Why are people such assholes?

The older I get, the more jaded I think I’ve become.

When I was younger, I understood that I was a child and I wasn’t privy to all the information that people know about what goes on “behind the scenes” of daily life. I didn’t know the details of people’s romantic relationships, of their professional life, or of their relationships with their kids or parents.  What I saw on the surface was what I knew.  Otherwise, I was happy to mind my own business.

As I grew older, I thought that I’d have a deeper look into that and understand why people act the way they do.  Maybe he and his wife are having a fight.  It could be that his teenaged daughter just told him that she hates him. Maybe he is being belittled at work.  I would have thought that the people who are in my life would share those details with me and I’d have a better understanding of why they take on their current mood and attitude.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

I’m still just as clueless.  I still don’t know what pushes people to act like such outrageous assholes.  Why do they take out their frustrations and anger on people who don’t deserve it?  Sure, psychology tells us that “projection” is a common method of coping. When there’s something going on at home, we don’t deal with it internally.  Instead, we push that anger onto someone else.

But that is just plain unhealthy.  If people would just “deal with it” at home, at the lowest level possible, that hate and anger wouldn’t get spread everywhere like a biological weapon.  Instead of communicating with your spouse or child or boss, a person finds it easier to yell at the girl at the drive-through, honk at the person in front of him in traffic for not going as soon as the light changes, or even bringing the anger home from work and yelling at his spouse or children.

If you find yourself angry and you need to “get it out,” do so in a healthy manner.  Go to a driving range and hit some golf balls.  Write.  Go to the gym and do some boxing or run it off.  Do something positive with your energy.

The people closest to you will thank you.



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