Have you ever worked with someone so rude and unnecessarily mean-spirited you wondered how they’d managed to survive up to that point without being beaten mercilessly? You know, the sort of dude that goes out of his way to make your day at the cubicle farm worse than it already is?
As it so happens, my friend is dealing with someone of this nature at her job. He’s recounted tons of stories about a particular coworker talking down to him, berating him, and being just an overall prick for no reason whatsover. My friend’s a nice guy and hard worker; he’d be the last one you’d bitch at on the job.
During our work therapy conversations, my friend referenced a quote I’d never heard before but immediately agreed with: “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” Ever heard that before? It’s attributed to an American writer by the name of Eric Hoffer. If you aren’t familiar with Hoffer, he’s famous for being non-Freudian at a time when most people were down with Siggy. Hoffer believed self-esteem was immensely important to a persona’s well-being.
Why are idiotic assholes the way they are? According to Hoffer, rudeness and general ill-mannered behavior are a weak man’s attempt at asserting himself. A man who doesn’t feel strong compensates by acting like a total douche. He hides behind rudeness. It’s his only way of feeling worthy of respect.
Working from my home office the last three years, I haven’t had to deal with these types as much, but I still see them at the grocery store, at friends’ weddings, and on message boards, doing their best to make everyone else upset, hiding behind their own insecurities.
Next time some guy acts like a rude prick to your and/or one of your friends, coworkers, etc., don’t be intimidated. This is the last guy you should be afraid of. He’s the one who actually feels weak inside. Don’t take his insults or criticisms to heart; they’re only purpose is to make you feel worse and him feel better about himself. It’s classic bully psychology.
There have been times in my life where I’ve been the rude, weak dude. It hasn’t happened much, thankfully, but it’s happened. I’ve picked on people and acted like a jerk for no reason. Looking back now, I realize that it was my way of feeling strong as an insecure, dorky teenager. I lacked true confidence in those days and, like many moronic high school kids, tried to make up for it by acting rude.
That kind of dumb behavior is common among teenagers. If you’re 18 and above, however, there’s really no reason to act this way. Be a man. Be strong and confident and you won’t have to fall back on dickish behavior.
If you do plan on acting like a jerk, your secret’s out: you’re an insecure loser. Keep making a fool of yourself. Us confident guys will keep helping old ladies walk across the street.
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About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.