to your mother-in-law, explaining why your kid has to wear a coat outside when it’s 23 degrees. It’s therapeutic and will help you maintain your haven’t-physically-assaulted-anyone streak.

Outwardly, and especially if you’re prone to outspoken behavior (like me), practice some restraint. It’s totally acceptable to tell an asshole how wildly inappropriate their behavior is, but save the swearing and name-calling for the most serious offenders. Sometimes, when dealing with low-key assholes, I like to just stare at them and say nothing until they’re uncomfortable.

Because screaming, “You’re a fucking moron, Dave!” is super unkind.

There are obvious exceptions to the kindness rule. For example, Bob, from accounting likes to crack inappropriate jokes, and once made a comment about how my ass looked in a certain dress. He had to fuck off immediately, and I told him so. Everyone has a different threshold of tolerance when dealing with assholes, but for me, if you comment on my body, you are flying first class to the exotic island of Go Fuck Yourself, and I will make sure that everyone knows it.

Don’t ever be afraid to stand up for yourself or advocate for others when you need to.

Unfortunately, some assholes just don’t get it, like Dave, who inflicts his assholism on others everyday. In my opinion, the recurrent (or constant) asshole is the hardest to deal with. You can break it down in the simplest terms, present indisputable facts, and still, they don’t get it. Their fuckery continues. And that shit is maddening.

For your own mental health, know when to walk away. Sometimes this means spatially distancing yourself from an asshole, and other times it means cutting them out of your life completely. You have to do what is best for you and your family, and being the recurrent recipient of bullshit isn’t good for anyone. “You do you, Dave. The rest of us will just be over here, not being dicks, if you decide to join us.”

Finally, and most importantly, everyone needs a friend who gets them, and is down to listen when you need to rant about a run-in with an asshole, whether it be a family member or random jackass in Aisle 9. Venting can be therapeutic, because it helps you process your frustrations and move on. But, be sure to lock that shit in the friendship vault, because venting can turn to gossip in a hot second when it falls into the wrong hands. Then who’s the asshole? That’s right, you, ya big, gossipy asshole.

On the flip side, there will be times you will find yourself to be an asshole, whether intentional or not. We’ve all been there, and it sucks. Maybe you spoke out of turn, or put your foot in your mouth, or said something hurtful in a moment of rage. Whatever it is that caused you to be an asshole: own it, acknowledge it, and make it right. Then maybe go teach a couple other assholes how to do the same.

Dealing with assholes sucks. It’s frustrating and exhausting, but there’s no way around it. Don’t give in to their negativity, don’t buy into their bullshit, and don’t give them the power to ruin your day.