I don’t know about you, but there are certain things that people say that, to me, signal right off that the person saying them is probably kind of an asshole, or generally kind of terrible in some other way. These are 11 of them off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are more, so feel free to leave your own “favorites” in the comments.
1. “The customer is always right.”
Okay, sure, it’s always a great idea to treat customers well. But there are a lot of people out there who have let this imaginary power go right to their heads, believing that it can make items that are not on the menu at a restaurant or not stocked “in the back” in a retail store appear as if by magic, simply by being incredibly rude to the person waiting on them.
Said people believe, quite firmly, that they are not subject to return polices. That they can go sit at the largest table in a crowded restaurant, with a party of two, without checking in with the hostess and then get furious when no one comes to take care of them because they’re not in the system. Alas, they are incorrect.
I have always felt that although these people likely imagine that acting this way makes everyone else think that they must be fabulously important, that they are generally small people with small lives whose only sense of power in the world is the thrill they get from being “always right” in situations where they are the customer. I would feel sorry for them if they were not such assholes.
2. “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”
FIRST OF ALL! Sorry, but Marilyn Monroe never actually said this. There is no record of her ever saying it. It did not happen. Much like almost every Marilyn Monroe-related Pinterest quote out there. To boot, even if you think it’s real, I’m not sure you want Marilyn Monroe to be your healthy relationship icon. Yes, she was very pretty and she had a hard life, but I am not so sure she made a lot of great relationship choices in her life.
Second–this sounds like an awfully unhealthy and potentially abusive/manipulative relationship to me. I mean, if that is the thing you’re going to open with? You’re basically saying, “I am a really horrible person some of the time, but you should put up with that because of how super great I am some of the time.” To me, that honestly sounds a more than a little exhausting. I also don’t subscribe to the whole narrative that really great people are super difficult and tempestuous always. I tend to prefer people who, when they are at their worst, leave other people alone.
3. Fat shaming is a public service.
In the comments section of every article about body acceptance, there are always a few people who will INSIST that they are performing a public service by being shitty to fat people, because if they don’t feel shamed for their bodies, how will they ever get healthy?
Even aside from the fact that it is absolute bullshit that all skinny people are healthier than all people who are overweight. I want to know what world these people are living in where they think people are not made to feel badly enough about being overweight? In what world do they live in where they imagine there is such a thing as constructive bullying? That is not a thing!
If it is desperately important to you to be shitty to people, at the very least do not try to frame this as any kind of favor you are doing them. At least have the decency to cop to being a giant asshole. Because trust me, exactly no one is buying any of that.
4. “I’m just so much more sensitive/emotional than other people are!”
Are you psychic? Do you have the ability to go into other people’s brains and determine how they feel about things compared to how you feel about things? Probably not!
People handle their emotions differently. Sure, maybe you’re the person who bursts into hysterical tears in the middle of a bar, and someone else is the person who cracks a joke. Maybe you like talking about your problems with other people, and maybe someone else prefers to work things out on their own. As shocking as it may seem, it is totally possible that other person feels just as deeply about things as you do, but that they simply don’t choose to express that the same way as you do.
It is pretty darned insensitive to assume that anyone who doesn’t handle their feelings and emotions the way you do just doesn’t have them, or doesn’t feel things as deeply as you do. It’s also, believe it or not, a pretty mean thing to say, which doesn’t make you sound more “sensitive” but does make you sound significantly less empathetic. Which, in my estimation, is a lot more important.
5. “This is biased! You’re supposed to just report the facts and let me draw my own conclusions!’
I mean this, of course, in reference not to reportage, but to opinion articles. I would be being dishonest if I wasn’t saying that this is a specific pet peeve of mine, as a person who writes her opinion for a living. It drives me right up the fucking wall.
This is a reasonable opinion to have if you are talking about straight news, from a newspaper, op-ed sections not included. It is not a reasonable thing to say about a blog post or an op-ed. It is not, in fact, my job to report the facts and let you draw your own conclusions (I always imagine this in the whiniest voice humanly possible). It is my job to read the facts, draw my own conclusions, and then write about them.
If you don’t understand the difference between straight news and opinion, that is not my fault or the fault of any other blogger or opinion columnist. It is your fault for not having paid attention in your 4th grade English class when you were taught about the different kinds of journalism. Also, if you cannot read an opinion article and “draw your own conclusions” you are an idiot and should probably wait on forming any conclusions until you fix that.
6. “IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE MY SPECIAL DAY!”
I’m not actually sure if this is a thing people say outside of reality television, but I firmly hope it is not. I feel like there is no way to refer to your wedding or your birthday, in all seriousness, as your “special day” without sounding like the most horrendous person on earth. It cannot be done. Never, ever refer to anything as your special day.
7. “I don’t tip because…(insert anything here, it literally doesn’t matter).”
Any reason you have for not tipping is an asshole reason. This is simply not a hole you want to dig yourself into. You cannot spin it in a way that makes you come out looking not terrible. Can you think that restaurants should just pay waiters and waitresses more? Sure! That is a reasonable opinion to have. But you know whose fault it isn’t that they don’t? The person waiting on you! Also, trust, you withholding your tip isn’t going to make that happen.
If you have this opinion, really, you are just best off keeping it to yourself. Certainly, do not, under any circumstances, bring this up on a date.
If there were any possible way to voice one’s opposition to tipping without sounding like the biggest ass on the face of the earth, it is likely that someone far more clever than you are would have come up with it by now. You are probably not going to be the first person in the history of the world to do this, so don’t even try.
8. “You can’t criticize me! I have a right to free speech!”
Here is what the first amendment means–outside of say, shouting “Fire” in a crowded building and conspiring to commit a crime–you are, indeed, free to say whatever you want, express whatever opinions you want, without going to jail.
However–and this may surprise some people–individual citizens who are not empowered by the state, cannot actually infringe upon your first amendment rights. Criticizing your opinions, like it or not, is also free speech. Freedom of speech does not mean that no one can criticize you or your stupid opinions on things, or think you are an asshole as a result of them. Freedom of speech does not mean the right to no consequences whatsoever for your speech. It means, again, that you cannot be thrown in jail for it.
Even “political correctness” doesn’t actually infringe upon your right to free speech. Because someone criticizing you for using a racial slur is also expressing their right to free speech. Besides, if you can’t back up your opinion with anything other than “Well, it’s my right to say/think that because FREEDOM OF SPEECH,” you might want to rethink that opinion. Just as a tip.
9. “Heckling comics is a positive thing because (insert dumb reason here).”
One of the saddest things in the world are people who believe they are somehowcontributing to a stand-up show by heckling. That they are “keeping the comics on their toes” and alerting them to things they think are not funny. How self-important can someone possibly be? It’s weird.
I mean, kudos to comics who handle heckling well, but that doesn’t mean the person doing it isn’t a giant asshole. It’s certainly not a thing worth defending as some kind of art form, as I’ve heard some do before. At the very least, if you are going to pull shit like that, do not act as though it is somehow a kind thing to do. Admit you’re an asshole.
10. “They’re just jealous of me!”
Okay. Sure! This can happen sometimes. I’m not saying it doesn’t. But unless you are incredibly impressive, it is unlikely that this is always the case when you have problems with people. Even if it really is the case, you might want to refrain from saying it too often, as people may mistake you for a Real Housewife of Somewhere.
11. “I just say what everyone else is thinking!”
It is very rare that someone who says this proudly has not just said something incredibly insulting to another person for pretty much no reason. This is not necessarily something you want to be proud of.
Sometimes people don’t say everything they’re thinking out loud, because they don’t actually want to hurt other people’s feelings for no good reason. Also, it is weird to assume that everyone else is just as big of an asshole as you are, but that you are the only person with the courage to express your inner asshole nature. Maybe it’s you. Maybe you are just a jerk.