A brilliant interview with Robert Sutton, Stanford psychologist, has made the study of assholes — the people, not the orifice — part of his professional life. He studies organizational behavior, in general, and, as you can image, got an earful about and from assholes in a wide variety of organizations.
The technical definition of asshole is someone who leaves us feeling demeaned, de-energized, disrespected, and/or oppressed. In other words, someone who makes you feel like dirt. Sounds like the Ol’ Pussy Grabber among others, don’t it? He goes on, I would make a distinction between temporary and certified assholes, because all of us under the wrong conditions can be temporary assholes. I like it because of its emphasis on situationalism and the power of the situation to influence behavior and mental processes. But, here’s the interesting bit, I think it’s more complicated than simply saying an asshole is someone who doesn’t care about other people. In fact, some of them really do care — they want to make you feel hurt and upset, they take pleasure in it. (Emphasis mine)
As it turns out, an asshole is an everyday sadist, kinda like an internet troll! It also sounds like gaslighting and narcissist personality abuse. Hrumpf, go figger. Since the APA has said it’s okay to talk about the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s mental health, we can no publicly proclaim that technically, by the book, he’s a certified asshole. Ha ha!
Pretty cool, hunh? Who knew you could be a professional and throw shade on assholes all at the same time?
A Stanford psychologist on the art of avoiding assholes
“Not giving a shit takes the wind out of an asshole’s sails.”
The world is full of assholes. Wherever you live, whatever you do, odds are you’re surrounded by assholes. The question is, what to do about it?
Robert Sutton, a psychology professor at Stanford University, has stepped up to answer this eternal question. He’s the author of a new book, The Asshole Survival Guide, which is basically what it sounds like: a guide for surviving the assholes in your life.
In 2010, Sutton published The No Asshole Rule, which focused on dealing with assholes at an organizational level. In the new book, he offers a blueprint for managing assholes at the interpersonal level. If you’ve got an asshole boss, an asshole friend, or an asshole colleague, this book might be for you.
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