The hardest thing any asshole can do is to be introspective. What’s the point? For most of us used-to-be assholes, we already know our diagnosis. It’s everyone else who ought to figure out.
No one can articulate what it’s like to think like an asshole unless you’ve been there, done that, thought it and nipped it in the bud. As a former asshole myself, I can say that it’s one of the hardest habits to kick. But here’s how I did it …
First, Choose to be Introspective.
I looked at my past relationships, my past flings and would have’s. As images scurried by, I realized none of them were ever my fault — I mean, none of them. I didn’t take any of the blame: He was the one who was too unavailable, he was the one that hurt me, he was the one that took advantage of me, he was the one that did this, did that …
Even in my own thoughts, I refused to accept responsibility. As a test, I decided to change perspectives around moments I wasn’t seen in the best light: I remember one night in particular when “Michael” and I were out to dinner. He was happy the waiter sat us next to his favorite painting on the wall, to which he began to talk about the history–for half an hour. “Can you stop talking about the painting!” I yelled (perhaps that wasn’t the best way to handle it). Another memory was with “Danny,” when I made fun of him in front of his friends assuming he’d laugh at himself, but instead he took it personal (I never apologized for it).
Memory after memory floated to the top of my conscious. As they ascended, so did my clarity. I understood now that perhaps there were things I could have said differently, done differently, took differently, which may have created a better foundation of trust.
Hours and hours of memories came. I remembered the look on their faces immediately after I insulted them. Until now, I hadn’t interpreted it as anything significant. This was when I knew it wasn’t entirely their fault.
Second, Understand why you may be an Asshole.
As a child, my father wasn’t the nicest of men. Not only did he insult my mother on a daily basis, but he also insulted my sister and me. Unconsciously, this was how I learned to love. But I was a good person and friend–it didn’t make any sense.
That’s when it clicked. I was only an asshole to guys I was beginning to fall in love with. It was contrasting to how I treated my girl friends —they held a different part of my heart. But for guys in my life who snuck into the most fragile part of me, it was a matter of time before a habit of asshole-isms took over.
Breaking the habit of what we are is never an easy thing because it requires us to peel away layers. We were constructed by what we learned — think about that for a second. No one is born an asshole. If we can learn how to be one, we can unlearn it in the same fashion.
We were constructed to be the man we are today because of circumstances. It’s that simple. But now that we’re adults living with millions of personalities, part of being mature is teaching ourselves how to survive. Most of that is simply retraining our brains how to communicate and live with others.
Lastly, Have Compassion for Yourself.
Looking back, there will always be moments we wish we can do over. But we can’t. The only option is to start fresh. By having compassion for yourself, you will unleash power you never knew you had. Not only will you be able to forgive yourself, but you will be able to forgive others as well, thus creating a new filter for life.
Disclaimer: I don’t mean to imply the only reason why you’re single is because you’re an asshole.
Life is full of random events, which, like it or not, affect our relationships. Moods, emotions, opinions, perspectives … they’re all dependent on how we perceive ourselves. The only thing we can do is to investigate all of them. I did it the hard way.