Did You Know? In 1962, there was an outbreak of contagious laughter in Tanganyika, Tanzania. It began as an isolated fit of laughter among a group of schoolgirls, but rose to epidemic proportions spreading into neighboring communities. The outbreak lasted for six months & was so serious that schools were closed. ( v i a )
There are a few types of assholes that exist in the world:
Assholes that maintain a steady level of asshole at all times, or an asshole that only cares about themselves & absolutely nothing else, or a wealthy asshole that’s degrading & objectifying, or an asshole that has ZERO ambition, or an asshole that doesn’t listen – ever, or an asshole that thinks they know everything about anything, or an asshole that’s asexual because no one deserves their precious parts.
But today I’m addressing the assholes that swing far & fast. Swinging assholes. When you meet this type of asshole they’re super nice, bubbly, generous & welcoming. But in a split second they can turn into a fucking wicked, twister destroying miles & miles of city in seconds.
We’ve all met one.
Last week I observed one of these assholes in true form. They were nasty, aggressive & destructive about something minimal – but it was their trigger. Enter: TWISTER. All cities & communities torn down.
I met this person several times before & he has always had a welcoming persona of extreme kindness & generosity. But he also comes with a whispered warning to walk on egg shells around him because at any moment he can snap. You know these?
As I saw this person the following day, we made eye contact. There he was, charming his way through a conversation with a fellow female, but for a mili second I saw sadness in his eyes.
Maybe I imagined it, but this is the result – I think people who have extreme mood swings don’t understand themselves. Being known as both the upbeat, generously kind person AND the person who can flip into a ramped twister with the flick of a light switch is frustrating even for the asshole. I don’t necessarily think they want to be mean, they haven’t figured out their own emotional responses to certain situations & are deep down embarrassed.
To deal with this, the asshole kisses ass after a rampage & sweet talks their way into a place where they hope everyone will disregard their unfathomable outbreak. Which usually works because people around them fear triggering the rage into come back, (which I believe actually enables the asshole, but that’s another post.)
This is in no way validating the asshole, they’re still a huuuumongous fucking asshole, but I decided understanding them should help the innocent (Ha!). The innocent that are unfortunately around the asshole during these outrages shouldn’t feel personally attacked or offended, even if there was a mistake on the innocent’s end.
Remember, the asshole is having their own mental rage they can’t figure out, and it has nothing to do with you. You don’t have to react, or be okay with it, or try to make sense of it – because it doesn’t make sense. The asshole doesn’t even understand!
And let us admit, there are times it’s impossible to ignore a swinging asshole, which is why my tip is to walk away. No matter what or who the asshole is.
Even if you’re at work. Exit the email, walk out of the office, hang up the phone – no one in the world has to listen to irrational raging, under any conditions.
I’ve seen & been a part of this scenario so many times & people around me always try to make sense of it as a way to help me feel better. “Ignore it” “Don’t take it Personally” “That’s just how it is”.
I suggest >> You. End. It. That’s the strongest move to make! Because we’re made to believe exiting a situation is weak, I think it’s actually incredibly strong to walk away. Leave it. Bravery babes, bravery. This is an awesome tool to have.
A swinging asshole has their own emotional frustrations they can’t understand & you’re likely not a paid psychiatrist so it’s not your problem to solve or emotional baggage to carry.
I’ve noticed understanding them has made it easier for me to walk away, WITHOUT carrying anger.
I’m hopeful you don’t have to run into many assholes in your life, if you choose wisely you likely shouldn’t. In the case you run into a swinging asshole, I hope this talk through helps you feel like you’re not alone & we have your back.
And if YOU are actually the swinging asshole, there’s hope for you too. First, recognize. Second, ask a counselor about your feelings.
There we go, cheers to avoiding assholes! Nothing like that to welcome a weekend!
If anyone has any great asshole stories to share, please do. We’re in this together!