Py Korry posted a link to a very important self-examination: Are You an Asshole? I took the test and scored a 2, meaning, "You don’t sound like a certified asshole, unless you are fooling yourself." I'm not fooling myself, but I definitely have met the type that do.
I've met my fair share of jerks in and outside of the workplace, but more often than not, these people are in the minority. Seems like for every bad apple, there are ten good apples. But just a few bad apples can spoil an orchard. Be it a boss who screams at people for making mistakes or a friend's parent who has a bad case of bipolar disorder, it's no fun to be around these people. But for various reasons, we are often around them. Be it everyday in a workplace or the occasional trip to a friend's house or a visit to the in-laws. They come in all shapes, sizes and ages. And they're not going away.
Even with the most optimistic and upbeat, we all have mental junk swimming around in our heads. Being upfront about the junk is a different story. We don't wear T-shirts or badges that list the various factors plaguing us, so it's not so apparent. I've met plenty of people that don't want to face up to the junk and they often have communication problems with others. I should know: I used to be really bad about shutting down, shutting up and flying off the handle. I'm still working on this.
But there are those that don't want to work on this. Whatever reasons they have, they just don't want to face themselves. In my case, I thought working this stuff out was self-centered. When I reached a point where I couldn't feel anything or make any decisions, I decided to seek help. I'm glad I did, but I argue I simply had run out of options.
Since I have a wild imagination, I decided to imagine other's hang-ups when there's a flare-up or negative response. Be it this person didn't get adequate attention from a parent growing up, received numerous taunts from a school bully or didn't get laid the night before, these are all factors that I had nothing to do with. I wasn't in the person's home growing up, I wasn't in the schoolyard and I definitely wasn't in the person's bedroom last night. But these people have a way of making matters seem like the blow-ups are all your fault. Since they can't yell at all the people who have done them wrong at once, you get the brunt. Yup, it's unfair, it's uncomfortable and it sucks, but such is life.
Even with a dry sense of humor, I try to not cut people down or give them a lot of grief. I may think a person "gets" my dry sense of humor, but sometimes people misconstrue it as pure asshole-like. I gently tease people close to me from time to time, but I choose to not do this all the time. Constant teasing can be rewired as a sense of love and attention.
So, take the test and feel free to post your score in the comments.