How to understand that you’re an asshole

Translation carried out by the project Newочем


Here’s something you probably didn’t do this morning. Look in the mirror and ask: “Not an asshole?”


The question seems reasonable. In this world, apparently, are the real assholes. And many of them will likely have a very high opinion of their own moral qualities, or, at least, good. They do not perceive themselves as assholes, because it’s self-awareness is not easy.


Psychologist Simin Wazir, University of California at Davis proves that we are trying to evaluate their characteristics when they are estimated simultaneously neutral (in the sense that having such traits is neither good nor bad) and directly observable.


For example, people tend to know whether they are talkative. Be talkative — more or less normal, and more or less okay to be silent, and in any case your level of conversation more than available for any observer. Evaluation of its mouth, as a rule, is strongly correlated with the evaluation of colleagues and objective measurements. On the other hand, creativity is much less neutral trait: who wouldn’t want to ascribe this quality? And it is much less accessible for direct determination. Following the model Wazir, we find very weak correlation between the evaluation of one’s own creativity, assessment of colleagues and the attempts of psychologists to objectively measure this trait.


The question “if I’m a dick with a bloated ego?” is not quite neutral for the rating, so you will have an explicit commitment to the desired response: “no, of course not!”. Mudatskoe behavior is not directly observable and, therefore, you will have enough space for re-interpretation of evidence in the style of: “well, maybe I was a little angry with that cashier, but she deserved it, forgetting to pour a double batch in my large glass.”


Highly educated people, by the way, is not immune to biased thinking. In contrast, a recent study by Dan Kahana from Yale University showed that educated people with developed reflection may be especially skilled in streamlining existing beliefs — for example, interpreting complex evidence of the need for control over the circulation of weapons in a manner that fits into their political views.


My suspicion, in the opinion of the people about their level of bullshit and its true level of correlation there. Some particularly unruly assholes can recognize that they are assholes, but others can see for themselves the beauties of first grade. Some of these sweethearts can see how well they are lovely, while others are too severely underestimate his moral characteristics.


There is another problem in the realization asshole: we have a definitive understanding of the essence of bullshit — so far, at least. There is no official scientific term that would accommodate the full range of ordinary use of the word “asshole”, right, not the guy who shamelessly cuts you in traffic, and to the teacher who casually humiliates his disciples, and to the employee who turns every meeting into a battlefield.


The most close to the “asshole”, among the distinguished science of personality types, is the dark triad of narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. Daffodils appreciate themselves stronger than other people that explicitly or implicitly make and assholes. And yet, narcissism is not really a shitstorm, because it also includes the desire to be the center of attention, that peculiar not all assholes. With Machiavellian personality traits usually refer to people as tool that they can use for their own purposes, what they are doing and assholes. And again, it’s not really a shitstorm, because Machiavellianism involves a conscious cynicism, while assholes are often unaware of their own selfish aspirations. People with psychopathy are selfish and heartless, like an asshole, but they are also prone to impulsive risk taking, while assholes can prudent to avoid the risk.


Another close concept is the concept of asshole, recently described by philosopher Aaron James University of California, Irvine. According to the theory of James, assholes — people who allow themselves to enjoy special advantages in front of other people as something self-evident. Despite the fact that it’s pretty close to the shitstorm, it’s not quite the same thing. A person can be an asshole, showing arrogant and abusive behavior, even if it does not allow him to receive special benefits.


Given this number of pointers on the way, what should a potential asshole, who is interested in the correct self-assessment?


The first step to the solution — clearly define what it means to be an asshole. I believe that the shitstorm should be a category worthy of separate research. The word “asshole” is an apt and useful. It covers a very realistic phenomenon that cannot be explained any other psychological concept. Assholes — people who are guilty of failing to appreciate the perspectives of others, treating them as tools to use or as fools, which need to understand, and not equal in mind and manners. To be a dick, you need to be a kind of ignorant — does not understand the values of others, is not able to assess the merits of their ideas and plans, contemptuous of their desires and beliefs, merciless to their apparent weaknesses. Shine people’s thoughts, calling certain people assholes is to emphasize the lack of these qualities.


Assholes see the world through glasses that obscure the identities of the other people. The waiter in the restaurant — not a potentially interesting person with a unique personality, life story and set of qualities, on which you could rely on. Instead, it is only a tool, feed you lunch, or a jackass on which to vent anger. The people standing in front of you in line at Starbucks, impersonal and insignificant. Standing on the social ladder below you do not have your talents, and they deserve dirty work.


To sharpen our concept of bullshit, it is also important to define the opposite of asshole: nice cat. Maybe you know one or two of these people usually are attentive to the needs and desires of others, sensitive to their thoughts and preferences, compliant in situations of conflict and suspecting that the fault lies on them and not on the other side. Imagine you motherfuckin ‘ turn the glasses inside out, turning them into points-paws — glasses that make particularly clear the value, significance, importance and uniqueness of the people around.


Perhaps there is no clean assholes or pure honeys. Several decades of psychological research confirms that when it comes to large, extensive personality tests, almost all are heterogeneous and subject to many variable factors. But where is your place in the spectrum from asshole to honey, in any aspects, situations, what people? Maybe nothing defines your moral character, what degree of bullshit. It’s your basic manners towards other people.


This definition will help us to see two obstacles to the realization of yourself as an asshole. First: once a person begins to worry about his own shitstorm, it instantly disappears. If you pricks fear and shame for what you could mean of someone to do, thanks to these injections, you are aware of the legitimacy of the interests and values of this man, see him as a person, to which you have moral duties rather than as a tool or a fool. You — at least for a moment — take off your motherfuckin ‘ glasses.


Thus, the most worried about the fact that they behaved like an asshole, oddly enough, it was paws — those who will approach you to apologize, blushing with shame at his not-such-it-and-awful behavior. On the contrary, there is nothing more alien to a complete asshole than to apologize, blushing from embarrassment.


Of course, if you’re to reassure yourself that idea, think: “Hmm, since I’m worried about the fact that you can be a dick, and read the article in the journal on this topic, I can’t really be a jerk!” — and drop the excitement, your shitstorm can potentially return to the site.


Another typical obstacle in the realization of his bullshit inability asshole to listen to. Perhaps one of the most important ways to moral self-awareness of listening, being genuinely open to criticism of your moral other people. Asshole is not easy to do. As dick often did not consider others as equals, deserving of intellectual and moral respect, he rarely accepts constructive criticism. Why take seriously what I said you moron? Why to interact with their critical opinion about you? Most likely the asshole or will not agree with the criticism, counterattack, utter nonsense and will storm off or smile and stick the knife deeper.


In this respect, and other moral vices is not so difficult to realize. Dishonesty, for example, does not block a person’s understanding of the charges of dishonesty. Private greed is not a particularly affects the person’s ability to understand that someone else might have behaved like greedy. But to silence the voice of his own conscience — the natural ability of the assholes.


If the essence of bullshit is that they are not able to take into account the interests of other people, it suggests that there are non-obvious path to self-realization: to look not for themselves but for other people. Instead of looking in the mirror, turn away from the mirror and pay attention to the colors that painted the rest of the world. You are surrounded by fools and insignificant person? People with bad taste and silly desires? Boring, unworthy of your attention people? People can quickly assess if to apply to them the same broad and negative measurements are jerks, snobby snooty, empty-headed kids hanging out, smug assholes — are — assholes?


If the world generally seems to you just the way I have bad news for you. It seems that you asshole. For most people, the world looks quite different, and the world is actually not like that. You have a distorted vision. You do not notice the individuality of people around you and their potential.

© RIA Novosti, Alexey kudenko | go to fotomonster cafe “Pub” on Big Nikitsky

I have outlined a vision through the motherfuckin ‘ glasses are pretty exaggerated, but its aspects, I think, familiar to all of us, except the most hopeless sweethearts (which actually has enough of their problems, because they very easily absorb the desires and opinions of others). We all sometimes behave like assholes.


But how often do you fall into a shitstorm? Every one of us — partly an asshole, and partly honey, where are you in this spectrum? You can look back and try to remember how often you found yourselves in muzickih glasses. But, unfortunately, this is not the type of reflection in which people good. Selective memory: we tend to remember or some very bright situations, or those that confirm the existing view, or those that put us in the best light (or — especially among the self-critical person — in the worst). If you really want to accurately measure your level of bullshit, I have two of the scientific approach.


One of them is to use the methods of sampling experiences that were first developed by psychologists Russell Herberton from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who is currently working at the University of the Claremont Graduate. Put a random signal or any other external signal, and when it sounds, mark how you think about things. Maybe you’re not too good at evaluating their own experience, and maybe you’ll be prone to rationalization of flattery to themselves, but after some time you collect a representative sample.


The second approach is to try to develop something like non-judgment of awareness of the concept of Asian meditation practices. Recently, psychologist Erika Carlson of the University of Toronto suggested that practice this type of awareness as a way of recognizing in himself the most difficult in this respect the devil (kind of bullshit), those who observe or distinctly to recognize is difficult. The point of this practice is that the least subjective attitude to his own flow of experience. Guess Carlson is that if it becomes a habit, we will be able to obtain broader and more representative basis for future judgments about our personalities.


Although empirical studies of non-judgment of awareness are still in their infancy, there is evidence of its connection with the self. For example, amber Emanuel and her colleagues from Kent state University found that experiment participants who, as reported, is well able to assess his mental state more accurately predicted their emotional reaction to the presidential elections in the United States. Christine hill and John Updegraff, both from Kent state University, found that a high propensity for judgmental awareness in humans correlated with the ability to navigate through the subtle different positive and negative emotions during the study.


I don’t know how realistic is it to expect that lots of people are any serious about sampling experiences or training-judgmental awareness, with attention to improved understanding of one’s own moral characteristics, they do not know how successful such training would be in the end. Let me finish with a more modest proposal: remember this article sometimes during the day when you’re surrounded by other people — maybe at lunch or at a meeting in the Department, or at a party or in a crowded area. Pay attention to the people around you. They are fools and tools of manipulation, or they spark interesting personality? In other words, mark, wearing it on you motherfuckin ‘ points.


We all sometimes look through the motherfuckin ‘ points. But we are not stuck in this vision of the world. I guess just a little on reflection on this, we can — most of us, at least for a moment to see what has no such perception.


And this is the only way to remove motherfuckin ‘ points.