Hi. My name is Michael, and I'm an asshole.
I make no secret of the fact that I'm an asshole. In fact, it seems to be common knowledge. I've had friends, family and co-workers call me an asshole. I've even had cartoonist J. Grant (of Flem and Two Lumps fame) call me an asshole. (Admittedly, I probably deserved it, but that's besides the point.)
Well, I admit that I'm an asshole. However, unlike most, I can occasionally cover that fact up. When I'm dealing with people I don't know, or people whose opinions actually matter to me, I can come across as your standard, everyday schmuck instead of a full-blown asshole.
There are many types of assholes. I'm a smart asshole. I have knowledge, and I use it to bludgeon those who don't agree with my point of view.
Then there are the dumb assholes. They don't know anything, but they won't let that stop them from expressing their opinion on it. "I'm all for stem-cell research." "Why?" "Well, they're just plants..."
There are the artistic assholes. They complain constantly about how art shouldn't be held to a deadline, or that nobody understands their art.
You've got the religious assholes. They believe that the best way to convert someone to your faith is not to live your beliefs, but to instead cram their belief system down your throat using whatever methods they have available.
On occasion, you'll run into fashion assholes. "Oh...my...God, that outfit is so five minutes ago! Nobody is wearing just blue jeans and a T-shirt anymore....NO! You've got to wear capri pants and a pirate shirt!"
There are the natural assholes. These guys can rile up anyone without even realizing that they're doing it. Often, they'll blame their comments on their heritage.
There are the sadistic assholes. These guys love seeing other people squirm, so they intentionally try to cause discomfort.
Finally, you've got the substance assholes. These guys either drink so much alcohol or smoke so much dope that their true selves come to the forefront. When they return to normal several hours later, they believe that they aren't responsible for what they did, and they blame the substance instead of the substance taker.
Everyone's got a bit of an asshole in them, and it always shows up at the worst time. I'm not saying that there is a particular way to handle an asshole, because what works to stop up one asshole may act as a laxative on the next. I'm just saying that recognizing when you are an asshole is the first step to controlling it.