An experiment in asshole-ry

An experiment in assshole-ryI am sorry. This post contains the word asshole. Repeatedly. It’s not something I regularly do here, so I hope you don’t mind. If you do, I am thinking maybe it’s best if you pour yourself a cuppa and step away from the blog. I promise sunshine-y things tomorrow.

I love the internet. I freaking love it.

I also slightly hate the internet.

When I first started blogging, I was definitely madly, deeply, crazy in love with the internet. The idea that I could connect with another person in another corner of the world, and be going through the exact same thing: brilliant.

But then the years went on, and everyone started using the internet more and becoming so brave behind their keyboards. You only have to read the comment section on Facebook to see what I mean. People can be assholes.

Don’t let me taint your feelings towards the internet though. It’s more lovely than it isn’t.

A few weeks back, I think I might have been PMSing {it’s when I’m at my finest, just ask my husband} and I couldn’t be my normal, mostly diplomatic self.

I get negative comments and emails regularly. On this day I’d sent out my weekly newsletter, and had written about how Lacey had used my camera and liked it. I’d written that email at stupid o’clock {close to midnight}, and I was tired. I stuffed up and put a link wrong, and I didn’t even notice… well, not an until an email hit my inbox.

The email listed my mistakes and finished with the simple words, “I expected more from you.”

Usually I’d respond with the correct link and an apology, but this time I was sick of copping flack.

So I pulled an asshole move.

I apologised. Gave the correct link. Told her not to be rude. And finished with, “Nobody likes an asshole.”

Because nobody really does, do they?

I have to admit, part of me felt great. Like that email was the middle finger to anyone that had ever written me a rude email, but then it felt crappy. I felt anxious, and weird and bad.

We emailed back and forth that morning. At first it was tense, each of us telling each other not to be rude and then justifying our actions.

We were tired. Kids were sick. Husbands were sick. Workloads were big. Washing piles were endless. But most of all we were human.

And I thought of that quote: “Be kind; Everyone is fighting their own battle.”

By the end of it, we were practically friends, united by the battlelines of life, and all the crankiness that can come with it.

For some people the battle is huge and long, and for others the battle is small and insignificant. Someone expected more from me? Well, so they probably should. And without context {facial expressions, voice tone, the look in their eye} it’s easy to take things the wrong way. Both ways.

The woman behind the email, through our exchange, put it into perspective. She loves my blog. She reads it regularly. She was disappointed when she clicked something and it didn’t work, and was letting me know. Through my words in return, I shared that her email wasn’t the first, and I was feeling slightly beaten and downtrodden.

There’s still truth to those words I said. Not at my new-found friend, but in general. Nobody does like an asshole, and I certainly didn’t like being one either.

I played asshole a few more times that week. Pulled people up when they were rude. Said things how they were. It was a good experiment for me. Anyone can be an asshole, but an asshole can be anyone. A someone with kids, a family, and who knows, their own battle on their hands too.

Image source: BigStock

33 thoughts on “An experiment in asshole-ry”

  1. Well done for standing your ground. This is your blog and yes people are entitled to their opinions but why cant people be nice or keep their negative thoughts to themselves and leave it at that. V x

  2. Love, love,l LOVE this post Chantelle!! Totally sums up my feelings towards the internet and towards assholes! We can all be a little asshole-y sometimes … Doesnt make us assholes, merely human. Keep on being you, because that’s all the majority of us expect from you 🙂 <3

  3. Oh Telle! You’re one in a million I tell you!
    Love this! Love you!
    Keep being sunshine-y. And keep standing up for yourself. You do both so well.
    As for me, I need to learn to desensitise a little. I take things soooo personally and dwell on them for far too long!!!
    But hey so true – no one likes an asshole! I’d rather be the doormat than the asshole wiping my feet on someone.

  4. Awesome work standing up for yourself, but completely amazing work somehow turning that into making a new friend!

  5. I LOVE more than anything that you stood up for yourself. I also LOVE that you weren’t consumed by your own self righteousness to correct this person that you came to the realisation that instead of enemies, this lady needed some understanding as did you. Funny how things work themselves out. Also a wake up call for us all that we are all just trying to do our best, put one foot in front of the other, and some days it’s bloody hard.

  6. You and I definitely need to run away together. My super lovely GP was away when I went to my appt this week. The doctor I saw had obviously swallowed a rather large asshole tablet that morning. She looked at my discharge summary from ER that was quite thorough about the missed miscarriage I’d had and proceeded to ask me three times if I’d just had an abortion and panicked. On my way to speak to the practice manager I turned to the doctor and said “Douche-bagistan… population, you.” Oops.

    • Good on you!! I really hate people like that! Especially doctors. How dare she be so horrible to you. Especially as a woman and a doctor who had a very thorough document in front of her, and your own words and emotions. Once is bad enough, but 3 times is completely disgusting. I would like to apologise on her behalf, as people like her will never know how to do such a thing. I hope you report her to your regular GP. I’m really happy I have found 2 really great doctors recently who actually seem invested in proactively helping me and not making me feel stupid, or like a hypochondriac. After a horrible year and a bit it has helped a massive amount, even if the problems aren’t totally fixed yet, I know they’re trying their best and not just telling me it’s stress and dusting their hands of me.

      What you said was down right brilliant! I love it!

  7. Well done on standing up for yourself. It seems that people are becoming much more aggressive behind their keyboards and it is quite worrying. I always think that if you are not prepared to say it to someone’s face then you shouldn’t say it.

    Glad to hear that you have both smoothed the waters and have made a new friend – that is awesome

  8. Good on you girlfriend for standing up for yourself – the world is full of negative rude people and somehow they are allowed to get away with it…I applaud you for calling someone it.
    You’re so right…life is one big sometimes difficult journey for a whole bunch of reasons…we’re all doing it and doing the best we can at the time. And we all have moments where we’d just love to tell someone what we really think but then most of us stop and realise that no good will come of it and move on.
    Just recently I’ve had this chat with my Mr 9…and the best way I could describe it was…Treat people the way you’d like to be treated…simple really.

    P.S. Happy Happy Friday!

  9. I have the tendency to spend hours upon hours thinking of what I COULD have replied with, or how I COULD have reacted in those kinds of situatiions. That sometimes eats me up more than if I just took the asshole route and flipped them off in the first place. It’s a constant battle, especially for us anxious folk.

    Megan ||

  10. I think that the problem with the Internet is often that you miss all the facial and body language that you get in face to face situations. Then we interpret what someone is typing with our own judgement (which can sometimes be a little bit way off).

    Good to hear that you were able to resolve the issue and also reflect on your own attitude.

    I agree, we can all be an asshole some of the time.

    Birdie xxx

  11. That just shows so much about your character, you can even turn a nasty negative email into a positive we can be friends moment! The world needs more kindness like this 🙂

  12. I’m so pleased you stood your ground. Next time you should send a little card, saying “Congratulations! You have joined Assholes Anonymous.” People should not be rude, especially to you, because you are the antithesis of rude. I don’t really care about the battles, the old adage holds true, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. And just for the record, no one likes a sunburn slapper either. Random but true. Just sayin’. Assholes and sunburn slappers, be gone!

  13. I love your blog and I can’t believe people could be such assholes to you. You do a fantastic job and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t make to odd mistake (I have to say I kind of like when there is a mistake online, in a magazine or on tv because then I don’t feel so bad when I make one!).
    I also have on occasion, probably too often, called someone out on being an asshole and then stressed about the ramifications.
    One of the best come backs for someone being an asshole I have heard is simply “if I wanted to hear from an asshole I would have farted”.
    May all the assholes in the world take their f*ckwittage someplace else!

  14. Chantelle this is pure gold! So glad you were able to turn it around while not losing face. It’s a tough gig to have a public face and be judged. We are all human. Your blog always makes smile. If people don’t like what you put on it or if you make a mistake (so easy when we’re tired) they don’t have to follow you. It’s great you were able to end on a positive note. Love your blog 🙂

  15. I keep coming back to your blog because you are honest about the realities of being a mum, you’re funny and creative and I like you. We don’t pay to subscribe to your newsletter, so where’s the room to criticize? I am glad you made up though. I bet it made you both feel better. Sometimes when we are super tired we are all more blunt and honest than we would normally be. We lose our filter. I hope your week ends on a high note after that.

  16. Totally proud of you for standing up for yourself!! I always think sometimes it’s not what you say but how.. She could have emailed and let you know in a kind maybe even cheeky way but chose not too. And yep everyone has their battles and we often don’t know about them so kindness is best!! You catch more flies with honey than vinegar xx ( don’t think I could have put any more quotes in there)

  17. It is so sad that people seem to think that because your blog is public that they can say what they like. It is not as if we pay a subscription fee to receive your newsletters filled with tips or pay to read your blog that is full of tips for bloggers and photographers alike. If it was a sponsor’s link that you messed up with, you could understand them expecting more from you, but a reader getting tips for free is so uncalled for.
    Thank you for sharing your blogging tips and photography tips, I have learnt so much about blogging since finding your blog a year ago and think it is awesome that you share your knowledge about blogging.
    Oh and the Sun flare post – just fantastic. You will not believe how many Sunflare photos I have deleted until I read your tips and learnt that they were a photography technique 🙂
    Thanks for keeping your thickets skin on and overcoming the arsehole -ry all over the webs

  18. I too read your blog regularly but I wouldn’t dream of emailing you & telling you off or telling you that I expected more of you….and I cannot believe anyone else would either!!

    I write a blog & am also a wife & parent & do a million other things – as I know you do. My blog is nowhere near as successful/well put together/professional as yours but my expectations of you aren’t any higher than any other human being. Is someone honestly trying to say that they assumed you were perfect….good lord!!? They should really get a life.

    Great post!

  19. Oh I can TOTALLY relate to being on both ends of these kinds of bad behaviors. I love your honesty, reminding us that we’re all simply humans trying to get through our lives as we try our best to get along with each other. Thanks for putting your whole heart out there …. as usual. I appreciate the feeling of camaraderie with bloggers who share their struggles. Excellent post!

  20. Good on you Chantelle! It is horrible when nice people are treated so aggressively and unfairly, and as much as nice people don’t like to be assholes, unfortunately, sometimes (especially if it’s happened a lot) you just break and have to stand up for yourself and be somewhat assholey yourself. I do find it easier to stand up for myself via writing…. I might be a bit wordy, but i get too emotional in person and either lose the plot completely or shut down and not do anything… And always there are tears. I can’t help it. I am a crier. I cry a lot, and lately at the drop of a hat. I cry when I’m happy, sad, laughing, embarrassed and angry. I stood up for myself in person about 6 months ago to a bully boss who never had a nice thing to say to me ever and after ripping in to me unfairly and for no reason (of course I was in tears), I was told I was rude, and unprofessional and uncommitted. I was very proud of myself (despite the tears) I defended every issue she raised, I didn’t blow up, or say anything rude or unwarranted (unlike her) I didn’t storm out, or shut down. I defended myself, explained my actions and left. Bawled like a baby for the next hour or so, and was assured by colleagues I was none of the things she had called me. But I was proud of myself. And still am!

  21. The Internet can be a bumpy place and when you’re feeling stretched or low it can be a dangerous playground. Words hurt, they sting and sometimes pack a punch! Picking your battles, standing up for yourself and knowing when to walk away are always difficult choices to make when wounded…good for you for standing up for yourself. It’s not ok to be mean, it’s not ok to let people hurt you, it’s not ok to not feel ok. Asshole is mild…I could think of eleventy billion worse words…you did fine and learnt a good lesson xx

  22. I don’t think I’ve ever read a less likely asshole than you Chantelle. You certainly don’t have the face for one. Standing up for yourself isn’t being one either. My Dad is eighty and makes me laugh with his response to road rage assholes. Whenever they impatiently blast their horn at him (and I believe it happens a bit these days to octogenarian drivers like him) he blows them a kiss or waves in a friendly manner. Maybe we should translate that strategy to internet abuse.

  23. “Anyone can be an asshole, but an asshole can be anyone.” NAILED IT. Seriously great. And “I expected more from you” is harsh, no matter how you justify it. I hope they apologised, but I’m glad you have a new online friend.

  24. Total Classic.. I get the same from ours and I don’t even create them all and it kills me to be polite back sometimes.. Cos a-holes don’t deserve it but they clearly think otherwise..

  25. I think that sometimes people need to be called out when they’re being rude just for the sake of it, behind every blog is a person. You are the least asshole person I know. Glad you kinda kissed and made up! x

  26. Loved this Chantelle. We are all assholes sometimes, I loved the outcome, ii just means ;your’e both not really assholes. haha!

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