Nobody *wants* to be a dick. I know, I know, some people are incredibly good at it. But I refuse to believe that anyone starts out their adult life actually intending to be a rubbish person. Take me for example; I can be a bit of a dick. If you cross me, or someone I love, I will be less kind than usual. I may even be mean.
It’s also plausible that I might be a dick at other times. It may be that, on occasion, I am having a bit of a shitty day. On those days, I might be a dick. It may even be that I’m having such a rubbish day that I know I’m being a dick. But there’s also a very high chance that I’m hating every minute of it.
You see, as much as we are all entirely imperfect, I believe we all have someone’s best interests at heart. For example, even a horrible, racist, bigoted bawbag will be being that way because of their genuine belief that they are right. They’re wrong. But they believe they are right. Therefor, they are behaving despicably towards people for misguided (and did I mention WRONG) reasons, but they are doing so out of the belief that it’s the correct way to behave. So, even they don’t mean to be a dick. They just want something that is totally unfeasible to the rest of us.
A dear work colleague once told me about a trip to the supermarket, where her sister was being served by possibly the grumpiest checkout girl in existence. She was slamming things around, scowling and generally being a bit dickish. Instead of rising to this, or letting the negativity affect her response to the girl’s behaviour, she looked at her kindly and said, “are you having a bad day, dear?” The checkout girl burst into tears and confessed that, yes, things were indeed pretty awful.
Now, if this wonderful lady had decided to slam things back at the girl, scowl at her and even report her to management for her rudeness; the girl’s day could have got a whole lot worse. And the experience would have soured her day too, meaning that she, perhaps, found herself displaying some dickish behaviour of her own. Continuing the vicious circle of being a dick.
I believe that there is more than one type of dick. There’s self loathing dick. For these individuals there is a genuine fear in their hearts that people are “better off” without them. Or that their voice is too annoying for people to listen to. Or their face too ugly to force on people. Or whatever other, awful, thing they have convinced themselves of. These people could be dickish to avoid other people. To put an end to being told by others what they’ve already told themselves a thousand times that day.
And then we have the anxiety riddled dick. They just want to get back to where they feel safe. So they’ll ignore you. They’ll avoid you. They’ll be rude if they have to. They just don’t want to have to communicate or hang about. And it’s got naff all to do with you. It’s just about self preservation.
And no doubt I could name a few more offenders. But my point is really valid no matter what the reasons or origins. Not one of these people, or any of the other dickish humans in the world, wants to ruin your day. They may (ironically) be trying to avoid ruining your day. They may be trying to avoid ruining their wife’s day, their child’s day, their gran’s day. They may be trying simply to make it through the day.
But they don’t really want to upset you. Even the people who really dislike you don’t actually want you to be upset. They may not wish you well, but seeking you out to be a dick? They’d only be hurting themselves really. Because when you realise you’ve been a dick? No matter how much you felt it was justified at the time, one day it will haunt you.
And rest assured, the person who was a dick to you? Someone was a dick to them first. And I’m not saying that’s an excuse. But it probably is a reason.
So, next time someone is being a dick, try to kill it with kindness. Offer them chocolate, a cuddle or simply a listening ear. Because no matter how intentional their dickishness is, you don’t need to take it away with you.