How to Deal With Crappy People

penelope

Ugh, I’m disgusted with my brain.  I see people walking down the street and there’s like this killer inside me providing running nasty commentary about each person. Do you do this also?

I have to stop myself often: “you don’t know this person who is randomly crossing the street. You can’t possibly know that he’s a cheating lying rich Hamptons-worshipping whoremongering obnoxious trust fund baby with a 17 year old mistress on the side who doesn’t wipe, who doesn’t wash, who would wish nothing better than to see you die”.

You can’t know that! So why do I think it? Most people crossing the street probably think that about me also. Who is that freak? Is he homeless? Why can’t he comb his hair? Why is his fly open? Is he a child molesting pervert?

Read More: How To Be The Luckiest Guy On the Planet in 4 Easy Steps. 

Most people are pretty crappy. But not all. And even the ones who are no good and not worthy of your time need a system for you to use so YOU can be happier and leave this lecherous gossipy crack addict thats in your head on the road and kick him or her to the curb.

reflection[1]

There are only four types of people. If you understand in advance how to deal with each of these four types you will be infinitely happier. Ultimately, interacting with the four types in the way I describe below will make one fit firmly into the first type, however difficult it is. That’s the goal. You don’t want to go through life unhappy.

There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.

In an earlier article on my blog I gave my own Daily Practice that has helped me out of every tough situation in my life for the past 15 years (when I’ve been disciplined enough to apply it).

It has 4 legs. Many of us focus in our daily lives on only one of the legs (Physical, Emotional, Mental, or Spiritual) but we need all the legs in balance to really sit down at the dinner table without falling.

The Practice works and brings one from the brink to success and then more success. I believe in it more than I’ve ever believed in any hocus-pocus anything ever.

But to develop the emotional leg of that practice takes a lot of work and I’ve written nothing on this. Probably because it’s the hardest. In my talks people ask about the Mental side, the idea muscle. But the Emotional side, equally as important, is much harder.

The key is to identify the FOUR types of people and discipline yourself on how you should approach these people.

The Four Types of People

#1 Happy. There are people who are genuinely happy in the world. Sure they have their suffering. Everyone does. But a lot of people really are pretty satisfied with their lives at this very moment.

A natural reflex (not for everyone, but certainly for some people) is to resent people for being happy. Who doesn’t do that some of the time? Raise your hand!

Let’s say someone lives in 20,000 square foot house in Connecticut, has a sexy wife (or sexy husband), and is genuinely happy. It’s hard not to resent such a person. This resentment will block the Daily Practice from having beneficial outcomes in your life.  In 2002 when I was pitching hedge fund managers to invest money with me I often ran into the exact person described above. And their families. The sexy wives in short shorts. The hedge fund managers served gourmet meals for lunchtime by loving cooks.

(Stevie Cohen’s house. Here’s How Stevie Cohen Changed My Life)

You can’t fake resentment. You can’t put on a mask. If someone is at a costume ball, you can easily see they are wearing a mask. You have to genuinely be happy for these people.

It’s so hard to grab a single ounce of happiness in this world, please be happy for the ones who are happy today. Train your mind to be sincerely happy for their happiness. Catch your resentments and jealousies before they turn into monsters.

Carrie Fisher once said, “nobody wants to read about a good looking happy person”. She was making a commentary on comedy screenwriting and she’s probably right about that. But for you to go from success to success you must first be sincerely happy for the people who are happy around you. Like attracts. Picture all the people you might resent. Spend five minutes a day training your brain to be happy for them. You’ll die lonely in the jungle if you don’t do this and everyone will forget you ever existed.

#2 People in pain. I’ve been unhappy often. Particularly in the past decade. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Sometimes people die. I think the level of unhappiness and pain I’ve had in the past decade (versus prior decades) has taught me compassion towards others in a similar boat. Try to cultivate that compassion. It doesn’t mean you have to drain yourself to help those less fortunate.

But even showing compassion and doing what you can goes a long way. If you can share what you have, all the better. If you can give a word of advice, do it.

Unhappy person can easily turn into category #4 below. You always have to protect yourself first. Be compassionate but keep your boundaries. Your goal is your own peace of mind throughout the day, so you can focus on your own success. The fastest way to do that is show compassion to those less fortunate. What you give, comes back tenfold. Try this exercise: picture everyone in your life who is unhappy or in pain, spend five minutes picturing them in a happier state. This trains your mind.

#3 Good people. This is different from “Happy”. Good people don’t always have ulterior motives. Some people legitimately want to help others. There’s an initial impulse (at least with me) to suspect them. To resent them. Maybe even to envy them. I envy Bill Gates being able to donate $100 billion to charity. But the best thing for me is to catch myself doing that (almost a meditation in itself) and say, “this guy is good. I wish I could be as good as him. I hope I can help him in any way I can.” Be grateful for all the people good to you. Five minutes a day. Doesn’t have to be with incense burning and in the lotus position. On a bus, smile and think of the people you are grateful for.

(i’m starting to believe Gates has become a genuinely good guy)

 

And finally, the most important category of all. The category that wastes a quadrillion brain cycles a day around the world. What man can say he is Jesus and not fall prey to the ongoing anger and pain of dealing with this next category:

#4  Crappy people: People who will do you harm, no matter what you do, for no reason at all. They never will get it. They will say and do things to you and they will never ever understand how evil they are.

And you will hate them. HATE THEM. And they knock on the door of your brain at three in the morning and they want to yell at you. And you yell back. And they yell back. And on and on. All day. All afternoon. The ongoing conversation with the shittiest people in the world. They will torture you, kill you, and slit the thoughts out of your mind and not even care because they think they are doing the right thing.

You know who I’m talking about. Because you have a good 20 or 30 of these in your life just like I do. They might even be former friends, relatives, neighbors, bureaucrats, whatever, whoever, whenever. They swoop down on your life and are just plain crappy and they won’t even know it.

They won’t ever know who they are so there is no way to convince them. That’s the trap.

Sometimes, in a weak moment, I think to myself: What if I run into them again? How badly I will hurt and destroy them. Maybe just casually walk up to them and smash a glass over their head so their nose is broken, glasses broken on the floor, blood all over their face. Arm broken after I hold the elbow and stomp on it.

STOP!

Similarly, I was talking to someone the other day who couldn’t stop talking about someone who had wronged her fourteen years ago. Stop! You are an idiot. And it’s boring already. It was your fault anyway!

This is the worst category. I’ll tell you one more anecdote. Two seconds ago someone posted a horrible comment on my blog. I won’t repeat it. Racist, mean, rude to me, whatever. I deleted the post, blocked the user, blocked his IP address. And then I was going to send him an email telling him what I thought of him. I was angry. Then I stopped myself. You have to stop yourself.

Remember this:

When you get in the mud with a pig, you get dirty and the pig gets happy.


There is only ONE only way to deal with these people in a way that will make you happier instead of sadder. ONE WAY. And it always works. This is the most important part of the Emotional leg of the Daily Practice. COMPLETELY IGNORE THE EVIL PEOPLE:

  • Completely ignore them.
  • Don’t think about them.
  • Don’t talk to them.
  • Don’t write them.
  • Most important: Don’t give them advice. They will NEVER listen to your advice. It’s arrogant and stupid to think they will. It will only lead to  more cycles of pain for you. The goal for me is to stop all cycles that cause me any pain at all. Giving advice to crappy people will only result in more pain for you. That’s the only possible result. Much better to be happy than to flush knotted up brown advice down a toilet that caused you agony to push out. This is hard.
  • Most important: Never gossip about them behind their backs. Just completely disregard. We don’t care about their happiness or how evil they are. We only care about you. Its hard to do. Never ever talk about them behind their backs. Repeat this 500 times. This is hard also. Because it’s an addiction.

This isn’t easy. It’s a daily discipline. Much easier to do a 1000 pushups. I had an article recently on the Wall St Journal site that had 971 comments. No exaggeration when I say 950 of the smartest anonymous trolls on the internet called me an idiot moron and worse. I ignored all the comments. Great. I could care less. I was the winner there.

Then I put another article up on a supposedly peaceful site about Buddhism and yoga, the Elephant Journal. Great site. I post there regularly. The topic of my post was that 18 year olds should basically not be sent into war. I like peace. Better to send 40 year olds. They are closer to death anyway. The most hateful responses popped up. People comparing me to Hitler. I was so shocked I wasted one whole night until 2 in the morning responding to these people but ignoring the many emails I get that genuinely support me and that I want to be friends with. Why did I do that? I wanted my haters to like me. I wanted them to agree with me and love me. Its like putting a gun to your head and saying, “unless you do what I say, I will kill myself”. You’re going to end up firing that gun.

I lost my discipline for a whole night and then I slept late and it took at least 36 hours to get back on track. What a waste. For nothing! Its hard to keep up this practice. But you fail and die unhappy if you don’t.

And did I win a trophy for doing this? Was it a huge trophy made of gold? For responding to all of those comments? Did everyone/anyone write back and say, “you’re right. I’m sorry. Now I LOVE you! Let’s all be lovers!” Of course not! They just want to fight. I got in the mud with pigs. I got dirty.

If someone says, “what do you think of so-and-so”, your worst enemy, you say back, “So-and-so who?” And that’s it. No explanation. Nothing more. “So and so who?” Change subject right then. This is the emotional leg of the Daily Practice and must be balanced with the other three legs. Any deviation will set you back. Any addiction to the opposite of the above behaviors will eat you alive like cockroaches feasting on your heart. Have a good night.

Read More: The 100 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur 

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  • hey duke

    interesting diatribe… my wife is a handwriting analyst and tells me it is the best thing to use for profiling an individual and she used it to close deals by knowing how to best approach the subject matter with the individual my matching their personality traits with her sales pitch style.

  • hey duke

    interesting diatribe… my wife is a handwriting analyst and tells me it is the best thing to use for profiling an individual and she used it to close deals by knowing how to best approach the subject matter with the individual my matching their personality traits with her sales pitch style.

  • Bruce Sutherland

    James, I swear, I absolutely LOVE your posts and general attitude toward life. Thanks so much for writing this!

  • Bruce Sutherland

    James, I swear, I absolutely LOVE your posts and general attitude toward life. Thanks so much for writing this!

  • Marc

    James,

    How about crappy people that aren’t intentionally crappy? They’re not evil, just self absorbed.  They don’t intend to harm you, but their actions often do.  And they’re completely unaware of the fact.  I seem to run into these kinds of people often.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yeah, ignore them. Keep them out of your life. Don’t return their emails or calls. Don’t talk about them. Sometimes this is hard (if you work together you have to run into them). But never gossip about them and ignore them as much as you can. Not worth it for you to even think about them. 

      • Tzipporah

        Even harder if you work FOR them… Did you see Penelope’s comment on her most recent about giving “humane conditions” ratings to work environments like they do for meat at Whole Foods? Best level of course being one where your boss has had therapy. :)

      • https://jarvisapp.com/ Jay Shirley

        My mom gave me great advice growing up. I was bullied much more than what typical bullying is. Lots of negative people.

        “People are like books. You don’t keep reading the book over and over again. You finish it and you put it on the shelf. You make the decision to pick it up, but you learn from the story.”

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yeah, ignore them. Keep them out of your life. Don’t return their emails or calls. Don’t talk about them. Sometimes this is hard (if you work together you have to run into them). But never gossip about them and ignore them as much as you can. Not worth it for you to even think about them. 

  • Marc

    James,

    How about crappy people that aren’t intentionally crappy? They’re not evil, just self absorbed.  They don’t intend to harm you, but their actions often do.  And they’re completely unaware of the fact.  I seem to run into these kinds of people often.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Johnula John Bennett

    James, sometimes your writing is over-the-top, but I love reading it. Cutting through the die/pigs/Hitler/cockroaches/etc., I come up with “Let it go.”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Johnula John Bennett

    James, sometimes your writing is over-the-top, but I love reading it. Cutting through the die/pigs/Hitler/cockroaches/etc., I come up with “Let it go.”.

  • C. Martin

    You’re right James, keep doing your thing. Those anonymous commenters are just trolls who like to get a reaction out of you. Remember what Tucker Max said! Tucker is awesome.

  • C. Martin

    You’re right James, keep doing your thing. Those anonymous commenters are just trolls who like to get a reaction out of you. Remember what Tucker Max said! Tucker is awesome.

  • Sarah August27

    James, I love your article.  Brilliant advice. 

  • Sarah August27

    James, I love your article.  Brilliant advice. 

  • PatD

    All I can think of to say right now is …Join The Club…LOL……I was just discussing this very topic w/ a friend…maybe the best thing we can do is….Get Off-Line…take a break…and view what is irritating us as “Inspirational Dissatisfaction”…(W. Clement Stone)…….
    Think and Grow Rich….an oldie but a goodie….
     

  • PatD

    All I can think of to say right now is …Join The Club…LOL……I was just discussing this very topic w/ a friend…maybe the best thing we can do is….Get Off-Line…take a break…and view what is irritating us as “Inspirational Dissatisfaction”…(W. Clement Stone)…….
    Think and Grow Rich….an oldie but a goodie….
     

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000228699838 Michael Morse

    i’d swear you wrote this just for me….i use to be a happy person. but the more i pay attention to our government, the more crappy i have become. and yes…i still hold a grude over certain people…..13 yrs ago…..and hoping for that opportunity for payback!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000228699838 Michael Morse

    i’d swear you wrote this just for me….i use to be a happy person. but the more i pay attention to our government, the more crappy i have become. and yes…i still hold a grude over certain people…..13 yrs ago…..and hoping for that opportunity for payback!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Mike, I’m right there with you. But its best to just never think about it. I stopped thinking about the government, for instance, and life got a lot better. And the people frmo 12 years ago, they still pop up, but with discipline it dies down. I hope. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Mike, I’m right there with you. But its best to just never think about it. I stopped thinking about the government, for instance, and life got a lot better. And the people frmo 12 years ago, they still pop up, but with discipline it dies down. I hope. 

    • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

      People who wronged you 13 years ago are very likely not even the same people they were back then. Thirteen years changes a person a hell of a lot. Unless they are incurable assholes, they have probably already faced their own regrets which tends to be worse than anyone else’s retribution.

  • Cindymosqueda

    You are my new favorite daily read……….thanks for your thoughts. Your right, the emotional leg is the hardest to deal with but oh so satisfying when we can make progress. How good it feels to evict the nasty people from our heads and hearts.

  • Cindymosqueda

    You are my new favorite daily read……….thanks for your thoughts. Your right, the emotional leg is the hardest to deal with but oh so satisfying when we can make progress. How good it feels to evict the nasty people from our heads and hearts.

  • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

    There are a lot of crappy people. A lot. 

    But I would argue there are more good people. Or, at least, more decent people (people trying to be good people, but not always succeeding). 

    That 950 assholes on the Wall St Journal site are just that. Assholes. But fuck ’em. You have far more than 950 readers/followers. As far as I can tell from the comments on here most of them fall into the good/decent categories. Focus on them. Because they are the ones who see you and respect you. They are the ones paying enough attention for their opinions to even matter. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thanks Brooke. Ultimately I realized that about the WSJ trolls. A lot of people had a hard decade this past ten years. And the stock market has a lot of psychology in it. So I become a convenient target for these people are largely unloved and need an outlet. So I ignore them. They are pretty easy to not pay attention to. 

  • http://twitter.com/vanda_kim Kim Correia

    I love your recommendation for crappy people.  I’m a serious people pleaser (I hate this quality but have such a hard time stopping) and those that are crappy to me are the ones that keep me up at night, that make me questions if I’m a good enough person, that have a huge impact on my happiness.  While it is absolutely common sense to ignore them and move on, reading your advice is a great reminder of this.  I can’t make everyone like me and I should spend my energy on the good people in my life.  Better for me and a better way to appreciate those that are good and happy around me.  Thanks for your insights!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Kim, I agree. And I hear what you’re saying: its common sense but its still really hard to not have that ongoing conversation in the head with these people. Its a constant discipline for me to avoid those conversations and focus on the people that truly love me and I love. 

      • http://www.zacharyburt.com/ Zachary Burt

        I always wonder are the conversations I have in my head worthwhile.  It is a process of refining ideas and combining memories. But to what end? And is true progress made from insight, though how do you lay the groundwork for insight?

      • http://www.zacharyburt.com/ Zachary Burt

        If we go towards the love in all areas of our life we will be propelled and upheld.  Where in our life do we find love? How can we find it in our fundamentals – our daily practices? Does the process of looking for love in certain places prohibit us from ever finding it in others?

  • http://www.parmcharm.com karen parmelee

    Penelope Trunk – interesting case. I didn’t realize she was Asbergers. I unfollowed her when I read her first post as a new follower (twitter RSSfeed). She was claiming that it was more economical for her to fly to LA and get a $3,000 haircut than whatever the other option was at the time. It made me think that her career advice would be so far out of touch with where I am currently. Asberger’s would explain the weirdness of plainly stating something as a matter of fact where another might be demure. Asbergers would also explain her successful startups too.

    As for you, I strongly suspect a connection between the hate-mail troll-posts and the resulting ugly energy it brought out in you. I see it in myself at least. Plug those leaks, right? On the positive side, I realized this week that an unkind observation I made of a family member to a friend revealed itself more fully in me – and now I understand something about myself because of how I connected actions/choices of another. So there’s that. “I’ve always hated that about him… in me.” Finger ultimately points to self. I should credit the quote of that observation, but it seems tedious. My apologies.

    For fum, levity, and wisdom, there’s these from “Sh*t My Dad Says”:

    “Everyone thinks their opinion matters. Don’t argue with a nobody. A farmer doesn’t bother telling a pig his breath smells like shit.”

    “Nervous? In 5 billion years the sun will burn out and nothing you did will matter. Feel better?”

    • Guest

      I’ve enjoyed Sh*t My dad Says too. 

      You mention seeing in yourself the comments you made about someone else (para 2). I’m no psychologist or anything but this sounds like something they call projection. Understanding projection has helped me to understand why people, including myself, have done/said things and wasted energy on people, which in hindsight don’t make any sense to me/or to what I think I know about myself.  

    • http://www.parmcharm.com karen parmelee

      EDIT: Unintended hyberpole – a $300 dollar haircut, not $3,000
       

  • http://www.zacharyburt.com/ Zachary Burt

    Our collective status obsession, the only way to truly rise to the top is to not want to be different from where you are currently. I suppose this is why studying the Tao te ching is recommended in The Daily Practice

    • http://www.zacharyburt.com/ Zachary Burt

      Of course practical interpretations are much more nuanced and subtle and easier to read than what I just wrote.

      whoever codifies this will make millions $$

  • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com jlcollinsnh

    As my dearly departed sainted mother used to say, “God must love assholes.  He made a lot of them.”
     
    A number of years ago I had a two part epiphany.
     
    Since I already knew the world had plenty of assholes, there was no reason for me to be surprised, angry or upset when my path crossed one.When someone appears to be an asshole one of two things is going on:
     
    First, this may simply be a good person having a bad day.  If so, they don’t need me in their face. 
     
    Or, this could be a genuine asshole who needs a can ‘o whoop-ass opened up on ‘em.  But I don’t have to do it.  They will come across another asshole and serve each other.  Not my job. 
     
    Simply understanding these two things has greatly enhanced my peace.

  • http://27183.myopenid.com/ Your name

    James, I agree with you 10,000%, and yet, there is a case that you seem to have left out, that literally plagues me, and leaves me perpetually as Person #2.

    That’s because my ex-wife, with whom I have children that I love dearly, is the crappy person in my life.  I won’t get into it, but, well, never being able to see my kids leaves me as Person #2.

    At times there are the crappy people that you just can’t ignore, and I cannot figure out the best strategy for them.  But it sure leaves me sad, and the lawyers happy.

    Do what you can to make a rebuttable presumption of joint shared custody the default.

    • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

      My son’s father is the crappy person in my life. I have spent the past year desperately trying to get my son to have a single conversation with me that doesn’t end in the words “I hate you.” (Look up “parental alienation.” If there isn’t a photo of me beside the definition someone wasn’t doing their job.) 

      Right now, in this moment, I feel so blessed because he is here with me and happy. But in the year since he moved to his dad’s house there has been many months of heartache. 

      Interspersed with that heartache however I found some joy. I had to. I had to in order to survive. Revel in the freedoms you have right now and keep fighting for your children. But don’t forget to revel in the freedoms. 

      As an aside, my entire family has been taking part in a blog listed under my son’s name. We post photos and letters and memories. Someday, when he googles his name, he will see for certain we were always there. This has the added bonus of giving you an outlet for all those thoughts you want to share with your children but can’t just now.

      My heart goes out to you. I truly know how painful this is. But I hope that you can find some peace. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Its very hard but you’ve been given a deep challenge. You have to always do what you can to see your kids again. Be like water on rock. But you have to really sincerely forgive her and move on (from her, not the kids) at the same time. Ultimately don’t die unhappy. And the only way you are going to achieve any kind of happiness is to forgive her. The kids will find you. They want their dad. But its an unfortunate circumstance (without knowing the details). 

      • sarfarosh

        Yiks!
        ‘Forgive her’… here you sounded like a father in church.
        I thought you said ‘COMPLETELY IGNORE THE EVIL PEOPLE’ earlier – that is easier; simply subtract them from your world….. did I get it wrong?

        • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

          You can’t completely ignore the people who have control of your children’s lives. Or anyone who is involved in your children’s lives on a daily basis. Some circumstances require a degree of interaction and forgiveness (while I have not been able to quite accomplish it in any long term sense) is better than active hatred (which takes a lot of energy). 

          • sarfarosh

            Agree. And you made that point. 90% of the nasty people that we are dealing with – we cannot escape them until we exit the context. We cannot escape nasty boss or co-worker until we quit job and we cannot escape nasty (ex) wife until we win the case over child or….she dies.
            Ignoring a nasty people is hardly possible; and what I practiced so far has worked better than ‘forgiveness’ and even ‘active hatred’  – is to have ‘compassion’ towards these people. I am compassionate towards their life where they have to spend their time and energy for thinking and doing nasty things and they have no time left to try and enjoy other things in life; like I do.

          • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

            I’m going to write about this. Its not really about escape but about protection and training. More later. Compassion is a good approach. But also you have to take care of yourself. 

      • http://27183.myopenid.com/ Your name

        Yeah, it’s not really a question of my forgiving her. It’s a question of how one person in a primary custody relationship has the power to make life totally miserable for the other person.  It’s actually more a question of her forgiving me for existing and wanting to be a father to my kids. But I don’t expect you to understand since you don’t know the details.  Which is why all I can suggest it that if in your state a rebuttable presumption of joint shared custody is not the default, that if you see that offered, you support it.  You can google “rebuttable presumption of joint shared custody” to understand more.

        But truly, I live my life feeling enslaved by a person I would just rather not interact with, and I know I am not alone in this.  And this is due to a current horrible and sexist inequity in the legal system.

        “The kids will find you.” Yes, well that’s the part that sucks. And I’ve heard this from women in my position as well. Your advice, and you are not alone in this, is just leave the children and maybe they will come back as adults. And I know you have kids, and I know you love them. Imagine how hard that would be for you to do, and the pain and suffering it would cause. Anyway, best wishes.

        • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

          Seriously, I have a deep, close understanding of the position you are in (as James knows). Message me on Twitter- @brooke_farmer. I will DM you my email address. I’d be more than happy to be an understanding ear. If at all possible, don’t wait until adulthood. Though I know that is not always possible, do what you can to demonstrate to your kids (fuck their mom) that you are there and waiting to give them your love. 

  • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com jlcollinsnh

    edited for clarity:

    As my dearly departed sainted mother used to say, “God must love assholes.  He made a lot of them.”
     
    A number of years ago I had a two part epiphany.
     
    1.  Since I already knew the world had plenty of assholes, there was no reason for me to be surprised, angry or upset when my path crossed one.

    2.  When someone appears to be an asshole one of two things is going on:
     
    First, this may simply be a good person having a bad day.  If so, they don’t need me in their face. 
     
    Or, this could be a genuine asshole who needs a can ‘o whoop-ass opened up on ‘em.  But I don’t have to do it.  They will come across another asshole and serve each other.  Not my job. 
     
    Simply understanding these two things has greatly enhanced my peace.

    • http://twitter.com/AnitaPudane Anita Pudāne

      This is so good.

    • http://twitter.com/AnitaPudane Anita Pudāne

      This is so good.

      • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com jlcollinsnh

        Thank you , Anita!  You made my day!

        • Artie Cab

          Mine, too.

    • http://twitter.com/marblespark marblespark

      Love it.

    • youcantgiveafuck

      OMG….lol….that is hilarious…and amazing… thank you for sharing…i love it :-)

    • greek

      By the way, this is the answer I liked most so far :)

    • StriderMan

      “2.  When someone appears to be an asshole one of two things is going on:”
      You can also choose to ask yourself – Who am I being right now that creates that person as an asshole?

      • http://twitter.com/sakisaki6 SakiVI

        No, can’t always blame yourself. Assholes aren’t usually rational, so being a better person will more likely attract them than repel them.

    • Mel

      Really cracked me up. “They will come across another asshole and serve each other”. Makes me want to stand by with a bunch of pom poms and whistle. But very correct :)

      • Anonymous

        Hey, all you illiterates out there, it would sure be nice if you’d educate yourselves to proper use of the English language, so you can civilly express yourselves, without using base vulgarities! 

        • Fubar

          There have been lots of highly educated people that use vulgarities. The use of vulgarities is like most of things, it is usually not done well by most people, but there are rare exceptions.

          You could simply substitute “waste elimination sphincter”, and get the meaning of the contributor.

          You also risk being put in the category of cr*ppy people by imposing your religious beliefs on other people that do not care, and who will only find your suggestions annoying.

          • Nospam

            what the hell does religion have to do with it. paranoid much?

          • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.mullis.3 Kevin Mullis

            or terms like “when the feces impacts the rotating occilator”

          • davidshockey

            Fubar,

            You had me on your side until you assumed that because someone has religious beliefs that they must be uptight and looking to impose their beliefs on everyone around them. You are wrong.

        • Anonymous

          Hey, you pompous jerk, it would sure be nice if you’d sit on your finger and bounce, so you can vulgarly preoccupy yourself, without exposing the rest of us to you self-righteous crap.

        • Brian H

          PC-speak is brain-warped bullshit.  Power games by covert suppressive assholes.  

        • Artie Cab

          Perhaps you are who they speak of???

        • http://oahutrading.blogspot.com/ steveo77

          Excellent example of applying the rule, oh shite, I screwed up…….

        • Dina Jones

          good job, james :D

        • general777@hawaii.rr.com

          LOL go find yourself an asshole! hilarious

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Page/100000522182133 Tom Page

      Wow, nice post, JL. Your mother was a buddha.

      • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com Jlcollinsnh

        Thanks Tom….

        As a devote Catholic and an educated woman she would have been both horrified and pleased to hear it.  :)

        • Debby

          A ‘buddha’ is the Sanskrit word for an enlightened one. So JL, Tom was saying that your mother is enlightened, not that she is the Buddha.

      • B Young

        I’m sorry but my brain immediately leaps to a Monty python scene..”and your mother drank elderberries!”. it’s not good to have a brain like that is it!

    • Anonymous

      I was so busy skipping over the vulgar, illiterate, repeated “a…” word, that I couldn’t get the message.  Try again, if you like, with a clean mouth, and I’ll learn about those “two things” that have “greatly enhanced” your “peace”. 

      • Sar

        FYI, in case you didn’t fully realize: it’s a word. “Unicorn” or “puppy dog” could just as easily have evolved to be as “vulgar” as you deem this word to be. In any case, if this word hurts your brain so, why suffer thinking about it even more by writing two (two!) comments like these?
        Oh–and a side note, since there seems to be some confusion: words cannot be illiterate, nor, by definition, can be the person who’s writing them.

      • Jade

        Relax lol

      • Brian H

        You just self-selected yourself into the category under discussion.  

        • Artie Cab

          So true.  Probably an evangelical.  LOL

      • dave

        assholes are very good at pointing out other posters faults

    • Raoul

      I do not believe that assholes “serve” each other the whoopass. I believe they draw a kind of self-righteous false confidence from each other. Look at the tea party.

      One of the things James is right about is that it’s very painful to have to take treatment and not give back. You really do have to let the other person win and be right in order to get them out of your head.

      Trouble is, it’s not guaranteed they’ll get out of your head even then. It takes a constant re-balancing of you vs your environment before you decide they’re not all that hurtful and can move on.

      • Nospam

        stay focused, this has nothing to do with politics. you’ve probably never met an actual tea party member, yet YOU get immense power from generalizing and judging an entire subculture because they don’t agree with you. makes you look really superior. really. 

        • Jacob

          I’m going to agree with Nospam and add that the only thing I can say about the Tea Party, is that at least ONE of them is an asshole. Because I know him, and he’s an asshole :]

      • benekastah

        It’s easier to believe that people with a different political take than you are simply just assholes instead of trying to figure out how they could honestly disagree with you and yet still be good people.

        Here’s a fun thing to try: write an essay defending the Tea Party movement.

        (I am no Tea Partier, for the record).

      • http://twitter.com/sakisaki6 SakiVI

        Problem is when they’re wrong, they’re wrong (e.g. sucking your time and life for their own kicks). And that will continue to feel wrong, so you can’t really just let them be right, but you have to draw a line.

    • Dave

      why does everyone think everyone else is an asshole?

      its becuase we all are at some point to someone….and that why we know an asshole.

      that should be your #1

    • http://twitter.com/sakisaki6 SakiVI

      Assholes don’t serve each other, they back each other up.

      • travelgirl

        Yes! soooooooooooo true…..

    • dan s.

      That’s the way I look at it. A jerk will eventually get what he deserves, but I don’t have to be the one to serve it to him, the world does a good enough job with that.

  • http://twitter.com/scottmckinley scottmckinley

    Unfortunately, compassion is a lot harder than pity. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      True. This is not an easy post to follow, despite the relatively simple number of categories. 

  • Beyondbeige

    Ok James I hear what your saying. But I see myself in all 4 of these personality types. Its a daily struggle really, of happiness, crappiness, goodness and pain. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thats true. The key is, if you deal with the other four types properly it will ultimately put you solidly in the “Happy” category. I should say that in the post. If you, for instance, avoid the crappy people and have compassion for the unhappy, then ultimately you cna’t help but end up in the happy category. 

  • Kjp712

    I write down all their names in a journal in red ink.At the end of the year I burn the journal.

  • my name

    Good post.  really enjoyed and the idea about older people going to war isn’t too bad.  maybe the government would think twice about going if that was the case

  • Rolf Norfolk

    Spot on.

  • Mike S

    Sometimes really mean comments on blogs are funny.  And sometimes the meaner, the more vitriolic and over the top they are, the funnier they are.  I suppose this is because the meanness violates a social norm but at a distance and without doing any real harm.  I may have a bad sense of humor, but lots of people share it, and so I’d bet some of the people leaving mean comments on your posts are trying to be funny not mean. 

    I know it’s hard to see this when the comments are directed at you, but you can learn to find the humor in them.  When I used to sell TVs, the mildly rude customers were always irritating (and thankfully not that common) but after awhile selling, I came to find those very rare customers who were really over the top rude and nasty to be funny.  In fact my co-workers and I would kind of making a sport out of it and involve other salesman in the sale to show off our finds, kind of like bagging a ten-point buck. 

  • Chris

    I think you forgot one– The Leach.

    This is the person who is always upbeat and eager. They’ll chat about X, Y or Z all day long while waiting for an entrance; their lives so devoid of meaning that they will happily attach to the next host and suck the talent, life or connections out of them.

    Like a slot machine in Vegas you keep wondering when it’ll pay off- but it never does. They want, they ask, they beg.. and never, ever reveal any part of themselves that would lead to a real connection. It’s all about deflection.

    I’m an L.A. native- and this is how we separate the wheat from the chaff.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Believe it or not, this falls under evil. its energy draining and must avoid. 

    • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

      This sounds like most of L.A.. I say that as someone who loves and misses (for the moment) L.A. very much. But I think there are fewer of these in other parts of the country/world. 

  • http://twitter.com/kamalravikant Kamal Ravikant

    This post is so good, so powerful, has so much value, I couldn’t take it all in one sitting.  Will have to return and re-read it in chunks and digest.  Wow, James, well done.

  • http://twitter.com/kamalravikant Kamal Ravikant

    This post is so good, so powerful, has so much value, I couldn’t take it all in one sitting.  Will have to return and re-read it in chunks and digest.  Wow, James, well done.

  • C Pennybrown

    It’s an energy thing.  Every time you have any encounter with another person that person’s energy can pull you down or lift you up.  

    There are people out there waiting to feast on other people’s energy.  Stay away!

    Don’t even verbalize what it is that they are doing that is so heinous, irritating, wrongheaded, despicable or annoying because once you go there, your own energy level drops down to theirs.

    I try in my heart to support others and beam out love.  And if for some reason I can’t do that, well then the next best fall back position is to just stay neutral towards.  They’re on their own path and I’m just going to stay out of it.

  • C Pennybrown

    It’s an energy thing.  Every time you have any encounter with another person that person’s energy can pull you down or lift you up.  

    There are people out there waiting to feast on other people’s energy.  Stay away!

    Don’t even verbalize what it is that they are doing that is so heinous, irritating, wrongheaded, despicable or annoying because once you go there, your own energy level drops down to theirs.

    I try in my heart to support others and beam out love.  And if for some reason I can’t do that, well then the next best fall back position is to just stay neutral towards.  They’re on their own path and I’m just going to stay out of it.

  • Anonymous

    JA, you are channeling my thoughts. I was out on my morning walk the other day, fighting with that judgemental freak that has made a little nest somewhere in my brain… trying to evict that jerk. Great blog, part of my daily reading diet now. Thanks much for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    JA, you are channeling my thoughts. I was out on my morning walk the other day, fighting with that judgemental freak that has made a little nest somewhere in my brain… trying to evict that jerk. Great blog, part of my daily reading diet now. Thanks much for sharing!

  • http://www.petermack.net Pete M

    Great post James. I often gossip about #4 people – I’m going to stop that right now.

  • guest

    Follower but first time commenter :)

    I like this post, it’s true, most of us waste time venting about other people. Sometimes it’s justified, when they may have wronged us on an occasion (and we may need to vent!) but other times it is ongoing vengeful bitching of something nonspecific about a person who in most cases used to be a friend. The healthier option is to vent, get it out and not let it back in. and stop the ongoing bitching.

    I have a particular situation with an in-law. my partner’s sister to be exact. Her behaviour is controlling, sometimes nasty and at times I feel like I’m confronting an ex-girlfriend who can’t let go!! it’s insane, sometimes we get on so well and then other times – BOOM!! She strikes with something that hits so hard that I am almost physically winded by it. I can’t cut her out, for obvious reasons so my attitude is to continue treating her as I would like to be treated by her, no matter what, then at least I am not lowering to her level. Ultimately I guess she is a bully and a lot of the times her behaviour is seeking to express dominance over me which is immature. I’m a good person and his other sister and mum really like me and have never exhibited such behaviour. Deep down I know it’s an insecurity but still, her personal hits make it hard to feel confident in my position as his partner when she continues to undermine me.

    • Jeanne

      I can relate to this. My ex’s step mother was (is) like this.  She verbally attacked me while I was pregnant and that was it for me. I said, “no more”. She’s not allowed near my kids or me. Back when I was dealing with her I read a book called “Controlling People”, in it she says that when someone says something to you that is verbally abusive, just respond very calmly with, “I’m sorry, what did you say?” then, when they repeat it, you say, again very calmly, “yeah, that’s what I thought you said.” And then just walk away. No reaction necessary. When you do this, you hold them responsible for what they’re saying, and often times, they aren’t even aware of what they’re saying or how they’re coming across.

      It’s tough with family, because they’re a package deal. You can’t just avoid one of them without sacrificing your relationship with the rest. In my case, I did what I believe was best for my children. She was becoming the same way with them, and I wasn’t about to let her at them.

      Good luck to you. 

      • guest

        Great idea Jeanne….! I will definitely use this.

  • Pauljdavison

    Evil people…. what evil people?

    Great work James – thank you.

  • Reader

    I don’t think it is common (I was about to say normal, but don’t mean to be insulting) to nastily critique complete strangers on the street.  Since everyone here seems to be agreeing with you, I thought I would say that.  I really don’t think that is healthy behavior.  What drives that?  Resentment? 

    Anyway, I think that behavior should be a target for your Daily Practice.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Heck, I agree, and it is!

  • Reader

    I don’t think it is common (I was about to say normal, but don’t mean to be insulting) to nastily critique complete strangers on the street.  Since everyone here seems to be agreeing with you, I thought I would say that.  I really don’t think that is healthy behavior.  What drives that?  Resentment? 

    Anyway, I think that behavior should be a target for your Daily Practice.

  • Jeanne

    another great post. The kind of haters you encountered on EJ are the worst kind. They are the spiritual elite. Jesus Christ and Siddhartha themselves have anointed them personally. They cut you in a much different way than your average troll, because they appear to be rational and this just causes self doubt.  I steer clear of the spiritual elite. They will eat you for dinner and then complain that you weren’t filling enough because you’re too un-evolved and your ego was too big.

    the funny thing about haters on the internet is that in your case, James, they help you.  Not only do search engines favor heavily commented content, but when a user sees that a post has 75 comments, they’re more likely to actually read the post.  And then, if someone who likes what they read sees that there’s a shit storm going on in the comments, they’re more likely to a.) comment themselves, b.) remember your name and come back for more, and c.) become a loyalist.

    Nowhere is the phrase “No PR is bad PR” more true than on a blog…unless of course you’re Urban Outfitters and you’ve been stealing ideas from indie artists…but then again, even that onslaught of bad press may end up helping them in the long run.

  • Jeanne

    another great post. The kind of haters you encountered on EJ are the worst kind. They are the spiritual elite. Jesus Christ and Siddhartha themselves have anointed them personally. They cut you in a much different way than your average troll, because they appear to be rational and this just causes self doubt.  I steer clear of the spiritual elite. They will eat you for dinner and then complain that you weren’t filling enough because you’re too un-evolved and your ego was too big.

    the funny thing about haters on the internet is that in your case, James, they help you.  Not only do search engines favor heavily commented content, but when a user sees that a post has 75 comments, they’re more likely to actually read the post.  And then, if someone who likes what they read sees that there’s a shit storm going on in the comments, they’re more likely to a.) comment themselves, b.) remember your name and come back for more, and c.) become a loyalist.

    Nowhere is the phrase “No PR is bad PR” more true than on a blog…unless of course you’re Urban Outfitters and you’ve been stealing ideas from indie artists…but then again, even that onslaught of bad press may end up helping them in the long run.

  • Caromusa

    James, I’m completely shocked. 
    “When you get in the mud with a pig, you get dirty and the pig gets happy”.
    Just yesterday, my boss told me the same exact thing. 
    We had received some stupid attacks from another lawyer in court (because we are winning the case, so he got angry). I wanted to get back at him, showing the judge how stupid and ignorant he is, how I know much more about laws than he does, and how he wasn’t right insulting us … but he told me I should not. He said the same thing about the mud and how I shouldn’t lower myself to that. So I listened to him and responded politely to the other guy. Now I can’t believe the timing of your post. Amazing.
    But I must admit I’m still thinking about that. I didn’t insult the other lawyer, but I still want revenge. I want to defeat him. And if I don’t, I will feel bad. I know I shouldn’t.
    And I thought all day yesterday about that other thing you said: I won’t be earning no prize (or money) for all this mental trouble. So why do I bother? It’s my fault! I know.
    To conquer other people, we must firts conquer ourselves.

    Another thought from this post: when you say that crappy people (we call them toxic) always think they are doing the right thing when they make your life miserable. I always think about that. My father taught me that when I was a kid, and took me years to understand. How is that possible? if he/she is so mean to me, hurting me so much on purpose, how can he/she think he is a good person and do the right thing? They just do. I still don’t get it.

    Great post by the way.

  • Layman Informed

    I enjoyed reading this one. Ignoring “evil” people has been one of my goals for a bit now. Definitely a lot harder than doing a 1000 pushups. So much so, that it has left me asking, “What is it about me, about my character, that makes this task so difficult?” Its been a journey down a gameshow rabbit whole where I look to see what lies behind the doors which compose my character. Rarely do I find a “brand new car!!” I do find Interesting stuff though. What is more interesting, is how and why I put them there.

    in other news but somewhat related … I just got my lastest Amazon book order .. “How to speak, How to listen”

  • http://mardilink.typepad.com/mardis_link/ Mardi

    Every once in a while, one can find something truly useful on the Internet. This post is that useful thing. And I’m putting #4 into practice right now. Thank you, really.

  • Guest

    I love your blog! You are awesome, James.

    When I first met my husband (well, I think he’s sexy!:) one of the things that I really liked about him were his firm belief in staying away from the evil people you mention. He would say things like “what goes around comes around” and “what are they going to do? Bend my dog tags?”

    Sometimes, we can help people. Other times we can just be there for them. And then, as you say, there’s all the rest whom we need to banish from our lives even if they’re blood relations – they can sometimes be the worst.

  • wsc

    james, you’re highly visible making you a target for trolls.  finding happiness within yourself will help you block out all the negativity.  it’s tough to always take the high road though.  sounds like you need some r&r.  hope all is well.

  • Anonymous

    Just yesterday I was walking out of a store and mentally deriding the people on their way in. Got to fight that urge.

    I’m not in a great place in my life right now and your posts are very helpful, James.

  • http://www.awkwardengineer.com AwkwardEngineer

    You glossed over the Myers-Briggs thing, but I actually find it quite useful.  Sometimes I try and guess what people are like within a few minutes of meeting them.  It’s funny how people fall into patterns and categories like that.  The other game I play is whether or not someone is an older sibling, middle, or younger.

    You know, many people have studied why it’s so easy to focus on the negative comments… something evolutionary or something like that.  Stay disciplined and keep practicing!

    -www.awkwardengineer.com

    • http://michaelkenny.blogspot.com Mike Kenny

      iirc, an ev psych explanation runs like this: we used to be in little bands, and so it makes sense to worry more about what people think, and defend ourselves from threats to our reputation.  now, it doesn’t matter much b/c you get a bad rep. w/ one group, you can find an entirely new one easily.

      in everyday life, our natural style seems fine, since you don’t piss of coworkers, family and friends too much, but people on the internet?  but haters on the internet?  random strangers in bars?  probably their opinion doesn’t matter much.

      by the way, is mr. altucher an ENTP?  ;)

      • http://www.awkwardengineer.com AwkwardEngineer

        My guess would be INFP… “I” because of shyness around women, “N” cause he spends so much time thinking about problems, analysis of self, and finding ways to make things better, “F” because he’s so affected emotionally by things like the bad trading days, “P” cause of so many different projects going on at once.

        That’s my guess. -www.awkwardengineer.com

  • casper

    You already mentioned part of these ideas in very simple ways in previous blog(s) and i already etched it in golden letters in my mind (and already used it well). Grateful to you forever for this (and everything else).

    1. Never feel the need to “explain” anything to anyone (ie your actions/views etc). *Explaining is draining*.
    2. If somebody in your life is “draining”  you (as in emotionally), avoid it or them or cut them off.

    (#1 is a gem for me. I used to go to great lengths explaining my actions, why the intentions are good etc etc to others. Now its like i am silent in such case, as if “i dont need to explain it to you. i dont care what others think”, and i am far more happy and *self-confident*. )

  • Sea

    Great post James.  To be frank, I rarely read blog posts but yours always seem to attract my attention and seem to be on point most of the time.  Sometime they are funny, insightful,  controversial but always worth a quick glance.  Keep it up.  There are a lot of good people still out there. Cheers!

  • Paul

    So, did you invest with Penelope?  Her blog a few days ago said that you were not yet aware that you were an investor, but that you would be.

  • Mahesh

    Hi James  , Thanks for your post.  How do you know you are not #4 to some?  … just kidding.
    I think I might be moving around from 1# to #4 ( not as extreme as you have it in here but a milder version) from time to time . No one is #1 or #4 all the time the circumstances makes them move around.

  • jonesy

    James, how did you know I needed this today? Thanks.

  • CMS

    You hit the nail on the head in regards to trolls. Angry, vicious, whatever related adjective; posts are usually a result of said poster being frustrated with himself (at his inability to debate his side, or personal failing related to the post of which he was replying). Put simply, an overreaction  rooting from personal frustration and further magnified by anonymity. I don’t think they are like the Golem, they have feelings, just that they cannot see past their personal problems make them seem as a non caring human.

    There was a time I loved to debate ideas on Fark, is was good for the huge variety of topics and varied people. But Jebus, for the last few years there is not any intelligent debate to be had. I post an opinion and boom, 100 responses for me to ‘die in a fire’. I wonder how much of this they carry out into real life?

    I think alot of the troll types will eventually die out as worthy posters shy away as sites are overran. More of a fad than anything else. As Internet develops there will a be period of the Internet’s own adolescence.

  • Pig Nation

    James, forgive your brain for the nasty commentaries if they happen as you walk down Wall Street or anywhere in our nation’s capitol. Love the pig, btw. Can’t place him but I’m sure I know him from somewhere.

  • Jake

    It’s hard to admit, but I’ve been all 4 at various times in my life. I was thinking that many other people have also gone through phases of being 1-4. For #4’s in my life, I’m not able to ignore or avoid all of them, since I have to work directly with some of them at my job. I do try to find at least one good thing about them (hard working, innovative, nice shirt, etc..), and try to focus on that. I thought of changing job, but then realized that there would be #4’s wherever I go.

    • CMS

      Yea, people do move from one type to another. On #4’s, you can sometimes influence their move to a more respectable #  by treating them as if they are respectable.  Of course, this is not always the case and can take quite a bit of work.  That kind of effort should only be reserved for people that you cannot help but to be around (immediate family, co-workers and such).

      • Jake

        I have tried, on occassion. But it struck me that #4’s take this kind of action as acquiescence to their authority. So, you couldn’t express any disagreement with their points of view. Of course, my problem is that I also had an ego that demanded my opinions to at least be heard and considered. But then I realized there’s no winning over or convincing a #4 anyways, so I try to keep my ego in check and just avoid any exchange of opinions with them.

  • John H.

    Another fantastic post James. It’s been my experience that crappy people win. They get the deal, the girl or guy, the big house. Is that just an illusion? My constant fear is that if I don’t find a way to be a Crappy Person I will never find success.

    Cheers, John

    • Jake

      That’s been my experience as well – crappy people generally seem to “win”. But maybe that’s okay :-)

    • LJF

      It depends on how you define win. There are people with money, toys and influence that are also the most miserable (crappy) people you’ll ever know. There are equally people who are outstanding human beings who have achieved immense level of material wealth. 

    • http://twitter.com/dcpetersen23 David P.

      James seems like a pretty good person.  And he has won, repeatedly.

  • MsDreamy

    Great article James!
     
    I love this! “When you get in the mud with a pig, you get dirty and the pig gets happy ”

    Ever since I was a teenager I automatically blocked crappy people who used to bring nagativity to my life, but only because I didnt know how to deal with them. I didnt want to fight back & drown more into their misery so I’d just avoid them. Even if they’re family member, because I’d spent a few minutes & suffer for hours later. It’s like they stamp misery signs on others that just wont wash away for hours or days later. I was called arrogant, rude etc & felt a bit guilty about not offering them reasons of why I’m avoiding them, but they wouldnt have understood anyway.

    I thought that my habit of completely shutting drama people like that was a bad one, now after reading this.. I know i’m not the only one, thanks!! :)

  • http://twitter.com/tianamayumi tiana mayumi

    What if those crappy people are your co-workers that you work in close quarters with?!  I’ve had situations where I’m stuck with them all day everyday in a 10 x 10 room having to get my job done.  It’s mental torture.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      There are a lot of great questions coming out of this post. i think I will do another post based on these questions. All good stuff. 

  • Lebowsky

    I agree with the general idea of the post, but how do you deal with “crappy people” at work? I mean, there are many situations in the daily routine in which you have to necessarily interact with these losers… and you cannot just not talk/think/write to them.

    • Guest

      I used to be in a position where I had to constantly interact with a particularly crappy person: nothing was ever good enough, micromanaging, etc. Eventually, after trying for a long time to fix the situation (which didn’t work), and keeping in mind that life could be short (you never know!), I took the high road and quit. It was a hard choice  – especially from a financial pov – but even now, while I’m struggling a bit to find some other way(s) to earn a decent living, I know it was the right one for me.

  • Anonymous

    This post is great.  Great advice for an adult who has a lot of life experience and (hopefully) emotional stability.  My question is what advice would you give your daughters if they were being bullied at school?  Or if you had a son?  Girls and boys get bullied differently.  I was bullied as a kid, and I don’t know if I could have just walked away from those situations or put them out of my mind.  A child is forced back into the same situation day after day (school) and has to confront the problem at some point.  Would be interested in your thoughts.

  • Mike

    Holy s**t, James, are you leading me by the hand?  This has to be one of the most absolutely spot on and pragmatic posts you have written.  What to do about the emotions we feel often remains a mystery.  Through your posts, you seem to be slowly assembling a practical handbook on how to live life.  I think I used to know a lot of this about a decade ago, definitely in previous decades, but thanks for reawakening it.  Its been a tough decade, but its time to start living again.

  • lee

    James, some good advice here. only problem is that many have to deal with what they perceive to be crappy people on a daily basis at work or in business dealings.

    Also, it’s true a lot of times crappy people are oblivious to their own behavior. Otoh, we’re all different, raised with different set of values, beliefs, cultural norms, etc.  So what may be perceived as crappy behavior by one person may come across as totally benign to another.

    ..something to think about

  • Katica

    Hi,

    For a piece on how optimism can go wrong, you have 85 “likes.”  Not bad!

    Some people, when they catch flies, just catch them and let them go.  Others tear off their wings and let them go running around in circles.  These people get pleasure from watching the flies suffer.  I think you would just capture them.

  • ZenPen

    The Master has no mind of his/her own.He/She works with the mind of the people.
    He/She is good to people who are good.He/She is also good to people who aren’t good.This is true goodness.
    He/She trusts people who are trustworthy.He/She also trusts people who aren’t trustworthy.This is true trust.
    The Master’s mind is like space.People don’t understand him/her.They look to him/her and wait.He/She treats them like her own children.
                                          – Lao Tzu

  • Anonymous

    This post reminds me of something an ex girlfriend taught me “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference”

    Now if I could just remember her name…

  • Msmnpr

    my hubby passed this along to me and I have to say, its EXACTLY what I needed at this moment. Thanks!

  • Sooz

    J.A., I think you need a vacation!!
    (so much for working on that stand~up routine..;)

    here’s a little humor to lighten up the mood around this joint
    (sheesh, that’s all I have to contribute. sorry about that!)

     http://youtu.be/TXtVzj9y-bo

  • http://wwww.greenster.com Louis Julien Fruchier

    Wow, wow, wow…it’s like reading my own thoughts. I’ve recently come to similar conclusions. 

    a) be grateful and happy for those who already have what you want or you’ll never achieve it for yourself. 

    b) be kind to those who struggle but make sure contribute positively to them and do not in any way allow them to drag you down to their negative level of thought.

    d) and man are you spot on about crappy people. It’s so hard to let go of resentment when someone has wronged you. For me, the first step is to take responsibility. It was incredibly hard for me to get to the point of saying “it was my fault for allowing people like that into my life”. Once I did, the second part was equally or possibly even more difficult…trying to find something positive (no one is purely good or purely evil) in them and forgiving…I mean truly forgiving…as in completely having no negative thought thereafter. It’s sooo easy to be resentful, pissed off, to wish people ill when they’ve wronged you for no reason. You are absolutely right that it’s a very difficult thing to let go. But the only people we are harming is ourselves. Every negative thought you have creates negativity in your life not theirs. Take the higher road, forgive and forget and move on to greener pastures. 

    Thanks for the awesome post. I’m grateful to have found your blog. Every single one of your posts has been a worthwhile read and it truly resonates with me. 

    Cheers!

  • http://twitter.com/mattyturner Matt Turner

    What if the crappy person is your boss?

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I’m going to answer a lot of these questions in a separate post. 

  • Rodrigoglsilva

    Great post James. But you really have a lot of anger to deal with.

    What helped me to settle things down. Maybe this (old) guy could help:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltasar_Graci%C3%A1n

    From his (old, classic) book:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_Worldly_Wisdom

    This aphorism:

    ” Distance purifies certain defects that are unbearable at close range.”

    In other words. There are billions of crappy people all over the earth that you will never meet. What if you had never met this particular crappy person?

    R.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I don’t feel very angry. In part, because of the techniques described in this post. 

  • Hookturn

    Good idea about the crappy people. I want to do things to them but can’t so i ignore them just like I ignore bad news

  • Alex

    James, “most people are pretty crappy” is a belief that brings you a lot of suffering.   It hurts your feeling of self-worth and self-love and it attracts unpleasant “supporting evidence” in the form of nasty comments.

    Try a different belief… maybe this:  “all people are beautiful faces of one universal spirit, all connected, all one, all vulnerable and clueless, all wanting to love and to be loved, all in the same boat.”

    Martin Buber quoted a rabbi saying everyone wear (metaphorically) two pockets
    in their coats with two slips of paper. The slip in the left pocket says “I am nothing but dust and ashes.” The slip in the right pocket says “The whole universe was created for my own sake.” The balance of judgement vs. loving kindness. When there’s imbalance between the two, there’s a lot of suffering.

    • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com jlcollinsnh

      “Every person you look at, you can see the universe in their eyes.”
                                                                                    George Carlin.  Of all people…

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Well, I think simply practicing the exercise i describe does the trick. if someone treats me poorly, I put up the boundaries and limit interaction and I try not to pre-judge. If it happens that I pre-judge I try to limit that. 

  • Justine Hanlon

    I’ve only been reading you for a few weeks, but you are awesome! Keep writing interesting blog posts worth reading.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thanks Justine!

  • Hugh

    Hi James,

    Stumbled across your blog – and you – from your interview with Andrew Warner from Mixergy.

    I spent an hour in Starbucks earlier reading your blog on my phone rather than reading a new book by some random guy I just bought through the Kindle app on my phone.  Your blog could keep me going for years at this rate, even if to just dip in and re-read the stuff you’ve written.  It’s almost addictive.

    Without being an idiot and sounding cheesy – when you write that people should read some spiritual stuff every day, your blog is one of those spiritual things.  Plus, it’s entertaining to read someone as honest as you, speaking about various things that have a striking similarity to my own life (apart from the millions of dollars rollercoaster thing).

    Keep it up, you’re an inspiration.

    Oh, and Thank You :-)

    Hugh

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Hugh, thats the best compliment. thank you. 

    • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

      There are a couple posts on here I re-read often. If you’re a writer you should check his post on 33 Unusual Writing Tips. Excellent. There are others I re-read for different reasons. James is great, glad you found him. 

    • http://adingintheuniverse.com Mememimimine

      Nice point.
      Belief is to each his own.
      It took a long time for me to face myself.
      BB is the one to thank.

  • http://twitter.com/dcpetersen23 David P.

    For the most part, I see people walking down the street and I ignore them or admire them; rarely do negative feelings creep into my mind.  The only time I really experience dislike/contempt for a person is if I feel disrespected, and even then it only bothers me if the person is someone who I actually want to respect me (someone I know and admire).  

    I wonder why your mind goes in that direction so naturally?  This isn’t a criticism, just a curiosity.  It makes me wonder how often people see me, a happy & successful person, and feel contempt/animosity towards me for those reasons alone.

  • Richard

    Great post. I have learned the hard way all of these points, as we age our views change and we change. Which leads me to what about people were once 1 -3 then turn into 4? Sometimes we want to help them out of 4 and sometimes it is too tiring. 
    And sometimes people at #2 can teeter into 3 or 4. When those become 4 as you said just avoid, nothing will fix them but themselves.

  • Ryan

    Hey man….love your articles.  This one in particular speaks to me because I’ve been trying to adopt this strategy of cutting negative people out of my life over the past year. I haven’t talked to my father since September because I came to the conclusion that my life is simply better off without him in it. 
     He’s basically your standard workaholic/ alcoholic and I think because he is so stressed out from work, and ultimately unhappy with his own life, that he tries to drag down everyone around him (by the way, he retired with a full pension as a police officer, but chooses to practice law because he doesn’t know what to do with himself without work. It’s not like he is busting his ass everyday to keep food on the table).  I feel bad at times because I know that he CAN be a good person/ father, but there’s just no question in my mind that I am happier without him in my life.  He called my mother, who he does not have a good relationship with and rarely talks to (they got divorced when I was 7, hated each other forever, but now are civil to each other)  sometime around Christmas, drunk and crying about how much he misses me.  And now, with all this Father’s day shit, I’m feeling guilty about cutting him out of my life.  What do I do in this situation?  I’d feel awful if he died without me talking to him (not that he’s on his death bed, but you never know) but as a 24 year old dealing with my own problems, still trying to figure out “the real world”, I just don’t need that type of negativity in my life.  I don’t know….. If you see this, I’d appreciate your input.  Thanks a lot man.  Keep doing what your doing.

    • TripleB

      Do a search on the term “establishing boundaries.”  This one result looked useful – http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/personalboundaries.html
      There is no doubt some middle ground where you can have your father in your life, at a safe emotional distance, so that you aren’t burdened by the guilt of cutting him off completely.  You just have to be the one in control of how that happens.  Good luck.

      • Ryan

        Hey James, no response?  I understand (and appreciate) that it is very tough to respond to every single post, but it seems like you responded to every other post besides this one.  thanks anyway

        • Mbag

          Ryan,
          I think classification number four advises against advice, right?  People don’t take it and if they do and it doesn’t go well, they blame you.
          That said, I can’t resist.  

          The generous person would say that your Dad is a human, fallible being.  Let your OWN feelings be your guide.  Guilt is what you feel when people are “shoulding” on you.  You state YOU’D feel awful if he died and you hadn’t talked to him.  Let your own feelings be your guide.  I do feel it’s possible to conduct a visit with shields up, as in Trek speak.  If you can do that, and also know that you are doing what would feel right if HE or YOU were to drop dead, then do it.  Don’t procrastinate.  You may also get to be 40 or 50 or however old he is, and not have your shit together they way you’d hope.  You will try I’m sure, all to your future credit.  Peace and love to you, Ryan.  Have a wonderful life.
          Signed, a woman who had a flawed father, but now he’s gone….

  • @concretecouch

    I find that pessimistic, sad and even people in pain often bring a different (and useful) perspective to the table…So much interesting art for instance from so many great minds in these conditions has been produced which I think only deepens our understanding of human existence…

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Hence the suggestion of “compassion” towards people in pain. Like the other suggestions it’s often something, but not always, we have to cultivate and work o . At least for me.

  • http://twitter.com/Darcy_Palmer Darcy Palmer

    there are in fact only two types of people. There is me, and then there are all of you. remember that one

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Darcy, duly noted. 

      • http://ercolholics.blogspot.com/ Anthony Collins

        There are indeed two sorts of people. Those who divide the population into two groups and those who don’t.

  • http://www.736hundred.tumblr.com 736hundred

    Curious how the majority of comments focused on the “crappy” people instead of the happy, the good and/or people in pain. (A reflection of our society, I imagine.)

    When you see something you don’t like in others maybe take a good hard look at yourself and see if you may be guilty of the very same characteristic, or if there might be some hidden fear triggering a negative emotion.

    After all that, then decide if really someone is “crappy” or maybe just doesn’t share your value system, there is a difference.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      That’s a great point, 736. i find a lot of “projection” happens throughout the internet and often people have to understand their own issues first. but it’s hard. 

      • Renée

        I’ve run a mailing list for 10 years and I can attest to the projection.  People often misunderstand others in writing because something like 90% of all communication is nonverbal.  Without those cues they can only project what they assume they’re seeing based on the verbal part of the communication.  And often it comes from a very dark side of their psyche. 

        I’ve learned a lot about how to word things in the 15+ years I’ve been on mailing lists.  In the beginning I would often piss people off not knowing how.  I think sometimes being a New Yorker worked against me.  Sometimes I think people’s communication styles differ by region and also by personality type, amongst other factors.  But most of it is their issue, not yours.  It’s amazing how people can get a completely different impression of you and what you meant on the internet.  Yet if you were talking to them in person they would not make those negative assumptions about you.  And even if they did they would keep their big mouths shut about it.  The relative anonymity of the internet gives not only encourages the projection but gives them the courage to act out based on it.

  • Renée

    Hi James.  An interesting four types.  Myers Briggs can also be reduced to Keirsey’s four types, Guardian, Artisan, Rational and Idealist.  BTW, Bill Gates is reported to have Asperger’s and likely has made a lot of progress with that since becoming a public figure.  And he probably follows good advice, too.  Me, right now I try to be happy but the recession has wrecked up my life and often I am struggling not to be in pain.  I lost my job 2 years ago and despite trying everything in the book I have not been able to find a new one, even a temp. job.  My area sucks for employment.  In only a couple of weeks I will not have any income at all and I don’t know what I’m going to do until my ex hopefully rents his house and moves back in with me (something we are doing because we’ve both fallen on hard times). 

    Unfortunately I was not born with the “enterprising” personality trait so I am at a loss for how to make money other than do what I did for 30 years, which was be an executive admin. assistant.  I have never been a “money person” and instead studied philosophy and psychology.   I want to write but how does one become a writer like you and make money?  I am 52 going on 53 and I don’t know the answer to that question.  I wish I did.  I would write a lot like you do in this blog. 

    Reading your posts helps me.  I suffer from a lot of the same neurotic tendencies as you do, only I admit I have a harder time not paying attention to the people who always want to drag me down.  I think as soon as you put yourself out there and you have something really interesting or wise to say there are always crowds of idiots lining up to stone you.  We didn’t experience this phenomenon so much before the internet because the idiots didn’t have so many ways to get through to us with relative anonymity.  I only hope I can get beyond it one day and write.  I’m very happy you got beyond it yourself.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Hi Renee, thanks for writing (and friending me on Facebook). If I were you here’s what i’d do right now.
      A) follow the tips in this post. These are good obstacles to avoid if you want to move forward and although its not easy (the “stoning” as you refer to it). its doable.
      B) Start building the idea muscle (along with the other 3 legs for the chair you need to sit on) with this post: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/02/how-to-be-the-luckiest-guy-on-the-planet-in-4-easy-steps/
      C) if you stick to that, within one month ideas will begin to flow. I promise within 6 months life will be very very different. You’ll be pitching ideas to magazines, websites, etc and you’ll be getting paid for it. I know this to be true because it happened to me, from total scratch (I had never written for money before in my life until I did this technique). 

      • Renée

        I think my biggest obstacle is that I defeat myself before I start.  I don’t think anyone would want to read what I write, so why bother?  I know it’s self defeating and destructive but I’m being honest here (something which I admit has become much easier since I got laid off and turned 50).   I’m an only child and when I was young I faded into the woodwork.  No one ever listened to me.  Pearls of wisdom would come out of my mouth and no one cared.  Yet they listened to every idiot that knew how to get them to listen.  So my problem is I don’t think anyone wants to listen to me.

        I write in my head all the time.  I just never write any of it DOWN.  I even have topics and everything swirling around in there.  I just need to take your advice and start making lists of all my ideas.  At least it’s a start.  I need to find a focus.  And I need courage.  It doesn’t help that when I do come out with something online I have gotten the “stoning”.  Why is that?  Idiots post all the time and never get that response…..I think I need to stop worrying about idiots.

        I think I might have started out life on the opposite end of the spectrum from you in some ways.  I started out with the spiritual stuff.  Unfortunately it didn’t make me practical enough to learn how to make any money.  I was too busy figuring out how to make life worth living to figure out how to make A living.  You’re right that it’s best to have to have a balance of both for either to work out.

        When I was about 40 I realized I had to get rid of the people who dragged me down.  I got impatient with them and some left on their own.  Now that they’re gone there are very few people left.  But at least the ones that are left are the good ones.

        The only thing I’m pretty sure I can’t do on your list (I do the exercise already) is wake up that early in the morning.  I am decidedly NOT a morning person (something I’ve been fighting with all my life).  I’ve had to accept my body clock the way it is, unfortunately.  I love the dawn and hate that I can’t seem to get myself up that early.  It was even hard for me to wake up at 6:00 a.m. when I had a full time job.  I don’t know what it is but I’m done with fighting with it.  Other than that I am working on or already do most of what’s on your list.  Thank you for sharing it. 

        I am enjoying your blog immensely.  It is raw and real.  You have no pretenses.  And you make people think, which I think is one of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone these days.  So many people blah, blah, blah and act like experts on everything, especially online (that’s one of my topics, lol).  You are just a person who is sharing what has worked for him and hoping it will help someone else.  Well, it is.  Perhaps if I follow your advice long enough the money will follow, LOL.  So thanks to you too!

        • Mike

          Renee,

          Don’t sell yourself short on the “morning person” thing.  I get up early every morning, and I’m not a “morning person”.  Just think, if you joined the military, for whatever reason, you’d be forced to get up early (or face serious consequences).  After a while, you just get used to it.  Then, you start to like all the advantages that waking up early in the am brings (see J. Altucher’s posts on this).  Then it just starts to fuel itself.  Your body just has to be trained to do it.  As James writes, you can’t get up early if you’re up all night though. 

          Or, look at it another way.  What if I paid you $50,000 a year just to get up at 6 am?  You don’t have to anything else, but wake up at 6 am and stay awake for the rest of the day.  I bet you’d find a way to get up at 6 am, right?  I use this little trick to motivate myself.  If you start getting up at 6 am everyday, it may just yield a profti of $50k down the line with all the ideas and writing you’ll be doing. 

          Give a try.  I’m telling you that you can do this. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/renee.rothbardmackey Renee E. Rothbard Mackey

            Thanks Mike.  I thought I could train myself to feel good getting up early in the morning but no matter what I have done in 30 years it has not worked.  Getting a lot of sleep the night before doesn’t even work.  Tiring myself out so that I fall asleep early doesn’t work because I just wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep for a couple of hours.  My body seems to like going to bed at around midnight or 1:00 a.m. no matter how early I got up the morning before.  Throughout the 30 years of my career I’ve had to get up at around 6:00 a.m. so yeah, I have gotten up early because I’ve had to for work, but that doesn’t mean my body feels good doing it!

            I have since come to realize after doing some reading on it, that there are people who are wired to be morning people and then there’s everyone else.  Me, I’m an afternoon person most definitely.  I personally love the time late at night when everyone is asleep and I am still awake.  The only reason I would love to be able to change into a morning person is that it would certainly make my life easier given that the business world and the world in general is geared towards morning people.  Ben Franklin was right but only because society runs according to morning people.  If you’re out of step with that you lose.  “The earlybird” most definitely catches the worm.  But truthfully, other than that I would not feel any need to change the way I’m wired.  I don’t even think I can.  But thanks anyway!

          • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

            Im going to write about this. I’m a morning person since birth. BUT, I do think its possible to train yourself to being a morning person and there are enormous benefits to it. That said, ultimately its a personal choice and ther’es nothing bad about being a late person either.

          • http://www.facebook.com/renee.rothbardmackey Renee E. Rothbard Mackey

            You know James, I don’t think we really have a choice to be one or the other.  We are wired to be what we are and it would be just as hard for me to change this aspect of myself as it would be for me to switch my sexual orientation and stop finding men attractive (not gonna happen).  Everyone is different and what works for one does not work for all.   Some people can switch and others can’t for reasons only their body knows.  I notice that morning people always seem to think they can “convert” non-morning people to be like them but it just doesn’t work for a lot of us.  Lots of luck trying, though, LOL.  :)

          • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com/ Jlcollinsnh

            II’m with you, Renee…. Back in the 1990s I had a job that required I get up every day @ 5am.  Did it for four years.  So, is it possible to train yourself to get up at an ungodly hour?  Of course. Is it a good idea?  Not so much.  We all have our basic bio-rhythms.  Violating them wastes enormous amounts of energy.  Much better, it seems to me, to do the work to find your own and go with the flow.  As you have done.Personally, I am far more productive and motivated in late afternoon and into the night.  I also love the very early mornings on the occasions when I happen to be up.  Maybe more so now that they are the rare treat.
            I’m with you, Renee…. 

            Back in the 1990s I had a job that required I get up every day @ 5am.  Did it for four years.  So, is it possible to train yourself to get up at an ungodly hour?  Of course.
             
            Is it a good idea?  Not so much. 

            We all have our basic bio-rhythms.  Violating them wastes enormous amounts of energy.  Much better, it seems to me, to do the work to find your own and go with the flow.  As you have done.

            Personally, I am far more productive and motivated in late afternoon and into the night.  I also love the very early mornings on the occasions when I happen to be up.  Maybe more so now that they are the rare treat.

          • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com/ Jlcollinsnh

            Edited for clarity:

            I’m with you, Renee…. 
             
            Back in the 1990s I had a job that required I get up every day @ 5am.  Did it for four years.  So, is it possible to train yourself to get up at an ungodly hour?  Of course. 
             
            Is it a good idea?  Not so much.  We all have our basic bio-rhythms.  Violating them wastes enormous amounts of energy.  Much better, it seems to me, to do the work to find your own and go with the flow.  As you have done.
             
            Personally, I am far more productive and motivated in late afternoon and into the night.  I also love the very early mornings on the occasions when I happen to be up.  Maybe more so now that they are the rare treat.
             

          • Mike

            To thine self be true, right?  You may very well be conquering the world while the rest of us are sleeping!  That’s cool too.  A lot of good ideas flow late at night. 

            I just know that many friends have told me something along the same lines like “I’m just not a workout or exercise type person”.  Then, they started working out little by little, lost some weight, gained some confidence, then and a year or two later they’re freaking fitness coaches! 

          • http://www.facebook.com/renee.rothbardmackey Renee E. Rothbard Mackey

            I’ve known people like that too.  I wish it could be the case for me.  I used to be able to conquer some things but after age 50 and as a woman going through menopause things change and you don’t have as much control over your body as you used to.   I hate to sound like I’m making excuses or being negative but it’s like a collective denial in our culture to expect to remain young and able to do things we always did even after age 50.  When we get there our bodies often tell us otherwise.  Arthritis, hernias, heart conditions, sleep disorders, menopause, mid section weight gain, you name it, all conspire and interfere with our plans.  And not all of them are as easy to overcome as just putting your mind to it.  Sorry for the rant but you just touched on a hot button issue for me.

          • Mike

            For the record, you must be doing something right.  You look great!  Never would have guessed 50. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/renee.rothbardmackey Renee E. Rothbard Mackey

            Thank you, I’m actually 52!  In the words of Ralph Macchio (the guy from the Karate Kid movie) to his professional dance partner on “Dancing With the Stars”, “Pay no attention to the face, the body feels every bit its age”!!

  • syd

    Great post. I work part time in the service industry, and I come across so many jerks that some days I feel like there must be a sign on me that says “please be an asshole to me; I’m having too good of a day.” Thanks so much for the advice just to let it go–and you’re right–it’s so difficult! 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Hi syd, yes, I know what you mean. The key is to simply ignore or not engage – as much as you possibly can. I have lots of people I call “jerks” as well throwing stuff at me. But i try not to let anything stick. 

  • Jay

    James

    I could be wrong but my reading of Buddhism and Christianity seem to go against the principles in your post. First the notion of of Happiness as a goal is questionable. Happiness is fleeting. Attachment to Happy or Crappy is the problem. Either one arises and falls away. You simply watch either of them come and go.  That is freedom.   The essence of Buddhism is impermanence and Christianity forgiveness. I recommend reading Crooked Cucumber by David Chadwick , and find out where the book got its title.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Jay, I agree with all of that. however, i think if you are resentful, or getting overly engaged with people who are trying to bring you down then its going to be less likely that you will achieve the goals of Buddhism or Christianity.  There are many obstacles on the various spiritual paths out there and developing a discipline to overcome those obstacles (what I call “The Daily Practice) is a good step in the right direction. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y4TBFW324Y25ILSJ42J42GUCS4 Dan Man

    If a crappy person physical touches you, you can’t ignore that. You’ve got to get violent and feel good about it. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      This is a great point for a future post. I’m going to do a “Crappy Person FAQ” based on the excellent points and questions being made here. Thanks. 

      • Mbag

        I can’t wait.  Hurry.

    • James Brian Peterson

      Most people are basically good,but like all of us,occasionally have a bad day.It is neither wise nor fair to automatically assume that everyone is a feculent communist wretch just because you may percieve them as such. I try to give everyone I meet the  benefit of the doubt by extending to them the same courtesy and consideration that I have every expectation of in a polite society-even if it is not reciprocal. However,as my dear mother was so fond of saying :” If you turn the other cheek, after four you are beat up and out of cheeks.

  • http://www.redroverhq.com tomkrieglstein

    “Most people are pretty crappy” <—- In relation to this quote from the top of your post, do you find that through your Daily Practice that this perception of the world changes, or do you still hold that to be true throughout?

  • Kevin M

    I need to print this one and read it as my Daily Practice. I do this all the time, especially driving to work if some idiot cuts me off. I try counting to 10 and it works sometimes, but I think about it too much. Later I’ll ask, why the fuck did I let that bother me so much. But the next day it happens again. Other times if I know someone crappy will be someplace I am and might “start something” I think up scenarios of what I would do or say. It is crazy I know, but hard to let go of. My best tactic (so far) is to find something to immediately distract me – change the radio station in the car for instance.

    Also, my new theory is most people are good – you just hear more about the bad ones so they stand out.

    • Kevin M

      What if you are the crappy person?

      • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com jlcollinsnh

        we all are, sometimes.

  • Mo

    I really liked your idea of dealing with Crappy people.   I sometimes feel its the Gandhian way of dealing with them.

  • Ftank99

    There are only 2 types of people in the world: those that feel they owe the world, and those that feel the world owes them.

  • Lori Johnson

    Great reminders here. I remember someone telling me not to let others (pigs especially) to take up residence in my mind rent-free. 

    The no-advice rule is a good one all around; when I give advice I usually make an instant enemy. Which certainly says a lot about my crummy advice, but also makes the person rely on themselves. Because it would be foolish to take my advice. I make people less co-dependent. Yep, I’m heroic. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/gzicherm Gabe Zichermann

    James – this is super interesting. In game design (and the gamification world) we divide the universe of “players” into four types as well:

    Achiever
    Explorer
    Socializer, and 
    Killer

    (these types are taken from gameplay research by Richard Bartle). I talk about them in this video in the context of business: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O1gNVeaE4g

    Initially, the Bartle types weren’t meant to be a personality inventory, but the face validity was so strong that I embarked on a project to make it into one with researchers at CSU EB. 

    I think yours is interesting too, but maybe a bit reflective (e.g. all about how you see the other person, rather than a core personality characteristic). But it is definitely cool!

    -Gabe

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Fascinating stuff, Gabe. I’m going to check that out. 

  • http://haltakov.info Vlado

    I really liked the idea for the 4 types of people (and the idea for the 18 years old and the war btw.). Although I think there is yet another group of people – the stupid people. They may also do you harm, but only because of sheer stupidity. What do you think?

    And somehow I feel that with this post you didn’t follow your own rules. Wasn’t the article inspired by exactly this bad comment your wrote about? :) But still a great post… as always :)

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I’m going to answer both questions. BUT, I’m going to do it in a follow up post. There’s been a lot of good questions and I think I’ll do an FAQ based on this post. Thanks for asking these. Good questions. 

  • Alvin Summers

    Hey Jimbo, can you explain to me the pricing of your books on amazon.  The one is a dollar and the ther others are like $1,000 a piece.  Ok, maybe not $1,000, but you know what I mean. 

    I’m trying to figure out how come some kindle books cost more than the actual books themselves.  But I figured if I could get a clue about your books pricing, I’d be that much closer to figuring out the universe.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Well, the one thats a dollar is the one I self-published. I tried to make it $0. In fact, if you read this post: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/05/why-and-how-i-self-published-a-book/  you can find the instructions for getting it for free. 

      All of my other books’ prices were set by the publishers. My last book is not a finance book. But my first five are. With finance books there is a philosophy that you can charge as much as possible ($70, for instance) because if someone makes one good trade off of it than they make their money back times 1000. 

      I think my last book will do the best because its cheap (free if you follow that post) and because I care more about getting the word out there than making as much nickels as possible on it. 

  • http://twitter.com/lovejoytwits Cyndy Lovejoy

    I like you James.   You are one of the good people on my list that I will be thankful for 5 minutes each day.  I appreciate what you write and how you share yourself.  

    Thanks,
    Cyndy in Oregon

    • EyesOpen

      Did you know that James ‘gave thanks’ in an earlier post for Ben Bernanke’s money printing, despite knowing it has caused inflation and misery (and deaths) all over the world. James said he just wanted to make sure he got some of the newly minted dollars in his pocket.
      You are all ignorant of who James really is.
      A factor of an ignorant US society, and you will all pay in a few years time when Bernanke prints you to hyperinflation.

  • Nate

    Speaking of your hair, is that your real hair or a wig? If real, I’m sincerely jealous

  • http://twitter.com/ajaxjones ajax jones

    LOL, OK so I have been reading some of your stuff for a while now, and tonight for a change I thought I would give this one a go. No talk, no advice, to the crappy people, I call them the haters,  just ignore. Worked surprisingly well :)

    Not going to go for the get up at 4am thing yet, but will work the way through a few others.  Now I’ve fettled some of my recent ideas down to the ones i already have customers for (people wanting to be at any case) , and turned one of these into a product as well, LOL, good thought that. I also get the bit about selling them too, but I wish someone would actually explain if you have an idea (product) and a few people wanting to give you money for them, how do you actually work it out?  Ive now got at two people now wanting to give me 20k regardless so they can be on a few things but how do I work out what to give them as equity , or % profit share or whatever?  In reality they just want to have a bit of a gamble, but I dont want to take their money when I dont know what I am really going to do with it, nor how I can give them some percieved value return on it. Suggestions welcome !

  • Todd_Andelin

    I want to enjoy other people more.  
    According to one physicist, existence is consciousness and the ability to choose from possibilities….there are lots of possibilities out there.
    The subtle spiritual portion of the brain needs to tell the more material radar section of the brain to be more positive…to think of the finer grains within people rather than the face value good person  bad person scenario.  
    It goes back to William Blake…”hold infinity in the palm of your hand”

  • QriousAllen

    My take reading this is: to ultimately be focusing on staying happy in life. To stay happy, ignore and avoid crappy people by erasing them from your mind and your life.

    One touchy question:

    When is revenge (dare to say justice? punishment?) warranted? ever?
    any examples?

    • Anonymous

      “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” – Romans 12:19

  • Edieminna

    Thanks for this post…I like your approach. It’s so interesting how we project our crap onto other people and the world at large and walk around thinking that most of our problems are because of “the people” who make us mad, scare us, annoy us, reject us, go for our jugular vein, etc. I’ve spent most of my life from this vantage point, but am shifting my focus dramatically since I realized a year ago that if I kept it up, I was literally going to die, either by suicide or chronic disease. Now when something about someone bothers me, even if I don’t know why or what exactly it is, I try to ask myself what am I projecting onto that person that I don’t like or am freaked out about MYSELF? I try to stay with the emotions, and look in the mirror instead of looking outside, and since I’ve developed enough compassion for myself I can do this without fanning the flames of self-loathing, like I used to do. 
    Thanks for continuing to delve into deep and often uncomfortable topics with courage and friendly humor. It’s very refreshing.

  • Deniz Rovcanin

    Spot on mate :)

  • Anonymous

    James,

    thankyou,thankyou,thankyou. Incredible deep, inside our minds and hearts article.  And an infinite helpmate to internal dialogue and demons.  You have just freed me from firing the gun to my head.  The part about totaling ignoring them, and “gossip is an addiction” really topped off the enlightening process. You have spoken the Truth about what all of us ‘secretly’ are thinking. and you have freed us from that ‘pain’.  You are the best! 

  • http://wavetribe.com Derek Dodds

    Thanks James, this post is a wonderful reminder. For me life is about energy and I choose to spend my energy creating, supporting, and loving—anything else is a waste of time, energy and life.

  • http://twitter.com/kbstreetz kbstreetz

    My immediate reaction was a desire to post something mean in the comments, a test, I suppose. Did I miss the whole point of the post? Yes, I did. Mandatory 5 minutes of happy thoughts for me

  • http://twitter.com/appgiveaway Al

    Love people dont hate’em, lets spread the love.

  • Michelle

    James, I sincerely enjoyed reading your blog.  I posted your Business Insider article on my facebook (then, of course found this blog. LOL) with the hopes I alone can make it go viral. :)  haha.  I feel like refreshing is not the right word for your ideas and advice.  Maybe, realistically refreshing is better.  I often struggle with trying to understand the assholes of the world.  Unfortunately I am related to a couple…one in particular.  I guess we all have at least one asshole in the family.  I have recently come to the harsh reality that the abuse I have suffered due to this relative has caused me to partially become who I am today.  WHERE WERE YOU 30 YEARS AGO??  I needed to read this much sooner.  I suppose it is never to late to ignore and move on and be happy, right?

    Thank you very much!  You are truly a wise wise man.  Keep writing.  I will be following your blog daily!!!

    ~m

    • http://www.facebook.com/zafkastudios Jim Kasper

      >WHERE WERE YOU 30 YEARS AGO??

      Ha Ha,  A couple posts earlier, James tells us where he was thirty years ago. And it is a good thing for us that his success did not come easily.

  • Michelle

    Oh and for the record…I DO believe that Bill Gates is an amazingly GOOD person.  For anyone (Especially those who don’t know him personally) to assume he is an asshole based on the two facts most of the world know of him (rich and smart) is what is wrong in our society.  You can not give away that much money and not have good in your soul.  Sorry.  I also really liked your comments on compassion and training your mind. 

    I once met a preacher…he was a cool dude.  He delivered messages about hope and encouragement as opposed to just selling fire insurance to the christian masses.  He said that if you choose (yes he highlighted the CHOICE) to see others through compassionate eyes, you are much less likely to judge or hate them.  It is hard to judge others when you try and see where they are coming from and what obstacles and crap they might be in the midst of.  I find this to not always be easy, but when I am able to do it, it is a true gem.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thanks so much Michelle. I agree. i cross-posted this on another site and it was amazing the reaction people had to Bill Gates. Its almost as if, magically right in front of me, people were demonstrating in a 3 act play, the entire purpose of my post. 

  • Tim Leon

    Another nugget James, thanks.

  • Tim Leon

    Another nugget James, thanks.

  • http://monicajking.com Monica

    This is so frickin’ brilliant.  Just wanted to say it.  

  • Eric

    Thank you James. I also have Asperger’s Syndrome and I think the 5 minutes spent reading this column just made the rest of my life much more tolerable! 

  • James Smith

    Sorry, but that’s pretty shoddy advice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/LaneyofLimerick Laney DeJesus

    You are my new hero! I needed to read this and it made me smile! Great insightful wonderful article! The energy that is wasted on those who are crappy is amazing!

    I say send the crappy ones off to war!

    My first time reading your body of work and I’m already a fan! Continued success in keeping the crappy ones at bay, for all of us!

    Off to share this with family & friends on my page. Only the good folks there!

    Thanks James!

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.libby Richard Libby

    The “give no advice” advice shouldn’t be underestimated.  For the #4’s out there trying to get their hooks in, I’ve settled on the reply “you went to college: I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”

  • Anonymous

    First i have to say man i never thought i would come across anyone who thought like me,And two for the record im one of the happy people 93% of the time but i do look at people like a that and have those horribly mean ass thoughts,A few times i have caught myself and laughed thinking dam if they knew what i was thinkingabout them right now they would think i needed an exorcism lol,But im also happy for no reason and unfortunatly see right though people anyway your advice was excellent because i have to deal with ruthless,greedy,evil relatives and i need all the damm help i can get!!

  • tnichols

    you nailed it.  treat the a- holes like they don’t exist.  spend your time and energy on things that matter.

  • Alane Wallace

    This is good and wise advice.  Excellent article!

  • Shivani

    Beautifully said!  once the roach infestation takes over it is almost impossible to get rid of.  Thank you. Life is too precious to waste on  any type of crap!

  • Jessica L.

    This is the best blog I’ve read in a long time ! I’m not saying it to neutralize those 950 bad comments mentioned. I think it’s truthful and the advice given is very useful. Thanks, James !

  • metropool

    what if the crappy people are your parents?

  • T3ryan

    I read this and realized that I have been slowly learning to get crappy people out of my life for the past few years, so the post was encouraging. One problem I’ve run into though is that some of the crappy people actually like me so I feel obligated to give them time once in a while (lame, I know) and I’m not quite sure how to proceed. I guess I’m easily confused. Have you ever run into this?

    Also, Henry Blodget seems like a genuinely nice guy. Is he? Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    You are incredibly sweet and endearing (I have no idea if a grown man wants to hear such a compliment, but there you go).  You have listed (in a very entertaining and engaging way), the four ways ‘you’ characterise the people you interact with.   

    Everybody does this, simply because life really is too short.  People are complicated, think of four categories and shove them in one and be done with it, is it really going to matter?  Nope.  Once we have decided by some random unconscious method which one of your categories a person should fit into the whole of the rest of the relationship is spent rationalising and confirming the initial impression.   

    Anyone interested in a non altucher-centric explanation of basic personalities can look at wikipedia here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits but good luck categorising everyone you meet, because, the greatest chunk of behaviour is situational and not innate.  

    Which is to say, Mr Altuchers guesses are as good as anyone elses, and he is cute about it.  And this is why we know he is adorable.  True!

  • Andrew Luks

    Never argue with an idiot; they will bring you down to their level then beat you with experience.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Great quote

  • Harleys R. Toofuknloud

    Suck being young, Jewish, and underfucked, eh Jimmy? Sure does help ya write some clever crap, though. Oh, ueah, I gonna ignore you from now on, OK?

  • Harleys R. Toofuknloud

    TYPO’S CORRECTED for the “GIFTED”

    Sucks being young, Jewish, and homely, eh Jimmy? Sure does help ya write some clever crap, though. Oh, yeah, I gonna ignore you from now on, OK?

  • Harleys R. Toofuknloud

    What, Jimmy?  Truth hurts, don’t it? Your just another lonely lump of protoplasm with a talent for writing that helps you vent your impotent rage against reality, just like me.

    BTW —  Another thing crappy people do is censor to stifle dissent. Good luck to you as you walk the long and winding road.

  • http://twitter.com/4xguy Forex Guy

    Dude.. this one was a beauty… syndicate it now!!  I don’t even care that you don’t comb your hair and that you want to shatter a glass over my head ;)  … This was profound and simple… Kudos, Blessings and a long life to you…

  • http://twitter.com/4xguy Forex Guy

    Dude.. this one was a beauty… syndicate it now!!  I don’t even care that you don’t comb your hair and that you want to shatter a glass over my head ;)  … This was profound and simple… Kudos, Blessings and a long life to you…

  • Howard Lindzon

    you’re an asshole, James

  • Howard Lindzon

    you’re an asshole, James

  • Harleys R. Toofuknloud

    bye bye Jimmy.  I’m gonna take your advice and ignore crappy people.  you’re now at the bottom of a very long list.

  • Harleys R. Toofuknloud

    bye bye Jimmy.  I’m gonna take your advice and ignore crappy people.  you’re now at the bottom of a very long list.

  • http://twitter.com/ajaxjones ajax jones

    I just realised a problem, I’ve started a product/service that is for #2  people, LOL. I’m going to try and be happy about it, but I have to deal with these people on a regular basis. Perhaps my goal is to try and not let them turn themselves into #4 and  I had a sneaky feeling there is or should be a subset of #4 .  But now I think this is about underlying personality rather than ability, so its the underlying thing that people have. I just realised that one person I deal with is pretty much a stupid person, just doesnt seem to get it, (the technology) , messes up everything and really really annoys people and winds them up to beyond breaking point. I would have had them down as #4 , crappy, but talking to them today, i actually realised they are #1 , Happy. An unfaltering optimism and blind faith in everything they think or do. They are still stupid mind you, but easier now to smile at and with :)

  • http://twitter.com/ajaxjones ajax jones

    I just realised a problem, I’ve started a product/service that is for #2  people, LOL. I’m going to try and be happy about it, but I have to deal with these people on a regular basis. Perhaps my goal is to try and not let them turn themselves into #4 and  I had a sneaky feeling there is or should be a subset of #4 .  But now I think this is about underlying personality rather than ability, so its the underlying thing that people have. I just realised that one person I deal with is pretty much a stupid person, just doesnt seem to get it, (the technology) , messes up everything and really really annoys people and winds them up to beyond breaking point. I would have had them down as #4 , crappy, but talking to them today, i actually realised they are #1 , Happy. An unfaltering optimism and blind faith in everything they think or do. They are still stupid mind you, but easier now to smile at and with :)

  • Amy

    There is a cool and enjoyable way to reinforce your point 4 James, and that is to tune into Caesar Milan’s Dog Whisperer. I know it sounds strange but Caesar is probably one of the best psychologists on the planet when it comes to dealing with the basic stuff. Just watch his dog Luigi. Luigi is a specialist at ignoring. He brings him in when there is a nutty, barking, annoying destructive dog suffering a major, and always owner-induced, neurosis. Luigi just ignores it. When Luigi is done actively ignoring, he eventually relaxes so much he falls asleep–all while the nutcase is still nuts. 

  • Amy

    There is a cool and enjoyable way to reinforce your point 4 James, and that is to tune into Caesar Milan’s Dog Whisperer. I know it sounds strange but Caesar is probably one of the best psychologists on the planet when it comes to dealing with the basic stuff. Just watch his dog Luigi. Luigi is a specialist at ignoring. He brings him in when there is a nutty, barking, annoying destructive dog suffering a major, and always owner-induced, neurosis. Luigi just ignores it. When Luigi is done actively ignoring, he eventually relaxes so much he falls asleep–all while the nutcase is still nuts. 

  • Amy

    There is a cool and enjoyable way to reinforce your point 4 James, and that is to tune into Caesar Milan’s Dog Whisperer. I know it sounds strange but Caesar is probably one of the best psychologists on the planet when it comes to dealing with the basic stuff. Just watch his dog Luigi. Luigi is a specialist at ignoring. He brings him in when there is a nutty, barking, annoying destructive dog suffering a major, and always owner-induced, neurosis. Luigi just ignores it. When Luigi is done actively ignoring, he eventually relaxes so much he falls asleep–all while the nutcase is still nuts. 

  • Blitzerfamily

    you are a funny guy! 

  • Anonymous

    How do you deal with crappy people you can’t ignore because you want to enjoy the non crappy people they might be related to/married to, etc.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I’m going to do a future post on this.

  • Anonymous

    How do you deal with crappy people you can’t ignore because you want to enjoy the non crappy people they might be related to/married to, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/bullbear365 bullbear365

    Oh man, Penelope Trunk is HAWT !!

  • Cliff Bennett

    Pretty good advice.

    I used to follow it, mostly. But I don’t very well anymore.

    I’ll have to think about that.

    But at least today, the next a____ I see, I will try to ignore.

  • cwalker

    James – I read you regularly and though I don’t agree with everything you blog, I so appreciate your insight.  This piece, in particular, really hit home.  Being sucked into the crappy world of crappy people is so easy.  I’m trying to swim up to the top, but sometimes get bogged down and need a reminder that I have a choice – I can be happy and walk away.  Thank you!

  • http://tvblogster.blogspot.com Boop

    This is terrific advice that I’ve used in the past, and am currently using now.

  • Raven Sati

    Thank you for doing this blog – if feel this type of clearminded expression is meaningful and needed.  15 minutes ago is the first time I read it.  FYI I lived in a Buddhist monastery for 4 years and had a 20 year personal relationship with one of the most respected Lamas in  the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.  He died last year.  Much of what you say sounds just like him.  I have bookmarked you to check every day.  I look forward to catching up on your past writings and following your future work.  Again, thanks for doing this.

  • Grateful in the ‘Burg

    I had a 5 asshole day, today.  Never had one?  I met an asshole on the way to work, she was talking on her cellphone and didn’t see the light turn green-I laid on my horn.  Then I met an asshole in the grocery store, he was complaining about the women in front of us taking so long-I agreed with him totally, in a voice loud enough for her to hear.  I met an asshole while picking up my grandson from school, he passed the line of waiting cars to zip into the parking space I was waiting for-I gave him the finger.  I met an asshole at the pet store…dragging his dog around on the leash-I gave him a quick lesson in dog training.  Then, I met an asshole in the public restroom who forgot to flush the toilet-I screamed at her as I entered the stall and she left the room.  Finally I looked at myself in the mirror and realized the biggest asshole of the day was me.  So, yes, I might meet 1 or 2 assholes a day, but if I meet 5….I best look in the mirror because there’s one more I need to see!

    • Beatty500

       Self reflection is a great practice. I salute you for being a really wonderful and enlightened human who can see themselves. We all have those days, but yes then we have to get back in balance or we only make ourselves miserable. Thank you so much for your post.

  • Codebrain

    Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/corey_mcmahon Corey McMahon

    The urge to instantly hate strangers appears to be “hard wired” into us, and it makes sense from an evolutionary stand-point. As a hunter-gatherer in the Palaeolithic period, if you came across someone from another tribe that you hadn’t met before you should probably be very wary of them and their intentions. Not the best reaction for someone living in a city in the 21st century though.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Wow, excellent point. You are probably right that it has some evolutionary origin.

  • Anonymous

    F’ng brilliant. That’s all.

  • Anonymous

    F’ng brilliant. That’s all.

  • Anonymous

    F’ng brilliant. That’s all.

  • Anonymous

    F’ng brilliant. That’s all.

  • Anonymous

    F’ng brilliant. That’s all.

  • Anonymous

    F’ng brilliant. That’s all.

  • Anonymous

    F’ng brilliant. That’s all.

  • Anonymous

    F’ng brilliant. That’s all.

  • Dspidero

    Perfect.  

  • Msbiztoo

    THANK YOU! great article, but I think we must differentiate between people who are now and again crappy (as we all can be!) and those who are CHRONICALLY CRAPPY…aaaaggghhhh! Also, how do you IGNORE the crappy person if you LIVE WITH THEM or WORK CLOSELY WITH THEM…I don’t, but it might be helpful for us to come up with a strategy for these CPs. Thanks again!

  • Msbiztoo

    oops! Please disregard my last point in my comment (below)I should have read your OTHER article, FAQ regarding CP…I got ahead of myself…sorry…and, BTW…great ideas in the FAQs.

  • Msbiztoo

    oops! Please disregard my last point in my comment (below)I should have read your OTHER article, FAQ regarding CP…I got ahead of myself…sorry…and, BTW…great ideas in the FAQs.

  • Guest

    Sorry James, I’m far more pessimistic than you are. In the material, capitalist world in which we crawl, there are only 3 Kinds of People:  Bums, Crooks and Whores. It’s a rough theory (and copyrighted!) but we all fall into the triangle. I leave it up to you which camp you fall in.

    • Anonymous

      Feel sorry for you, if that attitude is all you have to offer life.

      • Fubar

        He was specifically discussing the material/capitalist world. In that world, achievement is supreme. Little else is seen as being relevant or “useful”. The dominant perspective is “individualistic” – and concerns itself with the “exteriors” of human perception.

        That leaves other areas of life (spirituality, aesthetics, morality. compassion) in which people can strive to transcend those categories.

        Some theorists of consciousness propose that there are four basic elements of human consciousness:

        1) interior-individual (spirituality/mysticism/aesthetics)
        2) interior-collective (morals/ethics)

        3) exterior-individual (science, rationalism)
        4) exterior-collective (systems/ecology)

        (These are sometimes referred to as “the beautiful, the good and the true”.)

        Thus, those that are not striving for high levels of achievement are
        “bums”. Those that are relentless are “Crooks”. Those that want to
        benefits of Achievement, but are not willing to try to be “Crooks”,
        seduce the “Crooks” with low desires and fantasies of “escape” from the
        dehumanizing, disconnected world of pure “exteriors”.

        The anecdote is actually full of wisdom in the sense that capitalism is described as being in the “material” (exterior) quadrant, and devoid of morals and spiritual or aesthetic refinement.

        As such, it indirectly references that which is “missing” in materialism/capitalism: compassion, empathy, nurturance, social bonds, love, morality and ethics, higher ideals, selflessness, service to humanity, the search for deep meaning and connection with the something bigger than the mundane aspects of life, and so forth.

  • Guest

    Sorry James, I’m far more pessimistic than you are. In the material, capitalist world in which we crawl, there are only 3 Kinds of People:  Bums, Crooks and Whores. It’s a rough theory (and copyrighted!) but we all fall into the triangle. I leave it up to you which camp you fall in.

  • hjkeith

    Thanks for recapping Book 1 Verse 33 of the Yoga Sutras. If you haven’t read it, you pretty much had it word for word.

  • hjkeith

    thanks for the recap of the Yoga Sutras Book 1 Verse 33.  Curious as to why my last comment was deleted?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks James for posting this!  This is such great advice.  I’ve always tried to avoid such radioactive crappy people.  The hardest part is gossiping.  It’s so pointless and boring when one looks at it.  Any advice?

    Oh, and for the fighting back, revenge fantasy that people have, especially if the crappy person touches you.  It never works.  You win the fight, then the crappy person lies about what occurred, or comes back for revenge.  You lose the fight, they will keep coming back, and you will feel horrible.  Win the war, not the fight.  Keep your own money, time and sanity.  Why waste it on them.

    I know some people will disagree about the physical fighting, or other conflicts…they think that if they are physically stronger, have a weapon, or some fight training, that will be able to stop them…but crappy people who like to fight do so not because they have some personal vendetta against you.  It’s because they can.  Win wars, not battles.

  • Douggravesster

    Awesome post.  Just this morning I was exercising my list.  I am going to give a solid two weeks to this practice so I can get free.

  • Fubar

    Here is another scheme used to classify people into personality types at work. Knowing these personality types “improves communication”.

    D = Dominants. Mavericks, entreperneurs, innovators.

    I = Interactives. Social animals, party people.

    S – Steadies. Love rules, bureacuracy.

    C = Competents. Introverts. Like to sit in corner and do math/tech/art/etc. very well.

    The four personality types actually show up as combinations, few people are pure one-category people.

    Note: I asked the poeple that came up with the scheme how the Enlightened/Spiritual (E/S) personality fits in the scheme. Is there an Enlightened version of each? Or is E/S a 5th type?

    They didn’t have time to answer.

    I’m not Jewish, but I like to occasionally read Rabbi Lerner at http://www.tikkun.org

    Interesting warning about the future of american capitalism, and maintaining hope in spite of crappy people:

    http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/the-state-of-the-spirit-2011

    excerpt:

    …Just as today the West spends its energies fighting an elusive “war on terror” generated by its fantasy that its survival depends on dominating other countries to gain their fossil fuels, in the future Western elites of wealth and power may seek to create medieval-style enclaves surrounded by private Blackwater-style armies to prevent ordinary citizens from getting at their dwindling supplies of food and other goods. Most people will be encouraged to blame each other and fight each other for the decreasing sustenance left to the majority of the planet’s residents.

    A good guy-bad guy dichotomy distorts the far more complicated picture: that these people are engaged in the same struggle as each of us, the struggle between the voice of fear that leads us to believe that we are alone in the world and that our safety depends on our ability to get power over others, and the voice of hope that leads us to believe we could achieve safety, security, and the fulfillment of our needs through love and generosity and caring for others (what I have called “the left hand of God”). Just as many of us choose passivity or despair when the voice of fear becomes dominant in us, so many of those who are situated in circumstances where they can economically, politically, or socially dominate others choose that path because of fear that if they chose paths based on the possibility that love and kindness could prevail and provide them with fulfillment of their needs, they would be betrayed by those they trusted. So they imagine it is less self-destructive to rely on opportunities for power over others. Having a compassionate attitude toward these people does not in any way vitiate our righteous indignation at their actions or our commitment to transform the system that benefits them at the expense of the rest of the human race and the planet’s animals, plants, trees, water, and air.

    As we’ve pointed out before, the current emotional depression sweeping through much of our world today was fostered in part by the great hopes that were invested by tens of millions of people in Barack Obama, and by the subsequent disillusionment when Obama not only did not fight for what we had expected him to fight for, but did not even present policies that reflected the ideals he had himself articulated. He did not provide the indispensable element: a coherent worldview. Yet as Associate Editor Peter Gabel pointed out in an email we sent out after the elections in November, what we should have learned from this was something that past movements already understood — that the kinds of societal transformations we hope for can only come through the building of a powerful mass movement that uses electoral politics as one of its expressions but not as the central and determining one. This is crucial because electoral politics feeds into the fantasy that we just need to elect the right person and then watch as our hero battles for us.
    It simply never works that way — the forces aligned against social change are overwhelming, and our elected officials only respond to democratic pressure when we are mobilized in an ongoing movement that has many other non-electoral dimensions and is working in a coherent and powerful way to change consciousness and institutions using every possible nonviolent method, including disruptive civil disobedience, to push forward its agenda and worldview.

  • Melchy

    I read more than 60 posts and it’s funny how everyone who
    answered is, or at least considers himself or herself to be in the not crappy
    people camp.  Well, I was once a much
    more crappy person than I am today, so yes, sometimes I still am.  I had anger to the power of ten, and some of it is
    still very present.  And also, I had
    another problem, which hasn’t disappeared completely.  If I felt threatened in any way, I could
    annihilate the perceived attacker without mercy.  Most of the time my counterattacks were
    verbal or written, yet immensely destructive. 
    With age it got worse.  And as you noted, sometimes the counter-attack was a result of making assumptions that I was being attacked, when it was in reality a bad evaluation of the situation.  But there
    was a reason to it, and since this post is anonymous (unless my ISP tracks my
    IP and publishes my name), I will tell you why I was that crappy person: it’s
    because my parents were crappy with me in my first developmental years,
    educating me with the stick and the belt, violently marking my persona with violence which in turn resulted in methods to counter that violence, and that was a threat-response mechanism that would turn out to be almost impossible to erase.

     

    But some people didn’t give up on me, or ignore me or do
    what is suggested in this article. And it turned out to be a good thing for
    everybody around me, including myself.

     

    The article is excellent and very true.  It presents a pragmatic approach, helps you get things done – for yourself.   But sometimes you
    have to trust the human capacity to heal and change.  Oddly enough, the very adolescent American
    culture hasn’t reached that level: here we punish people without wanting to hear anything else about why they came up to be like they are, our prisons are
    overcrowded and we are extremely judgmental. 
    Also, our supposedly strong moral values hide a huge hypocrisy: this is
    the country where there are more pornography websites than people and the
    country that kills and murders thousands each year by maintaining a state of
    perpetual war and the country that manufactures the most weapons, often selling
    them to opposing clans in warring countries.  Just to name a few examples…

     

    I covered too much ground in one post. I often do that.
    Apologies.

    • Steve

      @1ef07a5e357c8a107b079b430d3f1807:disqus It’s good you had someone in your life who was willing to suffer for your sins, as it were. But do you understand what the cost was to that person or persons? If you’ve really changed, then maybe you’ll understand how hard that is and that maybe not everyone has the additional capacity to tolerate so much pain.

    • http://twitter.com/diamond303 CD

      now the next step is to go out and do for someone else what someone else did for you to make you a better person.  pass it on…

    • Anonymous

      I almost hit the “Like” button…till you began generalizing our American culture and moral values.  And from what source did you get the statement that “there are more pornography websites than people”?  I highly doubt that!

      • Fubar

        America is a complex society. The contributor does make a very valid point about much of american culture. Many of the most important social theorists have said the same things in more elaborate fashion for decades. (James Hillman, Robert Kegan, etc.)

        Much of psychology/therapy is influence by buddhist concepts of human nature, and what “mature” human psychology is about.

        Here is one possible part of the explanation of why a religion that is based on detachment from clinging to things that are “not real” would be appealing:

        http://integrallife.com/editorial/three-faces-god

        “Brother David Steindl-Rast has been a practicing Benedictine monk for
        over half a century and was one of the first Vatican-sanctioned
        delegates to participate in Buddhist-Christian dialogue. He is a
        recipient of the Martin Buber Award, and serves as a senior member of
        the Mount Savior Monastery in Elmira, New York.”

        excerpts:

        The Three Faces of God

        In the second installation of Br. David and Ken’s dialogue, we explore
        the concept of the “Three Faces of God”—a remarkably insightful way to
        approach our understanding of spiritual reality, and one which helps
        organize and understand all of the various descriptions of the divine
        throughout all the world’s great spiritual traditions.

        Just as human beings intrinsically possess 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-person
        perspectives of the world, so do we possess those same perspectives in
        our experience of spirituality.  And while these dimensions of the
        divine can be found in just about any spiritual lineage—Christian,
        Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Islam, etc.—many of these traditions only
        explicitly emphasize one or two of these perspectives, resulting in one
        or more important aspects of spirituality often being left out of their
        conceptions of God.

      • Artie Cab

        What Melchy left out was we (the USA) occupy more countries around the globe and have military forces on practically every state on the globe and growing every day by leaps and bounds.  Remember when the sun never set on the British empire?  Personally, I think we are seeing less and less sunsets.

    • Brian H

      About America: by count, the majority of UN member states, and the majority of the population, are tyrannically ruled.  The rulers would like nothing better than to see a passive disarmed US.  Their subject populations, not so much.

      Get to know a few emigrés from ex-Soviet Europe. And LISTEN, don’t talk.

    • Artie Cab

      I nominate you for President.  I hope the National Occupy Party will take notice to this post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jane-Lawry/100001055299399 Jane Lawry

    The best sense I have read in a long time.   I couldn’t agree more and have tried to tell people this for the last 50 years, thank God for the internet so that you can reach so many unhappy souls and actually give them the tools to move forward  You give me hope, thank you

  • jclogan

    My personal shorthand version: “Holding onto anger or resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”.

    • Reflective at Altitude

      I have been struggling with this for years. I thought I would die from the conflict inside. You have given a mantra that could save millions of lives. Thanks to the author and every one else on this thread.

      • Brian H

        Were you really going to kill that many!?!?  I’m shocked, shocked ….

        ;p

    • Artie Cab

      Excellent!

    • http://twitter.com/andrew_chen Andrew H. Chen

      There is a Buddhist saying, “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.”

    • tomwe

      Good saying! I continue to try to keep from poisoning myself.

  • judyjustice

    Dear james-why no mention that this is basically the four locks and keys in the yoga sutras?

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Its the 4 locks and keys on sanity.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Its the 4 locks and keys on sanity.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Its the 4 locks and keys on sanity.

  • http://twitter.com/Singledad1234 Robert
  • Mark

    Hating someone is like trying to kill them by taking poison yourself.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yeah, good quote. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yeah, good quote. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yeah, good quote. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yeah, good quote. 

  • lilylee

    Thanks,It is real.Lily.

  • lilylee

    It is so real.I will practice by your advice,Thanks.Wish all the best for you.Lily

  • Leeroy Damien

    I very much like what you wrote here. I think it woulda been nicer if you addressed how to deal with crappy people you cannot avoid. crappy people you have to work with.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Check out the Crappy FAQ that came after this post.

    • Fubar

      Jesus said that you create Heaven inside yourself (and in a subculture) because the oppression of the world (the Roman Empire) would never allow for the creation (or recreation) of a Heaven on Earth.

      In Buddhism, personal responsibility is so important that it (karma) is carried into the next life (rebirth).

      Modern life creates the illusion that Progress (democracy, science, technology, or the internet) make dealing with Crap un- necessary.

  • Guaisman

    what about family members???? I haven t talked to my grandma in five yrs because she is CRAPPY AND EVIL… She is not a sweet old fragile lady as you might be imagining… She s the kinda person who will use anything in hand to grab a hold on your life.. But she s my grandma! It feels wrong to completely erase her from your life!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Check out my later post: the Crappy FAQ. I talk about family members.

    • Anonymous

      Try to love her…from a safe distance.

  • youcantgiveafuck

    i love this.  it was perfect timing and i am instantly at peace from a recent run-in with a “crappy person”.  I have been a crappy person too. But i had to learn to be compassionate…not just outwardly…but towards myself as well….being crappy is an external manifestation of what the person’s internal state is.  Not giving them any attention is the perfect way of dealing with that because like you said…they will never take your advice anyway.  Bravo.  and Thank You!

  • VVV

    Yes, Bill Gates is a real good guy.  He’s so good that he believes vaccines should be developed to “significantly” limit population and now the scarey part, he believes those vaccines should be administered in conjunction with flu vaccines unbeknownst to those receiving them – particularly in 2nd/3rd world nations.  With good guys like that who needs Hitler or Stalin.  But the most terrifying part of this – liberals, like Gates, see absolutely no problem with this as the masses are clueless and only the elite know what’s best for them.

  • http://wordofgreen.com Mark Andrew Green

    I used to be a drug addict, and when I quit I felt guilty about severing ties with all of the crappy people I had met during my time in that world.  It took a few relapses, some misery and a couple of years for me to learn how incredibly important it is to prune out the people who are destructive to your happiness. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UQ4RKOUKFBVPSUJR3RYK7WMMLE Joe

    Things were going smoothly until you characterized Bill Gates as a good guy….. Globalist. Eugenicist. But good? No way.

  • Anonymous

    Thought your article was terrific…thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts! As a return favour, I’m sharing my blogsite…hope something in there will be of interest…enjoy the rest of your day!     http://strawberryblondesmarketsummary.blogspot.com/

  • Mckenziewm

     This has been helpful. Mentally, I cannot get over the fact that my only best friend from high school made a promise with me that when we had to go to different colleges we would always keep in touch. My family, immigrants from Venezuela did not have many advantages to offer me besides taking all the money they could – working weekends and holidays to get our family into the school district they thought I would have the best chances of succeeding. Past that they had nothing to offer, emotional support, money, guidance, help to go college, and not even help to buy a laptop books or necessities of this day and age. When the time came for college applications my father was already stereotypically in prison. So I did the best I could – I got a restaurant job, hit up my older brother’s for their extra cash, got scholarships and grants, sold my soul for student loans, and became miserable. One of the things that I looked forward to the most was being able to have someone by me, after years of seeing the same ppl around me with all the things I didn’t have, I just wanted a best friend. Well her college life consisted of completely paid for by loving parents, paid sorority friends, brand new everything, full of travel and opportunities for career, a very rich very Asian boyfriend, her promise ring that their getting married whenever she wants, and blah blah everything from a fucking movie. I am so happy for her, but completely destroyed by the fact that it seems she’s forgotten about me and our promise. Which I can’t blame her. If I felt like my life was on the track and I was where I wanted to be I suppose I would forget about me too. It hurts because:
    – I considered my family to be less fortunate, but I’ve never felt less than anyone.
    -I’ve always known my family was in a lower class but it feels like she’s realizing it for the first time and going along with it. And I’m not saying that I am of low class.
    -I know her life isn’t perfect – some of my worst assumptions as to why she’s just stopped talking to me is because I don’t have money like her family does to she can’t use me for networking or I’m just not good enough.

    Look I’m not a writer and I apologize that this may sound like a crazy rant. I have so much more to say but then this would end up being a short story. Basically what I’m working with is that I’m so angry and hurt by this friend I can’t stop thinking about it. I feel wronged and in some way this article is helping me deal with being a loser. A loser that works hard but is still behind in her own eyes.

    • Sangita

      Resentment is a killer of happiness.  Wonderful wisdom in this article.

      I understand.  There is so much betrayal in this world and injustice.  You can’t really know who will come through for you or let you down.  But for oneself, for the love of
      oneself, we need to purge ourselves of self-destructive negativity.

      • Fubar

        not true for all people. Psychological research indicates that some people find their path to fulfillment in life by embracing the truth (“realism”) of the negativity they find in front of them. This open the possibility of finding discrete acts of healing that are “real” that one’s life can actually be rebuilt around.

        There are related areas of consciousness studies and research in “embodied” consciousness (linguistic theory).

        Enactment is the act of walking.

        Positive thinking is not the act, but thinking about the act.

        For some people, healing comes from preparing for the act, other, from doing.

        In a future enlightened (holistic/integral) society, a variety of healing rituals will be available to people to help them realize their highest potential.

        The current form of therapeutic bureaucracy reflects the unenlightened needs of an industrial paradigm, the last stage of world imperialism and its cults of technocratic expertise (Ivan Illich).

        http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Illich/Vernacular.html

        (1980 – from a Whole Earth Catalog publication)


        Societies mirror themselves not only
        in their transcendent gods, but also in their image of the alien
        beyond their frontiers. The West exported a dichotomy between
        “us” and “them” unique to industrial society.
        This peculiar attitude towards self and others is now worldwide,
        constituting the victory of a universalist mission initiated in
        Europe. A redefinition of development would only reinforce the
        Western economic domination over the shape of formal economics by
        the professional colonization of the informal sector, domestic
        and foreign. To eschew this danger, the six-stage metamorphosis
        of a concept that currently appears as “development”
        must first be understood.

        Each time the West put a new mask on the alien, the old one
        was discarded because it was now recognized as a caricature of an
        abandoned self-image. The pagan with his naturally Christian soul
        had to give way to the stubborn infidel to allow Christendom to
        launch the Crusades. The wild man became necessary to justify the
        need for secular humanist education, The native was the crucial
        concept to promote self-righteous colonial rule. But by the time
        of the Marshall Plan, when multinational conglomerates were
        expanding and

        [—>] the ambitions of transnational pedagogues,
        therapists and planners knew no bounds,

        the natives’ limited
        needs for goods and services thwarted growth and progress. They
        had to metamorphose into underdeveloped people, the sixth
        and present stage of the West’s view of the outsider.

        Development based on high per capita energy quanta and intense
        professional care is the most pernicious of the West’s missionary
        efforts –

        [->] a project guided by an ecologically unfeasible
        conception of human control over nature, and by an
        anthropologically vicious attempt to replace the nests and
        snakepits of culture by sterile wards for professional service.

        The hospitals that spew out the newborn and reabsorb the dying,
        the schools run to busy the unemployed before, between and after
        jobs, the apartment towers where people are stored between trips
        to the supermarkets, the highways connecting garages form a
        pattern tatooed into the landscape during the short development
        spree. These institutions, designed for lifelong bottle babies
        wheeled from medical centre to school to office to stadium begin
        now to look as anomalous as cathedrals, albeit unredeemed by any
        esthetic charm.

    • Fubar

      Without crap, the appreciation of the highest possibilities of our humanity would have less meaning and significance.

      Without ugliness, we would less appreciate beauty.

      Without lies and deception, we would less appreciate truth.

      Without evil (including the pain of being betrayed and abandoned), we would less appreciate good.

      Evolution wonderfully prepares human beings to socially bond with each other to form families, extended families/ clans and tribes. Most of what is deeply meaningful in human life comes from the bonding instinct and bonding rituals that are ancient. This most basic instinct allowed humans to survive as a group in a sometimes cruel, brutal universe.

      Modern life and class structures, which are products of social injustices, destroy such bonds.

      Modern life elevates the interests of the Achiever classes.

      Postmodern life elevates the interests of the Creative classes.

      In an Integral/Holistic future (as in the pre-modern/ tribal past), compassion, altruism and spirituality will be among the organizing principles of an enlightened society.

      You can find deep wisdom in understanding the nature of social injustices and how to find spiritual liberation in spite of the existence of injustice and suffering.

      As it is, you are far more deeply human and caring than most people.

      Please do not give that up.

      We become the most human in detaching from the clinging that causes suffering. Truly deep caring comes from transcending the superficial aspects of existence and seeing God/Spirit in everything. (This is one of the “Three Faces of God”.  )

      http://integrallife.com/editorial/three-faces-god

      Also see:

      http://www.marcgafni.com/?page_id=454

      Brother David Stendahl-Rast on Forgiveness


      http://www.bhavanasociety.org//main/quotes_full_page/

      “There is, monks, an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned. If, monks, there were no unborn… no escape would be discerned from what is born, become, made, conditioned. But because there is an unborn…, therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, become, made, conditioned.”
      ~ The Buddha
      Ud 8:3
      Translator: Bhikkhu Bodhi
      Udana 8:3

  • http://twitter.com/diamond303 CD

    Not seeing clear definitions in your typology.

    To be happy you have to be rich with a beautiful wife? (and if you are on the other end….be happy for them?)  To be good you have to have money like Bill Gates?  I believe it can go a lot deeper than that James.  Why did you choose Gates instead of Mother Theresa or Gandhi…..hmmmm?

    But more interestingly…..how do you define crappy people? 

    For me recently there have been two types that bug me

    1) Stupidity:

    a) bad decision makers in positions of authority.
    b) people who worry about the past or the future too much
    c) people who can’t see beyond their small world or put themselves in another persons shoes
    d) political cretins
    f) small mindedness (tunnelvision, inexperience)
    g) basic stupidity

    2) Ego

    a) too much pride, not enough humble
    b) refuse to listen, think they are the shiznit
    c) nationalists

    I haven’t perfected my list yet, just off the top of my head at this moment, but it seems like so many out there and it’s growing.  Is it me aging?  wtf?  :-P

    Sometimes I think I’m projecting.  lol

    That’s me, the social psycholigist night person who should be in a position of authority.  :-)

    Happy but not rich or married.

    • http://twitter.com/diamond303 CD

      Another thing James.  While I agree ones own sanity is most important, don’t you feel that by ignoring the problem it only grows?  This seems to happen all the time.  While things can’t change overnight, one person, one day at a time there is a possibility that life can be better in the future (i have seen this happen around me, slowly). 

      Giving up on (ignoring) fellow humans seems fatalistic and defeatist.

      • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

        I never recommend giving up on fellow human beings. But nor do you want to “dance the dance” with people who are ugly to you. Keep engagement simple, protect yourself, and dance with the people who love you. 

      • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

        I never recommend giving up on fellow human beings. But nor do you want to “dance the dance” with people who are ugly to you. Keep engagement simple, protect yourself, and dance with the people who love you. 

      • Fubar

        Altucher addresses altruism. His name even resembles the word “altruism”.

        As you may know, there are about 1% of any society that are sociopaths (absent conscience). These are people that have the single-purposefulness of a plaque of hungry locusts married to a complex, manipulative human brain.

        They are by definition the crappiest people because not only are they deeply evil, they are usually very good at covering up and hiding their evilness (most of the time).

        There is research indicating that “functional” sociopaths/psychopaths frequently rise up in modern organizations due to their ability to see “opportunities” for advancement and success only possible to those without real conscience. Such people are very good at “faking” concern for others, but have the ability to easily act without conscience to fulfill some deeply dehumanizing corporate/organizational policy that violates most people’s sense of ethics or common good.

        There is NOTHING that can be done to repair the damage in a sociopath’s personality. The only way to constrain the evil from a clever, charming sociopath is to treat them as if they are not real human beings (which is how they see everyone else).

        Sometimes truth is harsh, but so is life.

        http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/96/open_boss.html

        Is Your Boss a Psychopath?
        By: Alan Deutschman
        July 1, 2005
        excerpt:


        One of the most provocative ideas about business in this decade so far
        surfaced in a most unlikely place. The forum wasn’t the Harvard Business
        School or one of those $4,000-a-head conferences where Silicon Valley’s
        venture capitalists search for the next big thing. It was a convention
        of Canadian cops in the far-flung province of Newfoundland. The speaker,
        a 71-year-old professor emeritus from the University of British
        Columbia, remains virtually unknown in the business realm. But he’s
        renowned in his own field: criminal psychology. Robert Hare is the
        creator of the Psychopathy Checklist. The 20-item personality evaluation
        has exerted enormous influence in its quarter-century history. It’s the
        standard tool for making clinical diagnoses of psychopaths — the 1% of
        the general population that isn’t burdened by conscience. Psychopaths
        have a profound lack of empathy. They use other people callously and
        remorselessly for their own ends. They seduce victims with a hypnotic
        charm that masks their true nature as pathological liars, master con
        artists, and heartless manipulators. Easily bored, they crave constant
        stimulation, so they seek thrills from real-life “games” they can win —
        and take pleasure from their power over other people.

        [Hare] said that the recent corporate scandals could have been prevented
        if CEOs were screened for psychopathic behavior. “Why wouldn’t we want
        to screen them?” he asked. “We screen police officers, teachers. Why not
        people who are going to handle billions of dollars?”

        It’s Hare’s latest contribution to the public awareness of “corporate psychopathy.” He appeared in the 2003 documentary The Corporation,
        giving authority to the film’s premise that corporations are
        “sociopathic” (a synonym for “psychopathic”) because they ruthlessly
        seek their own selfish interests — “shareholder value” — without
        regard for the harms they cause to others, such as environmental damage.

        Is Hare right? Are corporations fundamentally psychopathic
        organizations that attract similarly disposed people? It’s a compelling
        idea, especially given the recent evidence. Such scandals as Enron and
        WorldCom aren’t just aberrations; they represent what can happen when
        some basic currents in our business culture turn malignant. We’re
        worshipful of top executives who seem charismatic, visionary, and tough.
        So long as they’re lifting profits and stock prices, we’re willing to
        overlook that they can also be callous, conning, manipulative,
        deceitful, verbally and psychologically abusive, remorseless,
        exploitative, self-delusional, irresponsible, and megalomaniacal. So we
        collude in the elevation of leaders who are sadly insensitive to hurting
        others and society at large.

        broeken/archival URL:

        http://
         www.fastcompany.com/
          magazine/
           96/
            open_boss.html

      • Fubar

        Altucher addresses altruism. His name even resembles the word “altruism”.

        As you may know, there are about 1% of any society that are sociopaths (absent conscience). These are people that have the single-purposefulness of a plaque of hungry locusts married to a complex, manipulative human brain.

        They are by definition the crappiest people because not only are they deeply evil, they are usually very good at covering up and hiding their evilness (most of the time).

        There is research indicating that “functional” sociopaths/psychopaths frequently rise up in modern organizations due to their ability to see “opportunities” for advancement and success only possible to those without real conscience. Such people are very good at “faking” concern for others, but have the ability to easily act without conscience to fulfill some deeply dehumanizing corporate/organizational policy that violates most people’s sense of ethics or common good.

        There is NOTHING that can be done to repair the damage in a sociopath’s personality. The only way to constrain the evil from a clever, charming sociopath is to treat them as if they are not real human beings (which is how they see everyone else).

        Sometimes truth is harsh, but so is life.

        http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/96/open_boss.html

        Is Your Boss a Psychopath?
        By: Alan Deutschman
        July 1, 2005
        excerpt:


        One of the most provocative ideas about business in this decade so far
        surfaced in a most unlikely place. The forum wasn’t the Harvard Business
        School or one of those $4,000-a-head conferences where Silicon Valley’s
        venture capitalists search for the next big thing. It was a convention
        of Canadian cops in the far-flung province of Newfoundland. The speaker,
        a 71-year-old professor emeritus from the University of British
        Columbia, remains virtually unknown in the business realm. But he’s
        renowned in his own field: criminal psychology. Robert Hare is the
        creator of the Psychopathy Checklist. The 20-item personality evaluation
        has exerted enormous influence in its quarter-century history. It’s the
        standard tool for making clinical diagnoses of psychopaths — the 1% of
        the general population that isn’t burdened by conscience. Psychopaths
        have a profound lack of empathy. They use other people callously and
        remorselessly for their own ends. They seduce victims with a hypnotic
        charm that masks their true nature as pathological liars, master con
        artists, and heartless manipulators. Easily bored, they crave constant
        stimulation, so they seek thrills from real-life “games” they can win —
        and take pleasure from their power over other people.

        [Hare] said that the recent corporate scandals could have been prevented
        if CEOs were screened for psychopathic behavior. “Why wouldn’t we want
        to screen them?” he asked. “We screen police officers, teachers. Why not
        people who are going to handle billions of dollars?”

        It’s Hare’s latest contribution to the public awareness of “corporate psychopathy.” He appeared in the 2003 documentary The Corporation,
        giving authority to the film’s premise that corporations are
        “sociopathic” (a synonym for “psychopathic”) because they ruthlessly
        seek their own selfish interests — “shareholder value” — without
        regard for the harms they cause to others, such as environmental damage.

        Is Hare right? Are corporations fundamentally psychopathic
        organizations that attract similarly disposed people? It’s a compelling
        idea, especially given the recent evidence. Such scandals as Enron and
        WorldCom aren’t just aberrations; they represent what can happen when
        some basic currents in our business culture turn malignant. We’re
        worshipful of top executives who seem charismatic, visionary, and tough.
        So long as they’re lifting profits and stock prices, we’re willing to
        overlook that they can also be callous, conning, manipulative,
        deceitful, verbally and psychologically abusive, remorseless,
        exploitative, self-delusional, irresponsible, and megalomaniacal. So we
        collude in the elevation of leaders who are sadly insensitive to hurting
        others and society at large.

        broeken/archival URL:

        http://
         www.fastcompany.com/
          magazine/
           96/
            open_boss.html

    • Fubar

      re: [To Altucher] “Not seeing clear definitions in your typology.”

      This is part of Altucher’s charm, and frankly, probably his genius (seeing patterns not obvious from conventional perspectives).

      You can live a safe life, or an interesting life, but not both.

      The information age is the age of the Greek god Hermes. Hermes is the god of transformation, of deception, of slipperiness of categories. He wants everyone to love him, and usually gets his way. Hermes is all about Dynamism.

      Old Modern culture is that of the “static” gods Apollo (Reason) and Prometheus (Industry).

      Postmodern culture replaces independence with interdependence.

      Old categories are replaced by new, but the new categories are mostly unconcerned with categories themselves. There may be a Dyonesian element (see Saul Bellows and Alan Bloom on Nietzsche). Life in the moment, chaos reveals something deeper, mysterious. Abandonment to the spirits of nature and body is one of the oldest, most primordial forms of worship of the awesome forces of the universe.

  • http://www.theciageny.com Mark

    Once you start dealing with “crappy person”, you can easily fall into trap of socializing or working with a whole circle crappy people.  One crapster introduces you to another and before you know it, you start dealing with crap 24/7.

    In this economy it’s easy to fall get conned. The key is watching for the red flags. Once more than one appears, it stand proud and walk away with a nice “I know who you are, wink”

  • Anonymous

    You had me from your opening paragraph and now your never getting rid of me.  

    It really is THIS simple.  Thank you for the clarity… I really needed it.

  • Vista

    This is great, thanks for summing up what I knew but never spent the time to put it all together. I’m in the catergory of Happy/Good and couldn’t be happier. We only have so long to live, it doesn’t make sense to deal with crappy/mean.. people. I just cut them out right away. It’s my life, I’m going to make the decision on being happy, crappy, mean… It’s so much easier to be happy. Thanks again.  

  • Cmerino

    wow

  • Cmerino

    wow

  • Mray366

    Your thought stream reminds me of some similar thoughts I read in a criminal profile of one of the Colombine shooters…

  • Cindy Mosqueda

    Mray366…….your thoughts remind me of the relentless yak,yak,yak of the morally superior morons who cannot tolerate a thought of their own or others that is not officially sanctioned by whatever group you have attached yourself to. Save your breath (or your fingers); you all sound alike.

  • Cindy Mosqueda

    Mray366…….your thoughts remind me of the relentless yak,yak,yak of the morally superior morons who cannot tolerate a thought of their own or others that is not officially sanctioned by whatever group you have attached yourself to. Save your breath (or your fingers); you all sound alike.

  • Cindy Mosqueda

    Mray366…….your thoughts remind me of the relentless yak,yak,yak of the morally superior morons who cannot tolerate a thought of their own or others that is not officially sanctioned by whatever group you have attached yourself to. Save your breath (or your fingers); you all sound alike.

  • Extraboxclub1

    Recently, I gave fifteen angry criminals a copy of your post, “How to Deal with Crappy People.”  So, if in a few weeks, you get a string of angry criminals sending you hateful e-mails, you can blame me.  They also admired Stevie Cohen’s house.  He might want to beef up security.  I’m just kidding, sort of.
    For six years now, I’ve taught anger management to the men at the county jail.  That’s a long time.  But I try not to repeat myself.  I try to be helpful and informative.  And, most importantly, I try to be entertaining.  I was hoping that your post might help me to fulfill my goals.
    It was a moderate success.  I read a few snippets and went over the four types of people and the techniques for dealing with crappy people.  I could tell a few of the inmates related to your stream of consciousness description of your angry state, one or two laughed in recognition, quite a few nodded their heads, and a handful just didn’t get it.  Not at all.  In my experience, some of the most dangerous criminals simply cannot recognize angry states within themselves.  Until it’s too late.  Of course, I spent much of the group responding to their comments.  Not productive.  Typical.  Oh well.
      On a different note, I want to thank you for your blog, which my wife introduced to me.  Apparently, you have an ardent following among the traditional Catholic community.  They, along with my wife and I, enjoy your anti-Americanism.  There’s an unexpected parallel between your material and the traditionalists.  Perhaps being oddballs and outside of the mainstream makes us alike. 

    • Fubar

      Bias disclosure: I’m new age/buddhist, anarcho-libertarian, trans-partisan with agrarian populist tendencies.

      re: Why would traditionalists be “anti-american”?  What is “authentic” in the form of contemporary culture promoted by corporate elites and their allies?

      Thanks for one of the best comments I’ve seen on the Altucher blog. You have unusual insight and experiences in the art of healing the psyche. Extraordinary stuff.

      As background to my questions, I collect articles on social change and organizational theory and consciousness studies, including some on various “personality types” models (frequently promoted by people that have consulting businesses revolving around “life coaching”, or similar practices, paradigm shifts, etc.).

      One of the classic discussions is about new age researcher Paul Ray’s work on “Cultural Creatives”, and Ken Wilber’s critique of Ray’s work. Wilber’s critique involves analysis of what he calls the “mean green meme” (unhealthy forms of postmodern culture: narcissism and nihilism).

      Why would traditionalists be “anti-american”?

      My main question is about your very unusual comment on Altucher’s views, which are postmodern in many respects (Altucher is open about his Buddhist influences), but also informed by libertarianism (Altucher’s blog is linked from Lew Rockwell’s blog, which is libertarian, but against corporate and “nanny” state-capitalism).

      I suspect that traditionalists, including catholics, recognize in Altucher’s work an uneasiness with both conventional “liberalism” and “conservatism”, or at least what those ideologies have come to represent. Which is to say, dysfunctional politics, and a rejection of personality responsibility, social order, discipline, and so forth (the “strict daddy” archetype that is prevalent in the Bible). My minimal experience with catholicism is that there is a strong ancillary emphasis on the divine feminine, or the “nurturing mommy” archetype, social justice, etc., in the communal aspects of catholic practice and culture.

      Conservatism (in archetypal terms) locates evil in individual actions. Strict daddy stuff.

      Liberalism locates evil in social structures. Nurturing mommy stuff.

      In conventional terms, liberals saw “good” in the apparatus of the nanny state (social work bureaucracy – female dominant). Conservative saw “good” in individual virtue (veneration of male order, roles/rules, stoicism, discipline, self-sacrifice).

      However, both paradigms are now heavily “infected” with unhealthy social and spiritual pathologies and dysfunctionalities. Lunatics and the far right and far left only seem interested in exploiting the opportunities for influencing public opinion, not in genuine debate for the purpose of the finding “common good”.

      As you may know, George Lakoff (progressive linguist, UC Berkeley) has done extensive research on “cognitive framing” and ideological paradigms. His research suggests that most people are not “purists”, and they will blend parts of liberal and conservative ideology to suit their tastes, values, preferences, life experiences, and so forth.

      So, again, why would traditionalists be “anti-american”?

      This seems like a reversal of conventional attitudes (or at least the underlying archetype of centrist/moderate hard working, loyal immigrants who believe in the american dream being “patriotic”).

      Has the mainstream of american culture become so defined by “impersonal” corporate interests and so focused on money and power (primarily) that the resulting erosion of religion, culture and “lifeworld” (Habermas) is causing traditionalists to turn against the upper “establishment”? If so, that is amazing.

      If anti-americanism is growing amongst (religious) traditionalists, is this a sign of approaching totalitarianism or fascism, which typically develops when the middle class becomes deeply anxious during times of economic chaos and decline, and seek order through a “strong man” leader?

      Has disregard of constitutional principles by the high establishment in america (such as the financial sector, big banks, big oil, military-industrial complex, etc.) reached a level where traditionalists as repulsed by corruption as are those on the Left?

      My personal opinion is that the conventional arguments about the good/evil of “Big Business” (money: Habermas) vs. “Big Government” (power: Habermas) are mostly irrelevant. What we have now is Big Business in bed with Big Government, and the interests of working and middle class people increasingly, largely, marginalized by a system that privileges the super-wealthy (who have little or no loyalty to working people or traditional values).

      Thanks!

    • Fubar

      Bias disclosure: I’m new age/buddhist, anarcho-libertarian, trans-partisan with agrarian populist tendencies.

      re: Why would traditionalists be “anti-american”?  What is “authentic” in the form of contemporary culture promoted by corporate elites and their allies?

      Thanks for one of the best comments I’ve seen on the Altucher blog. You have unusual insight and experiences in the art of healing the psyche. Extraordinary stuff.

      As background to my questions, I collect articles on social change and organizational theory and consciousness studies, including some on various “personality types” models (frequently promoted by people that have consulting businesses revolving around “life coaching”, or similar practices, paradigm shifts, etc.).

      One of the classic discussions is about new age researcher Paul Ray’s work on “Cultural Creatives”, and Ken Wilber’s critique of Ray’s work. Wilber’s critique involves analysis of what he calls the “mean green meme” (unhealthy forms of postmodern culture: narcissism and nihilism).

      Why would traditionalists be “anti-american”?

      My main question is about your very unusual comment on Altucher’s views, which are postmodern in many respects (Altucher is open about his Buddhist influences), but also informed by libertarianism (Altucher’s blog is linked from Lew Rockwell’s blog, which is libertarian, but against corporate and “nanny” state-capitalism).

      I suspect that traditionalists, including catholics, recognize in Altucher’s work an uneasiness with both conventional “liberalism” and “conservatism”, or at least what those ideologies have come to represent. Which is to say, dysfunctional politics, and a rejection of personality responsibility, social order, discipline, and so forth (the “strict daddy” archetype that is prevalent in the Bible). My minimal experience with catholicism is that there is a strong ancillary emphasis on the divine feminine, or the “nurturing mommy” archetype, social justice, etc., in the communal aspects of catholic practice and culture.

      Conservatism (in archetypal terms) locates evil in individual actions. Strict daddy stuff.

      Liberalism locates evil in social structures. Nurturing mommy stuff.

      In conventional terms, liberals saw “good” in the apparatus of the nanny state (social work bureaucracy – female dominant). Conservative saw “good” in individual virtue (veneration of male order, roles/rules, stoicism, discipline, self-sacrifice).

      However, both paradigms are now heavily “infected” with unhealthy social and spiritual pathologies and dysfunctionalities. Lunatics and the far right and far left only seem interested in exploiting the opportunities for influencing public opinion, not in genuine debate for the purpose of the finding “common good”.

      As you may know, George Lakoff (progressive linguist, UC Berkeley) has done extensive research on “cognitive framing” and ideological paradigms. His research suggests that most people are not “purists”, and they will blend parts of liberal and conservative ideology to suit their tastes, values, preferences, life experiences, and so forth.

      So, again, why would traditionalists be “anti-american”?

      This seems like a reversal of conventional attitudes (or at least the underlying archetype of centrist/moderate hard working, loyal immigrants who believe in the american dream being “patriotic”).

      Has the mainstream of american culture become so defined by “impersonal” corporate interests and so focused on money and power (primarily) that the resulting erosion of religion, culture and “lifeworld” (Habermas) is causing traditionalists to turn against the upper “establishment”? If so, that is amazing.

      If anti-americanism is growing amongst (religious) traditionalists, is this a sign of approaching totalitarianism or fascism, which typically develops when the middle class becomes deeply anxious during times of economic chaos and decline, and seek order through a “strong man” leader?

      Has disregard of constitutional principles by the high establishment in america (such as the financial sector, big banks, big oil, military-industrial complex, etc.) reached a level where traditionalists as repulsed by corruption as are those on the Left?

      My personal opinion is that the conventional arguments about the good/evil of “Big Business” (money: Habermas) vs. “Big Government” (power: Habermas) are mostly irrelevant. What we have now is Big Business in bed with Big Government, and the interests of working and middle class people increasingly, largely, marginalized by a system that privileges the super-wealthy (who have little or no loyalty to working people or traditional values).

      Thanks!

      • Extraboxclub1

        I appreciate the erudition of your comments, though most of the references accessed parts of my brain that are covered in cobwebs and cannabinoids (remnants from my days in West dorms).  You seemed particularly baffled by how traditional Catholics could be anti-American.  I should first clarify what is meant by traditional Catholics.  Traditional and conservative do not mean the same thing.  Traditional refers to Catholics who follow the traditions as they were prior to Vatican II.  Most notably, we attend Latin Mass.  The Catholics you seemed to reference are the modern, post-Vatican II crowd, who love ideas like social justice and eccumenicism.  (Modern Catholics are also indistinguishable from Methodists or Episcopaleans or a random sample of Americans.)  Yes, this is ironic that someone who is interested in classical Truth would be drawn to James’ blog, since he does practice Eastern religion(s).  And apparently, I’m not the only one.  It’s also ironic that modern Catholics don’t seem to have the same affinity, as they allow a statue of Buddha on the Tabernacle and don’t flinch when the pope kisses a Koran.  The veil of maya is sometimes thick.  Categorical thinking (i.e. projection of groupthink) does not apply here.

        I think James’ post that drew attention was “The Ten Commandments of the American Religion.”  To my memory, he talked about home ownership, consumerism, the constitution, and wars.  Obama recently said that ours is no longer a Christian nation.  It has only ever been a Protestant or a deist nation.  As such, in the wake of Calvin, the usury laws were lifted and what allowed for the rapid expansion of our economy is the free and easy use of credit.  This creates a form of slavery that is anti-Catholic (traditionally) and something James points out as harmful.  Consumerism is self-explanatory.  The constitution was not written by God.  I’m not, but I know many traditional Catholics who are monarchists.  This makes a certain amount of sense from a Platonic or Thomistic perspective.  I don’t want to sound elitist, but our current government (both sides) seem to be governing from a lowest common denominator perspective.  And the popular vote will probably always hinder our government from making the necessary measures.  A current example would be to cut spending AND to raise taxes.  Both sides will object to half the solution.  The democratic process and narrow self-interest will always interfere with the solution.  And war, except for self-defense, should always be avoided.  These are areas that James’ and traditional Catholics might have in common, in addition to he overall confessional tone.

        Thanks for your comments.  Peace.

        • Fubar

          re: connecting crappy people and structural social oppression?

          (or: “on the individual and collective expressions of crappiness”)

          Extraboxclub1,

          Thanks for the excellent clarifications.

          I apologize for my labored writing style. I went to (american) “public” style schools, including on military bases.

          I was aware, generally, that traditionalists are not the same as conservatives (a Catholic, William F. Buckley, Jr. of course brilliantly bridged the gap), but I did not understand the exact use of the term in catholic culture. Again, thanks.

          It is of course passe to call “crapiness” by its traditional name: Evil.

          All paradigms have healthy and unhealthy expressions (Jean Gebser, “Ursprung und Gegenwart” – the Ever Present Origin). At an extreme, any unhealthy paradigm becomes deeply evil and the source of oppression and injustice.

          I enjoyed the reference to herbal pharmaceuticals. lol.

          The state of the (west coast or other) “counterculture” is probably a completely separate topic, but I will say that some aspects of it have become legitimized in mainstream academia (e.g., the transpersonal psychology movement) and other similar settings (largely unbeknownst to the culture at large).

          I am aware that many aspects of the counterculture have become integrated into mass consumer/media culture, and are thus more or less prostituted.

          An interesting case is the Whole Foods corporation (natural foods supermarket chain). Its founder is a Texas “libertarian” who advocates “spiritual capitalism” and supports the new age movement (LOHAS has been a source of controversy – it is a social movement and a business marketing strategy: Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability).

          Another case is WiserEarth.org, a spin-off of Paul Hawkins’ work on Natural Capitalism.

          I’m politically independent and support Ron Paul, but I do see some positive aspects to Obama’s administration (attempting to reverse the damage Bush’s neocons did to environmental, consumer and health, worker safety policies).

          fwiw – postmodern culture, pluralism and multiculturalism (along with relativism, narcissism, nihilism) are as repugnant to traditional Muslims as they are to traditional Catholics.

          After posting my previous comments, I was thinking about the confessional theme, and possible parallels between traditional Jewish and Christian culture.

          I’ll search for and read Altucher’s “The Ten Commandments of the American Religion”.

          You may find the following book material interesting:

          http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago
          /E/bo5298906.html

          Esalen

          America and the Religion of No Religion

          Read an excerpt.

          Jeffrey J. Kripal

          594 pages
          |
          31 halftones, 1 color plate
          |
          6 x 9
          |
          © 2007

          Jeffrey Kripal
          here recounts the spectacular history of Esalen, the institute that has
          long been a world leader in alternative and experiential education and
          stands today at the center of the human potential movement. Forged in
          the literary and mythical leanings of the Beat Generation, inspired in
          the lecture halls of Stanford by radical scholars of comparative
          religion, the institute was the remarkable brainchild of Michael Murphy
          and Richard Price

          http://
           www.press.uchicago.edu/
           ucp/
            books/
             book/
              chicago

          /E/bo5298906.html

          I grew up in a (weakly) Protestant-Mennonite-Methodist and new age family in the 50s/60s (my real Bible was the Whole Earth Catalog), so I only have superficial experience with Catholicism from having been married into a family of mediterranean catholics (who belonged to an ethnic group that was brutally oppressed by fascists/ultraconservatives/monarchists for 500 years). Some of the distant relatives in europe are traditionalists, opus dei, etc. I respect their commitment to devotional life (and intellectual discipline) even though I disagree with many aspects of their theology.

          In discussions with conservative Catholics in the last decade or so (usually revolving around common revulsion at some dysfunctional aspect of liberal/progressive nanny state policies), I have learned that my assumptions about the modernist basis of the Protestant Reformation are frequently not shared by such Catholics.

          Apparently traditional Catholics are taught that the Reformation was little more than a power grab by Martin Luther’s political allies (various German princes), Henry VIII, Queen Elisabeth, Cromwell, etc.

          I can somewhat understand the appeal of this perspective to Italians, Irish and other Catholics that were discriminated against as oppressed minorities under various forms of anglo-protestant rule.

          However, this seems to ignore the underlying reasons for the paradigm shift toward modernism (free trade, capitalism, separation of church/state, participatory democracy, science/technology, the Achiever meme).

          At the time that the modernist meme originally developed, it was a revolutionary paradigm shift toward a new form of society and social “progress” that was largely organized around non-conformance to traditional authority.

          Once authority was removed from traditional (and conformist) Monarchist and Ecclesiastic institutions, free trade and science/technology flourished.

          As you say, the problem was the corrupting influence of credit.

          (Please note that)

          As you may know, Alexis de Toqueville (a french nobleman, and catholic) predicted the spiritual and sociological failure of democracy after studying america in the 1830s/40s.

          His prediction was that (what we would now call) multicuilturalism wound result in a fragmented society that had no central value system or unifying set of beliefs. The only central institution that would remain would be government. Over time, the people (by nature, politically independent) would become increasing dependent on the central government, which they would hate, but need.

          I’m no expert on american economic theory or history, but there seems to be a alternative narrative that has considerably more truth in it than the propagandistic one promoted in the mainstream educational system, corporate mass media, etc.

          What this alternative narrative reveals is that central banking and modern corporate structures have been highly corrosive of the democratizing tendencies in culture. Big bankers, industrial monopolists (steel, railroads, textiles, oil) and similar created the conditions under which a “shadow government” took power behind the scenes that promoted the development of “State Capitalism”, in which government would provide structural support for select private/semi-private business enterprises. The business interests benefitting from the arrangement would then of course support the political elites that furthered the scheme.

          This is literally what the “man behind the curtain” symbolically represented in the original book that the movie “The Wizard of Oz” was based on!

          Working and middle class people have fared unevenly in this scheme. Early on, middle class existence (e.g., shop keepers, family farmers) flourished during times of bank reform (for instance, during Andrew Jackson’s, Abraham Lincoln’s and Teddy Roosevelt’s presidencies), and was then cyclically “vaporized” when the corrupt bankers regained control of central finance.

          After the industrial revolution was “complete”, various compromises were struck due to worker revolts (the “Wobblies” and Haymarket riots) that created a more stable structure. After WWII, there was a vast flourishing of middle class life, including the cultural “Baby Boomer” revolution that resulted from people working in offices (with information) instead of in factories or on farms.

          As Rabbi Michael Learner (www.tikkun.com) and others have explained, somehow, Leftist (or liberal/progressive) opposition to the abuses of Big Business became discredited by the late 70s (first under Jimmy Carter, then Ronald Reagan, and continued under Bill Clinton, etc.).

          Note: a few populist agrarian progressives (such as Jim Hightower) are still around, promoting an alternative economic history.

          The result of the discrediting of Leftist opposition was an almost unabated flourishing of ultra right wing mass media brainwashing that promoted crony capitalism and finally, corrupt Corporate Plutocracy.

          The goals of the Corporate Plutocrats are not aligned with either the original “populist” form of american democracy, or with those feudal or “enlightened” renaissance structures that preceded democracy. I understand the nostalgia for a Good King and Pure Church, but the re-establishment of those institutions in a “healthy” form seems very unlikely (the Church supported Fascism/Nazism, originally in hopes that the Fascists would destroy communism, then the Church could regain control of Europe. Unfortunately the Fascists didn’t cooperate, and when the Church was no longer useful they discarded it, This is a very important cautionary tale, especially if democracy fails in the USA in the near future, which I think is a reasonable possibility).

          The Integral Thought movement is concerned about two related issues:

          1) the damage caused to culture by postmodernism (the “mean green meme”, or “Boomeritis”) and

          2) how to respect and honor traditional and conservative perspectives within an emerging Holistic (global) culture.

          Integralists are politically transpartisan (but usually from progressive or counterculture backgrounds), and seek a higher “common good” with both liberals and conservatives/traditionalists.

          Spiritually, Integralists have proposed a paradigm that allows evolution into spiritual culture. The hope is for a more “gentle” integration than would be typically envisioned by “materialistic” or “atheist” scientists who typically seek to bludgeon spiritually oriented people into submission (Hitchens, Dawkins, etc.).

          http://www.formlessmountain.com/aqal.htm

          I appreciate you indulging me in further ramblings, and of course I am always in deep appreciation of the generosity of James Altucher in providing an excellent and interesting public forum for discussion.


          additional background on evolutionary spirituality:
          http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptA/part2.cfm

          excerpt:

          As
          each new holon emerges, it emerges into an
          already-existing
          worldspace–that is, it emerges in an AQAL space that already has various
          sorts of waves, streams, states, systems, and so on, each with its own
          inheritance. (Again, yesterday’s
          a
          posteriori
          have become today’s
          a
          priori.)
          Each newly-emergent holon therefore must prove itself capable of existing or
          surviving in that already-existing worldspace–it must mesh with the
          already-existing AQAL matrix. It is therefore subjected to various selection
          pressures (or validity claims) representing
          the
          types of fit
          to which it must adapt in order to survive. Of course, it will not only or
          merely mesh: it will also bring its own moment of creative novelty that goes
          beyond all meshing altogether; but if it does not mesh to some degree, it will
          simply be wiped out by existing selection pressures and never get a chance to
          express or pass on its creativity.

               Because
          each holon has at least four quadrants or four dimensions of
          being-in-the-world, and each of those dimensions must mesh with the
          already-existing worldspace, there are at least four types of selection
          pressures: each holon
          must
          mesh to some degree
          with its own I, we, it, and its. Thus, each holon must be able to register the
          external it-world accurately enough (truth);
          each holon must be able to register its internal I-world accurately enough (truthfulness);
          it must be able to fit with its communal or social system of its (functional
          fit);
          and it must be able to adequately negotiate its cultural milieu of we (meaning).

               Those
          validity claims of tetra-mesh (it-truth, I-truthfulness, its-functional fit,
          we-meaning) are not clunky representational pictures but mutually-evoked
          enactive engagements; and those tetra-selection pressures apply to all holons,
          from atoms to cells to trees to worms to wolves to apes. Any holon that fails
          to adequately negotiate all of those selection pressures simply ceases to exist.

               This
          quadratic formulation gives us purchase on the nature of the relationships
          between the subjective, objective, intersubjective, and interobjective
          dimensions of existence.

          [ http://www.panarchy.org/koestler/holon.1969.html ]

          ventually

          • Extraboxclub1

            dear mr fubar,

            wow.  i’ll have to add some of your references to my reading list…

            it strikes me as odd that i work with crappy people for a living…to be fair, four fifths of them are sick people, ie self-medicating pain, and do some crappy behaviors that lead to consequences as side effects of their intoxicated states…still, i could find another job or start farming figs…so, is there something about me that likes dealing with crappy people?  perhaps some truth there.  maybe dealing with crappy people sometimes gives me license to be a crappy person myself.  but i think it’s more true that i work with criminals for much the same reason that rembrant painted commoners.  not that i’m on that level.  but just as a great portrait artist will go broke during his/her lifetime, so will a good psychotherapist.  i work with criminals b/c i can often get away with being honest to them.  i’d go broke in private practice.  

            avoiding crappy people does seem a solid technique, within limits.  but what if my wife is a crappy person?  what if i’m a crappy person?  do i avoid myself?  my kids?  my boss?  i get it.  consider the unthinkable.  but what if i think subconsciously, “my wife can be really crappy.  i’m going to draw the line.  if she crosses it, i’m history.”  subconsciously, she hears this and says (also subconsciously), “oh yeah, i’m gonna see just where your tipping point is!”  the result is inevitable.

            another approach is radical commitment…sometimes called unconditional positive regard…but i think a more genuine word is tolerance.  there’s a trend now in the lgbt community to demand acceptance rather than tolerance.  i think it’s perfectly reasonable to expect tolerance, but disrespectful to others’ beliefs to demand acceptance…though clearly not all lgbt folks are crappy folks, those who demand acceptance are crappy.  but that doesn’t mean i can’t be kind, forgiving, and tolerant of them.

            please excuse lack of caps.  baby sleeps in other hand.  goodnight.

  • greek

    Hello all,
    Well, to be honest, I think that you can’t really do anything.
    You are what you are and if there was a way to make your self ignore things or people that annoy you, then you would have done it already.
    It’s like losing weight.
    You know you have to do it, you are told ways to do it, and, still, you’re getting fatter day by day.
    Unfortunately, changing our life is not that easy, but, nevertheless, we should never stop trying.
    Greetings from Greece!

  • Mray366

    Cindy Mosqueda-
    I was simply stating an observation…I actually have very similar thought streams to those of James.  Maybe we’re showing incipient signs of homicidal tendencies…I’ll be sure to aim in your direction first if I go over the edge…..

  • Appreciative

    I know this is an older post, but it is relevant to my previous 24 hours, so I feel the need to share, lol. This post was the medicine I needed.

    I’ve been participating on the beta phase of Google+ and have enjoyed it very much. But I inadvertently ran afoul of a Google Community Manager. I had been following them (I am using them/their so as to muddle this person’s identity) and I spotted a comment on one of their posts wherein a user went on a very long rant about everything they thought Google+ could do better. Because the post was so long, I failed to scroll up to see what the original topic was. I replied to the critical comment with a short one that was supportive of Google+, and so did another user.

    Then the Google CM replied back to us that our comments were off-topic and that they would be deleting them. I had no problem with that. It was their final sentence that hurt my feelings, “Please refrain from doing this to anyone in the future.”

    I made a post on my own stream that was limited to that person and the other two people whom they had spanked. I explained that I thought the CM’s handling of the situation had been unprofessional. The CM replied there with, “Thanks for your feedback on how I conduct myself on my profile.” I took that to mean, “How I treat other people on my profile is my business and you really suck.”

    The only thing that really mattered about this was that this person is an official Google Community Manager–someone who is presumably much more socially adept than I am. As a Google official, this person wields power and status, and I felt that their choice of words was an abuse of that power.

    I felt really bad about the whole thing, and I began to turn it inward. I must really suck BAD at social interactions of all kinds, not just IRL, I was lower than a worm. I did not deserve to breathe. I should think about dying. My death could not come a moment too soon. I would welcome death, it would be a relief from the endless pain and suffering that is life. Yeah, I really got off on a bad loop there.

    This morning, it was really hard to wake up, because the weight of shame was so heavy upon me. I clawed my way back to reality and started moving, with a resolve to be as bland and shallow as possible.

    However, as I began to read G+ posts, I began to feel loved. I was reminded of the song, “What a Wonderful World,” and the line, “I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
    They’re really saying I love you.”

    From G+ I was led to your blog and to this entry. I read it, and now I feel OK with life and the world again.

  • Appreciative

    I know this is an older post, but it is relevant to my previous 24 hours, so I feel the need to share, lol. This post was the medicine I needed.

    I’ve been participating on the beta phase of Google+ and have enjoyed it very much. But I inadvertently ran afoul of a Google Community Manager. I had been following them (I am using them/their so as to muddle this person’s identity) and I spotted a comment on one of their posts wherein a user went on a very long rant about everything they thought Google+ could do better. Because the post was so long, I failed to scroll up to see what the original topic was. I replied to the critical comment with a short one that was supportive of Google+, and so did another user.

    Then the Google CM replied back to us that our comments were off-topic and that they would be deleting them. I had no problem with that. It was their final sentence that hurt my feelings, “Please refrain from doing this to anyone in the future.”

    I made a post on my own stream that was limited to that person and the other two people whom they had spanked. I explained that I thought the CM’s handling of the situation had been unprofessional. The CM replied there with, “Thanks for your feedback on how I conduct myself on my profile.” I took that to mean, “How I treat other people on my profile is my business and you really suck.”

    The only thing that really mattered about this was that this person is an official Google Community Manager–someone who is presumably much more socially adept than I am. As a Google official, this person wields power and status, and I felt that their choice of words was an abuse of that power.

    I felt really bad about the whole thing, and I began to turn it inward. I must really suck BAD at social interactions of all kinds, not just IRL, I was lower than a worm. I did not deserve to breathe. I should think about dying. My death could not come a moment too soon. I would welcome death, it would be a relief from the endless pain and suffering that is life. Yeah, I really got off on a bad loop there.

    This morning, it was really hard to wake up, because the weight of shame was so heavy upon me. I clawed my way back to reality and started moving, with a resolve to be as bland and shallow as possible.

    However, as I began to read G+ posts, I began to feel loved. I was reminded of the song, “What a Wonderful World,” and the line, “I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
    They’re really saying I love you.”

    From G+ I was led to your blog and to this entry. I read it, and now I feel OK with life and the world again.

  • Anonymous

    My husband sent me here, saying I would be unhappy, but needed to read anyway.  Not unhappy.  He thought I would be because I have been promoting Emotional Fitness Training, Inc., Motto; “Make Money Doing Good.” and he thought seeing how well you were doing would upset me.  Only a tad because I see you doing the male version of my gig not that I wouldn’t like to .  Check out my blog and see if you agree.  www.emotionalfitnesstraining.com

  • Salty6

    This is superb. 

    I have been eaten alive by cockroaches for the last three days, but this made me laugh, and see the light! I will ignore them.
    This advice is so right. 
    Thank you for this antidote, you are the good doctor! 

  • MJacob

    Incisive post James, I’ve been weighing how to write on the subject for months. May quote you. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1625498702 Cathie Swan Briggette

    I really need to follow this advice…. You are so right….  Whenever I try to deal with a not nice person I get so frustrated.  I will now ignore them!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      It’s hard. I have to re-train myself each morning when I wake up and start thinking about people who have wronged me. I have to remind myself of this post and make sure I follow my own advice!

  • http://twitter.com/DoktorJeep D. Jeep

    Bill Gates?
    Look up what his father was up to, and look up where his donations are going, and you will not think he’s such a good guy.
    He operating system was not the only one, it was just the one that got shipped with the desktop PCs. Check on what IBM was involved with in the past and you will see a connection with IBM of old and Bill Gates Sr.
    Bill Gates, his past, connections, and actions serve as a template for why real honest people just don’t make it big and earn billions, but instead only people like Bill Gates get to earn the big connected bucks.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Don’t worry so much about Bill Gates. Just worry about what you are doing to make your own self a little bit happier and stress free.

  • Anonymous

    james, you are an awesome observer of life. No one can paint a clearer picture of what to do with crappy people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kat.goldie Kathryn Goldie

    Thanks for another really interesting article.

  • QuietJim

    What if you happen to live with a crappy person?
    What if the crappy person has a negative affect on your life like Dick Cheney?
    What if you don’t like to make small talk and are perceived as a crappy person but are actually happy?

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Then you have to move or get a divorce or spend time away. The longer you are around that person, the more you will get infected with the crappy disease. You only have one life. Will you ruin it by dementing your soul a little bit more each day?

      • Amanda Thomas

        Wow!  Those last two lines are inspiring.  Just re-invigorated the need to eliminate the crappy nail from my professional life.  Thank you! [and thanks to my brother to linking me to your site].

      • Sarah

        What if there are a lot of crappy types at your job and the managers like them and believe their stories?  My current office is like this.  One guy was practically a sociopath and they adored him even though he regularly and overtly said inappropriate things all the time.  I am still at this job and have been aggressively seeking employment elsewhere for a year now, but how do you cope while you are still there?  I thought I would have found another job by now.  My resume and cover letters were reviewed and I have been told by many people that they are “amazing” but that the competition in my area is tough.  For a month now, I have been applying to anything that I have a shot at getting regardless of the field. 

        • Sarah

          I’m answering my own question.  I’ll give what you wrote above a try for a few weeks straight–see if anything changes.  Also, the pain that comes up at this job when my “buttons” are pushed is nearly unbearable–feels linked to something deeper that’s been there a long time.  I’m going to sit with it and feel what’s behind the button.  If we understand what is happening inside of us, we stop running and hiding from it-and stop blaming others for how we feel about their actions.

          • Rainytechs

            Same boat as you Sarah…Have no clue how to deal with this person. He accused me of something that was broken, without me being there or letting me address the issue. It was resolved and ofcourse had nothing to do with me. Everybody knows what he said, but he never bothered appologizing. I can’t ignore him because I have to work with him.

  • Pkinvst10

    Thanks, James.  You saved me from getting dirty!

  • A. Howl

    Oh, Screw You! You Ignorant Brat!

    :)

  • Katerina

    Thank you for this article, I hope I can apply it to everyday life

  • http://statspotting.com Statspotting

    The other option is to fill your Dunbar’s number with People from first three categories so there is no space for the fourth

    http://statspotting.com/2011/08/what-is-dunbars-number/

  • http://statspotting.com Statspotting

    And remember not to be fooled by randomness. There is an element of randomness everywhere. 

    http://statspotting.com/category/fooled-by-randomness/

  • ferreiraf50

    Good to see that I’m not alone on this topic and it hits home with some things that are going on between a friend right now. Great article!

  • http://twitter.com/paulourena Paulo Ureña

    You’re making it much easier for the rest of us. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Sullivan/100000402063502 Paul Sullivan

    Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Hello. I hope you won’t brand me one of the ‘evil’ people for saying this, but I have some problems with your article. I find it very dangerous to brand people either ‘evil’ or ‘good’- when you categorize ppl as evil, you are tacitly acknowledging ‘evil’ exists in people and when you write this online, you are promoting it. This is the word governments, politicians and murderers use when they would like to eliminate someone and like us to believe it is legitimate- they emphasize that there are sides in this world- there are not. Nobody is ‘evil’. If you really want to be more peaceful, and encourage others to be also, please don’t fear monger- you are not part of some ‘good’ elite more than anyone else is- we are all good and bad- focus on our similarities, rather than participating in labelling and deriding an ‘Other’. Furthermore, believing that we should completely ignore these ‘evil peoples’, whoever it is you are talking about, is silly. Non-communication is the antithesis to understanding- people worth understanding is simply everyone or noone- not just those nice, seemingly ‘happy’ people you speak about. Understanding what makes people kill, squander, manipulate, waste, envy or hurt another person makes us less ignorant of the human spirit by illuminating our understanding of pain and ignorance, and how we might subvert it in the future through creative expression or passionate dialogue. I find it really strange people choose to block experience of pain, hurt, ignorance, failure and call this feeling of detached oblivion ‘happy’…… that’s not happiness. Happiness is full knowledge and peace with ALL this knowledge- those snippets of joy that creep up and temporarily snatch our consciousness- happiness isn’t a constant state- neither is grief, sorrow, joy or selfishness. We are never stagnant in our emotional phases, yet some people think its a sin to explore those oh so bad feelings. You should have replied to that email from that angry man- you first censor him so you didn’t have to rationally register what he was saying in a rush of defensiveness, and then you declined to engage him in discussion. You then label this as a sign of your enlightenment. Yes, it could be that he was just attempting to provoke you in a meaningless way, but it could be as well that you could have learned something and at least known you attempted to engage and speak with someone opposed to you…….. always worthwhile in my opinion. It seems for you ‘fighting’ is associated with ‘haters’, but there is such a thing as an engaged debate, and I really wish I saw more of this in our culture. Changing the subject only changes the subject. You say most people are pretty crappy but you’re uneducated and lazy perspective seems crappier….. at least, this is how you’re writing is coming across here… 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TNPD4LEJIDPHG6HNBGTEGTHDUQ intuition

      Hah, in trying to defend others from being called “crappy” you have become a pretty crappy person yourself!  The irony of it all!  LOL! (I’m kidding!!!!) 

      BTW, I personally think spades should be called spades.  A piece of crap by any other name still stinks like shit!  I’m with James – I think he knows crappiness when he sees it.  Besides to call people “crappy people” may mean that they are in fact generally OK people who are in this instance being crappy.  Or it may just mean they’re assholes.  I don’t think James was necessarily meaning the latter in every case. 

      And I get where he’s coming from with the “haters” too.  If you have ever posted something brilliant on the internet only to have all the petty haters come out of the woodwork to bash you and your ideas into a virtual bloody pulp, you’d understand where he’s coming from.  Let’s face it, there’s a lot of crappiness around today in general.  I’m not going to give any of these people the benefit of the doubt.  If they had any class and decency they wouldn’t be spewing the hateful trash that they’re spewing.  These are petty and low people who have nothing better to do than be nasty and mean just for the sport of it.  I trust James to know who they are and what they’re made of and I don’t think he was being too harsh on them at all!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TNPD4LEJIDPHG6HNBGTEGTHDUQ intuition

      Hah, in trying to defend others from being called “crappy” you have become a pretty crappy person yourself!  The irony of it all!  LOL! (I’m kidding!!!!) 

      BTW, I personally think spades should be called spades.  A piece of crap by any other name still stinks like shit!  I’m with James – I think he knows crappiness when he sees it.  Besides to call people “crappy people” may mean that they are in fact generally OK people who are in this instance being crappy.  Or it may just mean they’re assholes.  I don’t think James was necessarily meaning the latter in every case. 

      And I get where he’s coming from with the “haters” too.  If you have ever posted something brilliant on the internet only to have all the petty haters come out of the woodwork to bash you and your ideas into a virtual bloody pulp, you’d understand where he’s coming from.  Let’s face it, there’s a lot of crappiness around today in general.  I’m not going to give any of these people the benefit of the doubt.  If they had any class and decency they wouldn’t be spewing the hateful trash that they’re spewing.  These are petty and low people who have nothing better to do than be nasty and mean just for the sport of it.  I trust James to know who they are and what they’re made of and I don’t think he was being too harsh on them at all!

    • DevilsAdvocaat

      Evil exists in the context of the article. I think JA is trying to suggest how to promote one’s own sense of well-being. This is “how to live more happily after meeting a crappy person”, rather than “how to fix a crappy person”.

      The rest of your post became long and emotional. I embraced my human spirit by reading every other sentence.

      I agree that categorising people is not always correct. It is really to help you work out the state of mind you must adopt, to make the encounter as smooth as possible.

    • Belladonna333

      Dialogue is one thing . . . being crappy is another.

      • Fubar

        More than that, the worse forms of crappiness are deeply antithetical to “real” dialogue. It is only by smashing those forms of crapiness in the face (metaphorically/politically) – Politics has always been ritualized warfare.

        Etherialism is a form of political culture that is DISENGAGED from REALITY and DISENGAGED from the need for the STRUGGLE AGAINST EVIL, and that is what the person is advocating.

        Disengagement can never lead to a culture that is truly about “dialogue” in any “honest” sense.

        See M. Scott Peck’s work on the need for honesty in “community” work:

        http://fce-community.org/founding-dream/

        M. Scott Peck’s Founding Dream

        Written on the back of an envelope at an organizational meeting

        for the newly formed Foundation for Community Encouragement. 

         There is a yearning in the heart for peace. Because
        of the wounds and rejections we have received in past relationships, we
        are frightened by the risk of disarming ourselves. In our fear, we
        discount the dream of authentic community as merely visionary. But there
        are rules by which people can come back together, and by which the old
        wounds can be healed. It is the mission of FCE to teach these rules-to
        make hope real again-to make the vision actually manifest in a world
        which has almost forgotten the glory of what it means to be human.

        • Fubar

          correction:  It is only by smashing those forms of crapiness in the face (metaphorically/politically) that “real” dialogue can exist. Crappiness is always about getting people to be dishonest and/or to “disengage”.

          Crappiness is always about money and power – not about shared values and local understanding. (Habermas “colonization of lifeworld by systems” is the result of the “unfinished project” of modernity that allowed “public space” and mass media to become “crappy” zones.)

          There is a structural aspect of the problem of crappiness/evil in its specific postmodern context, and there is a personal “psychiatric” aspect. Both feed each other.

          It is only by people engaging in a politics of describing and defining anti-crappiness that the structural aspect of evil can be reduced in the world.

          It is complete insanity to expect that evil will disappear if people ignore it.

          Ignoring evil (by being disengaged) is IS one of the main forms of crappiness that exists right now.

    • Fubar

      Silly. Evil exists, and science proves it. The best way to OPPOSE EVIL is to bash it in the face as hard and as long as possible until its brains are splattered on the sidewalk, (“metaphorically speaking” of course). But, that goes against the postmodern /feminist mushiness you are proposing.

      About 1% of the population consists of  psychopaths. Some of the psychopaths are criminals, others run corporations, schools (now evil feminist/ nazi enterprises), churches, political parties, are assistant coaches on the Penn State football team, etc.

      http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/96/open_boss.html

      excerpts:

      Is Your Boss a Psychopath?

      By: Alan Deutschman
      July 1, 2005

      Odds are you’ve run across one of these characters in your
      career. They’re glib, charming, manipulative, deceitful, ruthless — and
      very, very destructive. And there may be lots of them in America’s
      corner offices.
      One of the most provocative ideas about business in this decade so far
      surfaced in a most unlikely place. The forum wasn’t the Harvard Business
      School or one of those $4,000-a-head conferences where Silicon Valley’s
      venture capitalists search for the next big thing. It was a convention
      of Canadian cops in the far-flung province of Newfoundland. The speaker,
      a 71-year-old professor emeritus from the University of British
      Columbia, remains virtually unknown in the business realm. But he’s
      renowned in his own field: criminal psychology. Robert Hare is the
      creator of the Psychopathy Checklist. The 20-item personality evaluation
      has exerted enormous influence in its quarter-century history. It’s the
      standard tool for making clinical diagnoses of psychopaths — the 1% of
      the general population that isn’t burdened by conscience. Psychopaths
      have a profound lack of empathy. They use other people callously and
      remorselessly for their own ends. They seduce victims with a hypnotic
      charm that masks their true nature as pathological liars, master con
      artists, and heartless manipulators. Easily bored, they crave constant
      stimulation, so they seek thrills from real-life “games” they can win —
      and take pleasure from their power over other people.

      —end excerpts—

      Right now, evil people have taken over society and destroyed democracy. They have replaced it with PLUTOCRACY. You will not restore democracy with “feel good” postmodern relativism and mushiness.

      • Anonymous

        Interesting description of a psychopath.  I’ve known one, in my lifetime.  He could charm you silly, whhile yanking the carpet out from under you, simultaneously.  Swift and devious.

        • Fubar

          Correct. The charm is not authentic, rather it is used only to manipulate. As such, it tends to be highly exaggerated for effect. Evolution made the human brains into a fabulous imitation machine. All learning and culture requires such fabulous imitation. Unfortunately when the natural systems of culture break down, such as in most modern organizations, the people with little conscience/empathy/compassion can rise to power quickly since they are willing to destroy people’s lives on order from the higher ups in order to gain more power. Once they rise to power, they create an atmosphere of groupthink (via unexamined imitation) that few are willing to challenge. The few people that are willing to openly question the legitimacy of those in power are made examples of. They become victims of bullying, or worse.

    • Anonymous

      I like this response…except for the last line, where you’re name-calling. 

      Experience has proven to me that if I calmly, quietly respond to unruly noise-makers, I can often help them calm down, quuite often to their surprise. 

      Other times, though, I’ve just learned that there are some people that have certain negative buttons that are best left untouched. 

      I thought of giving an example, but then reconsidered.  That wouldn’t be very Christ-like.

  • http://marn-foundlife.blogspot.com/ standswithagist

    “Its like putting a gun to your head and saying, “unless you do what I say, I will kill myself”. You’re going to end up firing that gun.”

    In David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest”, there is a junior tennis player who comes to each match, holds a Glock to his head and threatens to kill himself if he doesn’t win. He gets ranked #1 this way and then secretly goes and blows his brains out.
    http://machines.pomona.edu/166-2009/2009/03/29/eric-clipperton/

    They will not love you, even if you try to blackmail them into it, even if you try to terrorize them into it, even if you try to embezzle, hold them hostage, buy their love. This is a message I needed to hear, being one of Harry Harlow’s baby monkeys, clinging so tightly to a wire monkey mother(fucker) who couldn’t give me the milk I needed to grow. So, fuck milk, I’ll drink almond juice.

  • http://www.rawworkingmom.blogspot.com/ Raw Working Mom

    Thank You for California- I’ve dealing with an evil boss these last few days.  It was easy to vent about her but now I realize I was only fueling the fire.   You rock!

  • Stuart Hall

    Actually my strategy and slogan rolled into one to deal with crappy people is simple: “success is the best revenge”. When they are negative you be positive, in other words. Then by virtue of that approach they become the unwitting engine of your success.

    • Anonymous

      The crappiest boss I ever worked for taught be a strategy that allowed me to stay employed and even win his praise and support. “Strategic retreat” he called it and said “Just agree with everything someone says to you or about you that annoys or angers you.”

      Now that is hard to do, but not so hard if you practice it and realize a number of things: Often leave the other person speechless, makes you the better of the two, and everyone is entitled to their views even when they are wrong.

      In order to be come extremely good at strategic retreat, and not feel beaten up inside, I had to listen carefully for what I could honestly agree to and just ignore the rest. Hard at first, but in time absolutely necessary when dealing with the sad people in the world who get ahead by stepping on others.

      Love all the comments and agree with so much of what James has to say, and have to do my thing with his advice which is following the saying “Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean.” Wonder if that is a gender thing?

  • http://twitter.com/PimpHop PimpHop.com

    In Pimpology, what you said is simply translated as follows.” A PIMP MUST STAY SUCKA FREE”
    or
    “If you cant offer me no assistance, then you need to give me some distance.”
    Keep up the good work. The only stregnth that weak can draw from weak is a STRONGER degree of weakness.. Rylan Branch PimpHop.com

  • Laura4NYC

    What a great post!!!

  • Hob

    That was superb.  My brain feels just a bit healthier now for reading it.
    .
    .
    Here’s my personal plight.  I feel like I’m kind, patient, approachable and good humored.  I put a lot of energy into my “decency”.  And I’m a total pushover for dogs, cats and children.
    .
    But my face …my face just happens to look angry when at rest.  I have a face that makes me look like a jerk.  So much so, that I’m self-conscious of it and I compensate.
    .
    I’ve even been teased about it…  People ask me what I’m pissed about.
    .
    So be happy that your mask isn’t conveying EXACTLY the wrong message to strangers about you..!!!

  • Ralphus Lucius

    Concur with the crappy people coping mechanisms. It’s my choice as to whether I let them rent space in my head. Fact is, some people are simply psychotic sickos, and I have neither the time or energy to indulge them – whether family or business associates.

    Gossips are majorly dishonest and disloyal crappy people – always stirring it up. So no matter what brief indignity we suffer – it is nothing more than an ephemral mosquito bite, annoying, but easily forgotten within minutes. I can very truthfully say that quite some time ago I completely stopped worrying or caring what  others think of me. The great “I” isn’t really that important anyway in the great scheme of things. My job is simply  to keep my side of the street clean.

  • Neha Bharti

    Thank you so much for this post. Of late I have been very disturbed about one such bitter incidence in my life, and I am surprised how much your article has uplifted my mood.

  • Arteyefaks

    Thank-you
    Today I stumbled upon this article at a time of need and desperation.
    I wish I could pour it all out somehow but so afraid that someone will crap on my comments
    I think I will try the ignore thing.

  • Anonymous

    @MDMA:disqus ….This is crаzу…Sistеr’s girlfriеnd mаkеs 73 hourly on thе PC. Shе hаs beеn firеd from wоrk for 10 mоnths but lаst month hеr pауchеck wаs 7756 USD јust working on the PC fоr а fеw hоurs. Rеаd аbоut it on this wеb sitе……http://alturl.com/taqbx

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Austin-Fitzhenry/1518672645 Austin Fitzhenry

    Thank you for the post, James.  Solid thoughts.  I will be working on this.

  • http://www.madlabonline.blogspot.com TheMadlabPost

    The happy people is the category that seems easier to work on dealing with since the resentment that others have toward this category comes out of them being unhappy and so they want the rest of the world to be as miserable as they are and are not to keen on noticing that the world isn’t as miserable…in fact, the world is happy. Now, the crappy people are a whole different ballgame. Ignoring them is very difficult, especially when they put forth effort into trying to add salt to your lemonade instead of sugar, you know?!!

  • Anonymous

    this is good advice, reflecting on this (on STOP). I will stop reading your blog now and reflect. Best thing I’ve read so far that you have written. I am that type that responds to the negatives too much and let’s the evil people fill up my brain. The bible even has a verse to “dwell on  good things” in Philippines which I have tried to follow for years. But still gave too much time to the evil people.

  • Bart McCoy

    Great advise, hard to follow.

    • http://twitter.com/jaltucher jaltucher

      Yes, for me also. But I try to tell myself I am grateful for the opportunities to practice these ideas. And I get better each time.

  • Acmilan36

    Worst advice EVER!

    Just joking, great story!

  • just a thought

    Great article. I wish I had read it when I was 20 then I wouldn’t have had to learn all that stuff the hard way. A few notes:

    Crappy People. #1 there just arent that many of them. Someone cutting in line, or taking a turn in front of you is not a crappy person – they may not have seen you, they may be a great person – someone you could hang out with and be best friends with, they just didnt see you. So – lesson: practice making excuses for why someone who does something you perceive as wrong is really not doing anything wrong. Oh well, they made a mistake.
     
    There are, however, crappy people in the world. They are rare, but they exist. They fight with everyone, and can’t help themselves, they are also unhappy and want to spread that misery. You need a crappy person sensor. If someone seems like a CP (one way to tell is they say bad things about others – which means they just as likely will say bad things about you), then here is how I handle it: AVOID AVOID AVOID. DANGER DANGER – Be pleasant, give no information, be boring, get out of sight. Don’t argue with them, dont try to “win”, it doesn’t matter. Walk to the nearest exit…

    Ok, point made. I hope it helps someone.

    • Brian H

       5% sociopaths.  20% assoholes.  Not “rare”.

    • Raoul

      I lived in New York for 18 years and met so many people who said bad things about others that I began to avoid EVERYBODY. I’m still trying to unlearn that lesson.

  • http://www.LaserGuidedLoogie.com Ken

    #4 especially is so very important.

    You tell yourself that you can’t “wimp out,” or that you are letting people ‘run over you,” but most of the time you are just wasting your life.

    Not that you should be a wimp, or let people run over you, but the point is that you pick your battles and only fight those that will gain you something positive.  

    As for the rest, as you said, the best policy is to just put them on ignore.

    -Ken

  • Anonymous

    I come back to this all the time,

  • http://www.carspecs.org/ Car Specs

    Thanks for the Read I am going through a tough time I was downsized and feel a lot of rage. I need to ignore them and focus on my car blog

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1014934682 Jamie Michelle Pickett

    I love this.

  • Aj Goddard

    Is that an ice rink in Stevie Cohen’s back yard?

    If it is, that is totally awesome. If it isn’t, it is very very near to totally awesome anyway.

  • Jeremy Wilt

    Wow James!  I caught an article today that you wrote about Facebook shareholders and I was so amazed with your writing!   I’ve been reading several of your posts tonight and I just have to say that you’re awesome!  Please keep up the incredible work and sharing your insight with the world (regardless of who’s listening or who agrees)!

  • http://twitter.com/EntreprenKorner EntrepreneursKorner

    I believe gates is genuinely a nice guy too. I have a lot of respect for the guy. Aswell as Steve Jobs.

    See: http://bit.ly/vUg8M9

    • Fubar

      They were/are both nice and not-nice. They made important contributions to the modern world, and they abused their power. Human beings are usually complicated, not one-dimensional.

      In the early says, Apple “stole” the GUI from Xerox. Then Microsoft “stole” the GUI from Apple.

      Microsoft acted in a monopolistic manner, destroying, according to research I saw published 15+ years ago, at least 400 smaller competitors at that time, frequently via illegal and unsavory business practices (a few succeeded in suing MS, such as STAC, the developer of the cr*ppy windows disk defragmentation utility). If Apple had a chance, it would have done the exact same thing at the time.

      Some visionaries in the tech industry are now predicting that Microsoft will be a broken company in the near future. Windows 8 will not get traction. Developers will continue to flee Microsoft platforms as alternative platforms become more viable. Then consumers will also abandon MS. (Servers and infrastructure will probably remain viable for a long time.) MS will, if lucky, become something like IBM is now: an enterprise IT services/consulting concern that happens to sell operating systems and hardware.

      • http://twitter.com/EntreprenKorner EntrepreneursKorner

        Thanks for the great insight. However some people become too greedy with their money once they’ve made it and I think Bill Gates could give more but he is doing more than a lot of people are. I believe in capitalism don’t get me wrong, but when you have 100m+ and you don’t help out the less fortunate, thats really disgraceful. Some may disagree, however I do believe you have to help people, as life is short and money is not everything. 

      • http://www.macewan.org macewan

        Bill never donated until illness affected a parent. Their comments on his holding onto his wealth led to his change in heart. Just as ‘fuck the poor or sick’  Republicans never understand the need for compassion until it directly affects them Bill’s hand was forced.

        Only then did he become the great contributor to humanity that he is now.

  • Anonymous

    James, you make such a simple thing sound so hard!  It’s really quite simple!  Takes time and concentration, but certainly not mind-boggling to accomplish, like you make it out to be!  Simply study, in depth, the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and live each day patterning your life like His, to the best of your ability.   Do this, and you’ll find the negatives in life slipping out the back door, while the positives come rushing in the front door.  I live my life this way. 

    Years ago, I had the emotional problems you speak of.  But I currently can’t think of a single, solitary person that I resent or envy. 

    There are a few I’m trying, very hard, to emulate, but I don’t envy them.  I know that they got where they are by doing the same thing I’m doing.  They just started a lot sooner.  Patience! 

    I see little bits of improvement in my life most days, and am content knowing that I’m on the right road, becoming happier,,,truly happier…with each turn in the road, and will eventually be the happiest I could possibly hope to be…if I only persist, and don’t give up. 

    Do I have challenges?  Sure!  But experience has proven to me that He will always be there to help me through them, and gently pick me up when I stumble.

    • Fubar

      minor problem: Altucher is Jewish, and more or less an atheist (he has stated an affinity to some buddhist ideas/practices). I do not see much of an overlap between traditional evangelical culture and the achievement-creative memes of the entrepreneurial culture that Altucher lives in.

      the moral structures and psychological methods that you speak of existed outside christianity, and were imported and integrated.

      this is a complex topic, so I’m oversimplifying.

  • Tnt90

    You always brighten my day. Often we are on the same course at the same time. Hence this article is timely for me and the others I forwarded it to. The lyme disease article was brilliant as well.
    I have a chiropracter that sounds alot like your alternative  doctor. Can you reveal who your doctor is
    he sounds like a gem and I would love to know in case I or my family needs to see him. I do know your Jewish but have a Merry Christmas anyway. And a great New Year! Keep writing
    and I’ll keep reading! Peace to you too! 

  • Roy

    not all people who I dont want to have around are “crappy”

    many are just self absorbed talkers…..they constantly talk about topics that only interest them….

    and they just begin talking…..with no pauses or gaps…..they just keep on talking

    and they repeat!

    they repeat their stories allllll the time

    how do we get rid of such people? =)

  • Alice Wison

    Fabulous!!

  • James Brian Peterson

    I either sue them or cause them to be arrested and jailed-”Non illigitimiti carborundum”.

  • http://twitter.com/dhatfield danielle hatfield

    Such a great post. Thanks for sharing your insight on how to deal with the #4’s in life. . . much appreciated. :)

  • Scott Tesler

    This is awesome. It is now my homepage so I can see it every morning.

  • Rajesh

    This is the best hands on guide to deal with the people. I do encounter some idiots and I have printed this article and put thing along with steve jobs photo and thanks for  the article.  One old man said Dont worry about money. If you be good and best then every thing comes to you. To be best you need to cut the crap . Pen is powerful than sword.. 
    Keep the good work and also like “jlcollinsnh” comments… 

    The only advise i have my fellow entpr brothers is  just focus on your products every thing will follow.

  • Visitor.

    I now enjoy reading your newest articles, scrolling to the bottom, scanning for negative comments and crappy people then actively changing the page and ignoring them. It feels great.

    This may not be what you intended with your post but it’s a step in the right direction. Thanks.

  • Nearly Retired

    Good advice on how to deal with crappy people.  Fortunately, I know very few of them personally or professionally, but I do get into arguments almost weekly with “experts” on various Internet forums.  And you’re right — I’ve never changed their minds, nor them mine.  Just this morning I had been thinking about how to respond to a crappy person who has no clue what he’s talking about, but I think I’ll let it pass.  I know he’s just waiting for me to respond to his last name-calling post.  He’ll simply have to wait.

  • Vivian Leigh

    I was blog surfing and really enjoyed the crappy people senario.  And crappy people might be good people but they are not good for me.  After I read this and gave it thought, I looked at my two job offers and the best one was with crappy people.  I accepted the other one!

  • http://twitter.com/foullonL Lee & Zaneta

    OMG – an ex-carpool “partner” — it was hard to ignore him when I thought he would KILL US ALL every morning from his awful driving. I’m rid of him and I don’t think about him at all except when I read something like this. 

  • freakvsslap

    thanks!

  • Sillychickalicia

    i had your blog about kindness bookmarked and looked at it for the first time since I first read it and then reading this one, and I like what you say.  I bet you went to the School of Hard Knocks.

  • http://ctndigital.com Jeff J

    Thanks for the Book ( Amazon Kindle ) and this post, for including a recognition of pain. There are good reasons for a lot of stuff that is not visible on the outside. 2 Kinds. Self Inflicted ( self-absorbed people ) Pain , and the other kind, like arthritis that is outside control, continuous  wake up with it and end your day with it knowing there will also be the same pain tomorrow and the next tomorrow … that kind of pain. Both are prisons people carry around with them that is only observable by those that look deeply enough to see it . You did. That in itself is the coolest thing.

  • Damnedchou

    OHHHH MY GOOODD!!! it’s so HARDDD to Forget someone who did harm you!!! OHHH MY GOOD i COULDN’t Do it!!! and what reallly bothers me is that picturing myself forgetting him/her is not enough for me! I WANT TO HEART him/her the same way they did to me!!!! OHHH

  • GK

    Wow. I really enjoyed this article. I especially liked the section recommending that we ignore evil people. I liked it so much that I printed it, reduced the size of it, and attached it to my daily planner. It seems to me your advice could apply to other things, as well (worry, negative thinking, an old flame, etc.). I now feel emboldened to deal with a few evil people in my life–or not! :)  

  • Haley

    Just why ARE there so many crappy people, anyway? Ugh…

  • Guest

    Great post! I totally agree with you on dealing with crappy people, once I realise someone in my life is a sh*t head, I just cut them out of my life, my mind, everything and I never regret it! Granted, it takes a lot for someone to get to that point, but once there, there is no going back.
    People give me grief for being cold and having a willingness to remove people completely from my life, but some people bring nothing but negative experiences, negative thoughts and life is too short to be stressing about whether you do or do not like/dislike/have time for/want to stay in contact with people.

  • Amira

    I agree with most of your post except the bit about Bill Gates (seriously, how about being grateful for actually good people: Buddha, Marie Curie, Louis Pasteur, MLK, Nelson Mandela, Thich Nhat Hanh, Tara Brach, David Servan-Schreiber, Dennis Slamon, … randomly from the top of my head). 

    Anyways, moving on, I’m still not there yet in dealing with the crappy people but one thing I have observed is that lately I have made a conscious decision to stop arguing with the racists/sexists/anti-science crappy people because I have limited amounts of energy… As a good friend of mine said a quote I don’t know by who but “Never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes time and annoys the pig”. :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AIW4AYWW6TPP6D26PB45Z2BC6A LuathB

    Are you aware that Bill Gates is a leading advocate of DEPOPULATION?  As in he is a sociopath who actually believes we would be better off with less human beings, therefore he is A-OK with “offing” a few billion of us? Look it up in your spare time. Seriously. He is a piece of flotsam.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1317773342 Ben Hanke

      Are you aware that population at its current level is the root of most of our problems, including the rapid consumption of non-renewable resources without the time to arrange for sustainability?
      I believe strongly that the world has a reasonable carrying capacity, that, if obeyed, would increase breathing space and livelihood across the board. Ideally, I see that number as about 1 billion. I don’t think killing people is the solution – just education and condoms.

  • Rsannihilation

    James, you have altered my thinking of how to deal with nasty and good people completely. Bravo James Bravo, I respect you so much more!

  • Etype Series

    Ok Jimmee, I love you…but found you remarkably cruel to pigs. Give it up man, the pain you’ve caused, to the poor pigs. Pigs got the shitty end of the stick all right…thats no excuse to make it worse. Why do cows, chicken or trout get away with out having you insult them.
    Another thing, Gates efforts cost him nothing and it’s obviously a pr stunt. And he makes sure you know he’s spending his ill gotten billions! He’s just another conspicuous consumer, except this time he’s buying image at he same time he’s buying redemption – in other words another bogus deal by Gates, with you ending up the sucker.
    I say ignore shiesters like Gates, let him buy redemption in private, with dignity…and stop polluting the public consciousness like he did to the technological consciousness of the public.

  • http://twitter.com/lamocuana Erin Parker

    slow clap. brilliant post. 

  • kato Nokto

    In the play ‘No Exit’ by Sartre, three people find themselves locked in a room where they will spend an eternity of vicious verbal conflict. The point being that they are in a Hell of thier own making. However there is an exit. The the key is in knowing that there are only two locks on the door;

    • Do not allow the hatefull statements of others upset you.

    • Do not allow yourself to particpate in hatefull attacks on others.

    …. and you are out of there….

    • restoration rake

      A fine and unique reference.

  • John Galt

    Bill Gates?  A “good guy”?  Hardly, do your homework on his nefarious deeds and agenda.  The money he gives away is only under the guise of goodness.  The facts are available…the will is up to you.  Think population control and eugenics; when you’re rich and buy into a major big pharma  outfit like Merck, one mustn’t assume its because you actually care about the impoverished in Africa and elsewhere.  Search his comments on “useless eaters” and his stated goals of using vaccines to reduce population.

    • Anonymous

      Isn’t it funny that the super rich often get taken in by these crazy ideas?  We assume that because they are rich, they must also be super smart–and perhaps they are in one area–but like everyone else, intelligence in one area doesnt correspond to intelligence in another.

      I think it was Ayn Rand who pointed out the hypocrisy of the super rich when she observed how many of them support collectivist ideas and undermine the system that allowed them to become wealthy in the first place.

    • Gallery

      Thank you for mentioning the truth about Gates.  I find it hard to understand how anyone could still idolize Mr. vaccination/Monsanto/eugenics.  What a waste.  The man has it in his power to truly do great things, and he is an epic fail.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.s.strauss Paul Strauss

    Doesn’t this article devote time, energy, and thought to crappy people?  Just sayin’.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       No, which specific crappy people are you referring to. However, methods people can use to live a happier life devotes energy in the right place.

  • Anu

    Thank You James Altucher.

  • Anu

    I Love it how you add so much humor into your writing. Its very entertaining and inspiring as well. I loved your book I was Blind and now I see. I have read it 3 times already and I am not a reader by habit. This is the first book that in a very weird way has made some sense to me . It has helped me a lot and I am already trying to do “The daily practice.”  Thank you very much and keep writing more.

  • Brian H

    No war, huh?  Mostly I think people who are “against war” are just self-deceived.  The Neville Chamberlain lesson, unlearned. 

    Future dictators and attackers etc. are like your crappy people — with means, method, and opportunity to do exactly what they tell you they’re going to do.  It’s so far outside the norms of polite discourse that people just don’t believe them.  Till it’s too late.

    E.g.: watch Fitna.

  • http://twitter.com/Brimshack northierthanthou.com

    As a friend of mine likes to put it, sometimes you do a “peoplectomy.” …just get them out of your life.

  • Get it!

    Loved your article!

  • HCSKnight

    “But you fail and die unhappy if you don’t.”

    You fail because you measure your value and the object by your terms.

    If you fight for truth, for God, you will suffer and experience all the “negative” you write about. 

    But these “negatives” are all self-created by a lack of Faith.

    Truth does not promise you happiness or rewards. 

    Truth only demands the ascent of your intellect and will.

    When one has Faith in Truth to move a mountain, a funny thing happens.  You can face all those “crappy” people and be completely at peace.

    You keep looking in the wrong places James. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511955064 Xoha Salman

    you are a life saver, mister!

  • Highside

    I know a woman who used to be in serious pain. She was pretty crappy also. She smoked, she drank, she blubbered, she cheated, and she lied. But she was hilarious and brilliant. You could forgive her sins because she was fun to be around. Now she’s a yoga zombie. She’s clearly no longer in pain, but her personality seems to have vanished. You have to feel good for her, but I think it’s fair to ask: does the world need really need another happy, boring person?

  • Gabe Bloom

    “When you get in the mud with a pig, you get dirty and the pig gets happy.”

    Note to self, remember this mantra if I ever have kids. Definitely remember this. Thank you, James.

    I’ve been reading your stuff for about a week, since I stumbled onto you on twitter. Can’t get enough. I guess I like the flavor of the blood you put on the page.. or something

  • http://www.seorus.com.au/ SEO_Melbourne_Services

    good 

  • http://twitter.com/seemytravels Alison Sandilands

    I really enjoyed this article and agree the best thing to do is to ignore the crappy people, but this is extremely difficult, haha. 

  • Rebecca Bonde

    I love this blog! Thank you, James. I’m a blogger and a Writer myself (in Denmark) and experience crappy haters when being very direct and honest. This was very helpful reading. Thank you.

    /Rebecca

  • crickeyt

    Great post James! But I have a question which must have occurred to many others too. What do you do when “crappy people” around you are also “happy people”? As in, people who do mean things to you, but are well-settled in life and obviously satisfied. How do you cut them out of your life while also trying to be sincerely happy for them?

  • David Winegar

    Great post- i enjoy your insights. I would liike to add that Penelope is on to something with her profiling, and you don’t need to have Asperger’s syndrome to have a need for it. My company has been developing an iOS App for profiling people and giving coaching advice. It goes also a step furth in that it takes into consideration your psonality in the coaching advice. And guess what? Our system also has just 4 types and you need to answer only 11 questions based on your observations to get a dominate personality type! Of course I am a bit biased, but I truly believe this app can help a lot of people to understand better who they are commicating with and how best to interact with them.

    The App is just this week submitted to Apple for approval, and we hope to have it in iTunes in the next couple of weeks. The name is Adaptive Sales Coach and if you want to see more and get on our release list, visit our site http://AdaptiveSalesCoach.com

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4EGJLMUSCMZDBTNVAKAJWWS25Y robertm

    I saw you James on Fast Money last week.  I cant stand the format of this show.  Anyone who has an opinion that goes against their narrow-minded point of view is simply derided and debased.  Enter James, a gregarious extravert who tells them the hard truth and they laugh and smirk at him.  Going on this show is getting down with the pigs, IMHO.

  • isukusa

    I did completely change how a nasty person treated me. We had to work late one evening, in another building they were serving Kentucky Fried Chicken to everyone staying late. The nasty person wasn’t in that building so he naturally didn’t know about the food. So I made him a big plate of food along with a drink and brought it to him; he was never nasty to me again. You should have seen the look on his face when I gave it to him, the embarrassment and shame was profound. So I use this example as a model to use when given the opportunity to do good to nasty people. Otherwise, I agree with James, STAY AWAY!

  • Plvarson

    Really “Crappy People” hate being ignored. They fight being ignored because they want you down in the dirt with them. These people either hate anyone who is “happy” or “good” or they enjoy seeing people in “pain.”  It is easy to ignore the stranger who takes your parking place and then gives you the finger or posts a hurtful message – big deal. Not so easy to ignore the “crappy person” who is in your life harming your livelihood, your reputation, your children. That person may be your boss, your co-worker, your ex-spouse, your sibling.  “God must really love assholes, because they win so often.”

  • Kimcaldwellrn

    So,  how do you ignore your boss when they are the one that is an asshole and you have to deal with them on a daily basis?

  • Marko

    Nice one. But there is one problem with this. It works only until you bump into someone who has the power to materially change your life (boss etc.). Or if that evil person is someone you have deeper connections with, so you can just disregard them like that (parents etc.)

    But generaly you’re right…

  • Shannon mccoysr

    I agree and like everything you have said in this article, I do this already and it works.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1190588883 Laura Jayme

    Wow, you know when something arrives JUST IN TIME? This post was everything I needed, too bad I am 1 day late. I have an ex-boyfriend who is a crappy person and he indeed tries to follow me everywhere. Last year he literally knocked on my door at 3 in the morning (which I ignored), but 4 days go we bumped into each other at the end of a show, he greeted me knowing that speaking to him was the last thing I wanted on Earth and I don’t know the heck why he thought it was so special that he had to send me an e-mail the next day. He told me he was here for me and that he had finally found the right path in life. Guy thought he was doing me such a favor when he was actually pissing me off! Mainly because I knew quite well that he was doing just the opposite of “walking the right path of life”, so I kindly decided to respond his message in order to get him thinking about the harm he was doing to the people around him. I also, very politely, asked him to stop looking for me or trying to keep any kind of touch. As I know him so well I knew he would not RESPECT my appeal and would certainly reply to my answer. So I blocked him after sending the message. I was right. He found another way to answer me and I realized at last that he would never understand how awfull he and his actions are and that there was nothing I could do about it. The trying would be useless and it would only cause me more anger and pain. 
    And that’s where your post enters! If I had read it before I woudn’t think twice: IGNORING! How simple! That’s the guidance I needed, but not just any guidance: It had to be well-argumented and come from someone who understood exactly what I’m going through. So thank you A LOT. Even thoughh you haven’t met the one I’m talking about, this is the last time I am ever mentioning him.

  • Sanjay

    As you have correctly said, I have been wasted a considerable period of precious time in my life WITH PIGS IN THE MUD. I was so annoyed by them that i had spent many sleepless nights thinking how i teach them a good lesson that they can never forget in their whole life. My thoughts were full of hatred and they had been ruining the peace in my mind, burning me alive, until i realized I should come out of the mud leaving the pigs alone.

  • Aroundtheworldkw

    I LOVE YOU!

  • http://www.greatstockpix.com/ Gsp

    Oh, man…did you just describe me awhile back. I wasted hours on investimonials (a financial website review site) defending my service against people that were simply out to get me. I see that now, but at the time I just wanted to prove them wrong. Most of them admittedly never even tried my site (a day trading chat room – greatstockpix.com) and still wanted to battle with me. Astonishingly, I took the bait. I would check it everyday to see if they replied so I could let ’em have it again. My wife told me to ignore them (did she help you write this article?).

    Anyway, she was right and you are right. Thanks for the words of wisdom. I have disciplined myself to no longer even go to that review site for fear of being sucked back in. As a result, I definitely have a renewed inner peace. Keep up the great work!

  • alpa

    thats a really good article james – loved it….

  • http://www.facebook.com/mouneet Mouneet Mehta

    Great article!! Loved it.

  • Jan

    “Force yourself to be happy for people with lots of money because they might give a servile lowlife like yourself a handout every once in a while if you indulge them in their power fantasies, regardless of whether or not they happen to be scumbags” (see Bill Gates). Nobody should be celebrated for simply being pleased with themselves. I’m sure there are plenty of con artists on Wall Street who are as pleased as punch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wtcostillas Will T. Costillas

    1. I raise my hand to not hating happy people. I think they are inspiring. I resent envious people on the other hand. Because they always bother themselves with the business of others when they don’t really have to compare themselves to everyone to realize what’s good about them.

    2. I hate those “sad” people who are only sad because it’s like a drug to them.

    3. I like genuinely good people.

    4. Crappy people… Everything you’ve said plus loud headsets for your mp3 player, big sunglasses to hide the hate on your eyes, a walking stick to hit them with while you pretend to be blind, lighter and gas in case they come near.

  • CraigDMartin

    Love this! Thanks for sharing.

  • Dennis

    It is rare to find valuable advice anywhere. I think it’s bang on and I’ll try it one day at a time. I thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carin.sorisio Carin Sorisio

    I haven’t even read this whole post and I already love it.

  • hugh

    Never argue with an idiot because those around you will not know who the idiot is!

  • Tomwe

    Thanks for this. I have been dealing with a “crappy person” for years now and it took me years to learn how to ignore the person. Your advice is spot-on. Interacting with a person like this is like beating yourself on the head.

  • amari

    I must have read this for the first time many months ago, but I came back today because I’m at my first job (fresh college grad) and am now dealing with a crappy person who is old and secretly quitting soon and totally uncaring about the fact that she’s making it impossible for me to do the things I’ve been asked to do… My manager understands, so I really should find it easy to take your advice, particularly about on not talking to her about how crappy this other person is. It’s not easy but I trust you so I’ll do my best to hold it in. Thanks.

  • Guest

    What if the evil people keep pushing themselves in your space like a harasser did with me? I couldn’t find another job, I’m in

  • Anonymous

    What if the evil people keep pushing themselves in your space like a harasser did with me? And no, I wasn’t able to get away: I tried to transfer, find another job, ad nauseum and I’m still stuck and looking over my shoulder 1.5 years later because I have student loan and mortgage debt and can’t just leave.

    So, how do I ignore a creep who gets in my space? Plus, in my experience, tuning them out makes them push more.

  • http://twitter.com/modernmagic Jeff Mayland

    At 6′-5″, I have the advantage of looking right over evil people. :-)

    It has been over a year that I have been able to, not only, not talk to, but not even make eye contact with a person at work. Now if I could only tune out her cackling! :-)

  • http://www.keepsworkshop.com/ KEEPSWORKSHOP

    Admittedly I didn’t handle online criticism very well in the beginning. I still see traffic every so often from a private forum that just doesn’t like me.

    When I started focusing more on my life and work, I noticed all of it filtered out and I realized none of it really affected my life and those immediately around me.

    I continued to blog, and like usual, I would get the occasional nasty hate and/or traffic from that forum. I thought about it and came to a conclusion that best sums it up

    “It’s much easier to burn a house down than to build one.”

  • Andrew

    I have learn’t a way of dealing with Idiots that walk all over your face and feelings and are basically rude. They wouldn’t like it done to them but they dish it out all day long. I tell them what they did, then i smash them right in the gob, where the trash is exciting from. Then I say to them again, did you like that, most say no, then I say you did it to me,if you don’t like it done to you don’t do it to others. Many are walking around with a busted nose just to remind them to be nice to people, it doesn’t take much. The bible says do unto others what you would have done unto yourself.If the world lived by this there would be no more wars. But people don’t want to live by the bible and do it to you anyhow, so they obviously want it done back to them. Some people learn the hard way.

  • Harry

    James, please give me some advice. I cut my mother out of my life because she was a crappy person. Always shouting at me, complaining and blaming me for her own issues. I’ve cut her out for two weeks and if i’m being honest, they’ve been the best and least stressful two weeks of my life. But now she has returned to me apologising and I feel guilty. I don’t know what to do. If I carry on, I will have no stress but feel guilt for not forgiving her. If I forgive her, I know for a fact she will go back to her old ways (she always does) and I will be the victim all over again. I feel trapped, please help.

  • Anonymious

    wtf loser

  • misskim

    So positive. Just forgive yourself for the deviation, reset and get back on your course. You have a great vision for life, that’s you’ve chosen for yourself – and it’s something we all can do, whether rich or poor. Your outlook is always your own choice, and there is freedom in that.

  • pal

    I enjoyed this read very much.

  • conflicted

    But what if those “happy” people are happy because they live in an ignorant bubble? They don’t read the news or anything that is “unpleasant” so they can buy mindlessly, watch TV all day and do nothing but what they please. How can you be happy for them?

  • Moana

    Yeah, can’t agree with you more on the crappy type of people. I’ve got a few. Just a few, thank goodness! Oh, should I say, I got, I had, for they don’t exist anymore in my happier life. One of them kept trying to befriend me on fb and I blocked her. I had blocked her before, on another social media site, but it seemed that her brain just didn’t get it. LOL. Oh, I have a question though. Crappy people don’t stay crappy for the rest of their lives, right? It’s just a phase for these people. Isn’t it a phase that people might go through in life? Weren’t some of us crappy before we got to be better people?

  • Mary

    I’ve read this post every couple of months since you published it. Thank you so much, James.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      You are very welcome, Mary. I probably read it every week or so myself.

  • jhante

    Thanks — I have a couple of really crappy people within an otherwise truly wonderful family, and I really needed a reminder of how to deal with them. It really does make them happy when I jump in that mud, and I just can’t do it anymore.

  • CZ

    Good advice on dealing with crappy people. I’m an otherwise intelligent guy who gets irate at aggressive drivers, rude shoppers, etc. My wife tells me I’m wasting my time trying to educate and correct these complete strangers and she is, of course, correct.

    Hmmm, but does it really address how to deal with crappy people who impinge on you just because they know it bothers you, and when you fail to respond they just keep pushing? Like the bad neighbor who just keep playing his stereo and blowing cigarette smoke in your windows? Bullies in other words. You can always move away from a bad neighbor, I guess. But Poland couldn’t move away from Nazi Germany.

    • KGLevine

      CZ,

      Right in the head as the gamblers say “You gotta know when to hold, when to fold them, and when to lay them down.” For bullies lay them down means “knock them down and keep them down.

      Practice kindness, Play the Rice Game and help feed the hungry.

      Katherine Gordy Levine
      Emotional Fitness Training, ® Inc Emotional Fitness on Pinterest

  • Alex

    I’ve recently had a so-called “good friend” pull me aside to tell me she hated my whole being and that my existence irritated her. It was the first time anyone had ever done this to me and I didn’t know how to react — I don’t think anyone would. And to think, this was all over the shallow reason of ‘I don’t approach her enough’ and that ‘my side comments in class are offensive’. Reading this somehow helped me deal with the matter. There are people in your life that simply weigh you down, and you should never have to put yourself through the unnecessary bullshit of keeping them around.

    Good article, James. Don’t let other people keep you from doing what you do, because you do it well. The people who comment negatively on your posts can piss the fuck off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.mullis.3 Kevin Mullis

    Spot on my man! It is a total waste of energy arguing with trolls, online or in person.

  • nickname

    Hey James, I recently started reading your blog and really loving it:)

    Regarding the post above: sometimes it’s pretty clear when a person is one of the above, but most of the time it’s more complex than that- one person can be all of the above, or be a good person generally but also evil sometimes.. I can feel it mostly with friends.. Isn’t a person more complicated than the above 4 types? How and when do you draw a line and say- that person is evil, for instance..?

  • tron

    What do you do when your social circle which includes many non-crappy people also includes a few crappy people. What is your strategy on that type of a situation? These are people you’d see on a weekly basis.

  • Julie Munro-Physick

    Great stuff James.

    I am ultimately a good person, but was pretty crappy for many years! In fact, I’ve wavered between all four types: I’ve felt truly happy at times, given in to destructive thoughts and become depressed, allowed myself to become such a crappy shit to people, all the while having bouts of self-conscience and helping anyone who was in need.

    What a nightmare having to deal with “crappy people like that”. All I, the crappy person, could see was my own messed-up perspective, and yes it’s very true that many people will never know just how crappy they really are! It was only through forced self-development that I realized what a drain I could be, and why no one stayed around me for long..

  • Sam

    James, I came across your blog from the Fastlane Millionaire forum. I just wanted to let you know that I have been suffering from this group of crappy people for the past 10 years. It actually drove me mentally ill because I just cannot help but let them ruin my thoughts on a daily basis. I will have mental conversation with these people and there is just no end to that. Because of that, I have been suffering from deep depression for a whole decade.

    This article is the FIRST one that describes exactly what I am going through and provides a solution that I sorely need. Deep thanks from my heart.

    Sam

  • Tony R.

    Jesus taught, “… resist not evil …”

    It took me 50 years to understand this concept. Resisting evil gives it substance and empowers it. So it is, too, with “crappy people”.

  • Confused

    I like what you have to say because it strikes a chord… one problem keeps gnawing at my insides though: if crappy people don’t realize that they are thus, what if I am a crappy person who doesn’t realize? Hm? With all my faults, selfishnesses, weaknesses, lies.

    Looking forward to your answers!

  • SilD

    Excellent James! I completely agree with you. It is quite difficult when the crappy person is your family member that you are supposed to love unconditionally. Well I have battled with dealing with a crappy family member for a really looooong time and I have often decided to “end the relationship” but was always dragged in right back into the pig pen. Now 33 I realize I don’t have that much more time in my life to deal with crappy people so I just wish them the best in their life, tell them I will pray for them and I just move on with my life. What is the worst of all is that they make us horrible people just by associating with them. Misery will always love company and they do an excellent job making sure your life is as miserable as theirs. Its sad that we can’t all be happy good people. However, this has been the case for as long as man has existed. There has always been a separation of good and evil. I think that an evil person is purposely put in our path not for their sake but to help us good people become even stronger and even better people. May the Good always be victorious.

  • Butterfly

    Thank you for writing this. I was surrounded by toxic people for 24 years of marriage, including my husband. Always lived in fear and felt anxiety, until recently I decided to be strong and delete them from my life. Unfortunately as I was trying to divorce my husband, he had a car accident last year Leaving him in a coma with Traumatic Brain Injury :(. I cancel the divorce to help with his recovery. Eight months have passed since his accident and soon to proceed with the divorce again and now is turn for his toxic family to care for him. I was blamed for his car accident by his family when he ran a stop sign and no seat belt :( According to his fam. I caused for him to be angry and why was I divorcing their brother? I then decided after many confrontations with them in the hospital for 4 months and me trying to avoid them. Now I no longer have contact with all of them and it is the best thing I have done in my life. Soon to be free <3

  • Borivoje

    Hi James. I’ve read few of your articles and I think they’re really great. I like your philosophy and way of thinking, in general.
    Keep up the good work. Chears

  • Heather McCurdy

    When I first started reading your blog, my first question was “I wonder what would happen if PT and JA got together and had a blog baby?” this was the post and it was awesome! Penelope did something similar and got in the mud w a twitter follower, but I think that’s why she is fantastic too, she wasn’t afraid to get dirty then fess up how she learned from it. Thanks again for all that both of you do!

  • Anna

    James, what if this crappy person you deal with is a coworker? How do you handle someone you can’t exactly ignore?

  • Mr_Typo

    strangely appropriate and well timed in my life thank you! Any comments section
    is a perfect example to apply your suggestions lol

  • Claire Robbie

    F’n awesome.

  • Bill

    What should I do about my dad? I can’t decide which category he fits into, but it seems like #4 sometimes, like he has a hidden mean streak that comes out sometimes. He’s nice enough to sucker me in, but then… surprise!

  • Linda Lalande

    My grandmother taught me to look right thru “people of the fourth kind.” Now I don’t see or hear them. This makes them think I am stupid which gives me a huge advantage. Thanks for your info.

  • dean laprete

    “Serve” each other. Priceless man.

  • SakiVI

    What if the evil person is on your team for something at work? I can not talk about them or think about them up to a point, but I’m not going to be able to say, “So and so, who?” So, what the adaptation of the the strategy above for this situation?

  • velvetanne

    40 is closer to death? lol.

  • G Roberts

    My daughter is doing great thanks to you! My gosh you are great!

  • Stephanie Ann

    Very much needed advice, thank you.

  • oweibor

    i laugh in spanish… #funny

  • Debbie

    Love this post so much. I got in the mud in 2013.

  • Ayesha Yaseen

    By far a superior read ! I have cultivated these principles through my daily practice and know mostly am too busy focusing on things and people I like the annoying ones are just background white noise that my motto to their stuff isnid like to care but I don’t :) because their stuff is not my business I should take that time and self reflect on me !

  • Paula Carolina

    Thank you, reader from: Argentina.

  • anon

    What if you’re the crappy person?

  • Joanna Marlton

    Can people be combos of the above types? Can crappy people sometimes be happy people?? How would you deal with those people? Would there be a scale? Their crap outweighs their hap maybe? So you would ignore anyone who is crappy no matter if they are happy or in pain?

  • Dejana

    Brilliant. I love you, if noone else.:)

  • Tuv

    hi james:

    i like your writing and thinking a lot — but i’ve read a few of your posts, and you seem to make a lot of lists (the 8 mile scene, how to sell stuff or something, this post.)

    I HATE LISTS.

    i don’t like them. i find them generally unhelpful and misleading and not good at communicating what the author should actually be addressing. but they seem to strengthen essay, TED talks, whatever. But please get away from them — PARTICULARLY lists where you are telling someone how to do something like sell, or influence people, or disarm them.

    the list here is OK because it isn’t prescriptive.

    I HATE PRESCRIPTIVE LISTS. HATE, HATE, HATE.

    continued success,
    t

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Well, lists are sometimes incredibly valuable. It helps organize a concept in a way that’s easy for both writer and reader to follow. Particularly in the shorter-form writing that exists on the Internet.

      Sometimes stories are very valuable as well.

      Don’t hate

  • Speaksvolumes

    #4: isn’t it passive/aggressive to door slam someone? I realize that after a certain point that’s the best course of action to take, but shouldn’t you say your piece first? Otherwise you’re just avoiding confrontation, no?

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      You’re not avoiding confrontation. You are saying no to confrontation. Big difference. Focus on how YOU can be happy, rather than how you can be RIGHT.

      • Speaksvolumes

        I don’t know if I agree with that. If someone has wronged you or hurt you, it’s best to communicate that, at least if you want to salvage the relationship. Otherwise they’re left wondering what they did wrong while you completely shut them out without explanation. I think we need to get over the idea that there’s something inherently wrong with confrontation. It can lead to healing and more openness.

        • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

          Well, if you think someone has wronged you but they truly have your best interests at heart then yes. I find that most people when they wrong others, they don’t usually have the other person’s best interests at heart.

  • Emile Jarreau

    James,

    Always great advice. After following you for a couple of years, I found a mutual friend, John Romaniello, who shares your logicwith several topics on humanity…with a fitness twist. “Chose Yourself” is fantastic! It really helped me narrow it down to just two types of people. The above #1-3 types which I’ll transition between regularly and even #4 when life throws a rock through my windshield. You’ve shared some heartache and some laughs…that only enough “rocks” can teach. Look forward to your next book on life’s “ah-ha Candida (Gomez Addams- “The Addams Family”) moments.

  • Oris

    I agree with sending the 40 year olds into war. Hell, we have lived and know how to kick ass and mentally aren’t afraid to do it . or die! We didn’t grow up in the pussy generation that is coming up now. Hello tree hugger losers!

  • Vida Razavi

    So and so who? This is my favorite, It works very well for me

  • Jewels160

    There is a method and mystery to all that the universe lays down in front of you and this is the beauty! Thank you for this article as it could not come to me at a better time! Briefly, I have had to change my life 360 degrees due to circumstances and choices I made in ignorance 7 years ago. I experienced the ultimate betrayal and made the mistake of trusting family member over an inherited business. When screwed financially and squeezed out of the family business( my lively-hood for my whole life) in greed and in the end losing everything but fighting all the way in a 6 year legal battle, I became bitter and obsessed with the wrong doers and depressed. Mainly because I had no idea how to to recover and move on. Today I still have not recovered financially from two divorces one with immediate family and the the other, extended). However I try and ignore all those people in my previous life that judge me and ironically blame me for my financial ruin. Even harder as all those friends and once admirers cleave to my wealthy, adoptive, family predecessors. I come from a community that only values one’s cookie cutter accomplishments, church attendance, membership at the local yacht or country clubs, material wealth and rock star good looks. I thought I had lost it all but now knowing that one cannot have lost what was never really theirs to begin with and your reminders and humor today have put my recent slip back into the “abyss”, just that… Yesterday’s news.

    Thanks again!

  • KB

    Great article. These are all things that I know to be true and try to do them. Sometimes emotions take over, however. This post is a great reminder of what we all need to do.

  • Rose Marylove

    I want to say thanks to this great man called Dr SAMURA who helped me in my marriage life. my name is Nguyen lives in USA Memphis so i was married to Albert we both love and like each other before our marriage, he care about my well being so i was so happy that i have found a man like this in my life my parents love him so much because of his kindness towards me and the way he care about me after four years in my marriage, no child he was not showing me much care anymore but i notice something is going on which i no. then i keep on with the relationship and i was hoping one day God will open my way to have a child in my home then i keep on going to church from one play to another by telling all the pastors about my problems that i don’t have a child so many of them promise me that soon i we have a child in my home i keep on hoping in God’s miracle on till one day when i went for a visit in my friend office then i was welcome by my friend we started dis causing about so many things on marriage life i was so shock she ask me about my wedding and what is going on till now i still don’t have a child then i told her my dear sister i don’t no what to do anymore and am scared of loosing my husband who have be caring for me for a long time now then she said i we not loosing him i ask how? then she said there is one man called Dr SAMURA who help in a relationship then i keep on asking how about him she told me this man can do all thing and make things possible i never believe her for once that this man she is talking about can do it so fast. also i ask her how do i get his contact she said i should not worry my self then she gave me his contact email ID and his number to contact him i said ok i will try my best to do so she wish me the best of luck in life then i went home gotten home, found that my door is open i was scared thinking so many things i don’t no who is in my house now i look at the key in my hand i was thinking i did not lock my door shortly a word came into my mind that i should go inside and check if there is any body at home or my husband getting inside, i found that my husband move away his things in the house then i started calling his number refuses to pick i was like a mad Dog i cried and cried don’t no what to do then i remember to that a friend of mine gave me a contact today i take my computer i emailed this man called Dr SAMURA also i called him on his cell phone which i received from my friend he spoke to me very well and i was happy my husband we come back to me so after the work was well done by Dr SAMURA, just in three days i heard my phone ringing not knowing it was my husband telling me his sorry about what he did to me then i accepted him again a month later, i was pregnant for him so i rest my testimony till i deliver safely i we give the best testimony again so my sisters and brothers if you are in such pain kindly contact this great man with this email SAMURATELERSPELL100@YAHOO.COM OR CALL +2348103508204 or my website http://samuratellerspell.webs.com/

  • Te

    Thank you for posting this. Somehow I knew I was going to be able to find something like this in your writing :) I love it and am very grateful for it. Thank you again!

  • nickd

    Hey James
    Great article just started reading your articles today very insightful. One thing for sure stuck out and that is it’s easier to do a thousand pushups than not talk about crappy people behind their back. That’s so true I use to do 500 to a thousand within a hour almost every night for wrestling my junior and senior year of high school. Now I’m 32 and still struggle with not saying anything about crappy people.

    Thanks Nick Dalessandro

  • HBillson

    Truly wonderful post

  • ehas2doggies

    elephant journal is a rip off

  • Marietta

    This is sheer gold. I am so tired of dealing with my crappy, lucky brother and his equally crappy, lucky wife. They live to critique me, embarrass me and ridicule me. It really takes a lot out of me on a daily basis and they completely ruined the wonderful relationship I used to enjoy with my folks. For 2 months I have been letting these 2 live rent free in my head and only to watch the both of them continually succeed. Completely being nonchalant to their existence sounds like a good way to help ME and not them. Hopefully it works. Will try,
    Mari

  • Bubbles

    Well said. Thanks for the great advice. I’m a licensed massage and skin care therapist and sometimes clients.. Well rub me the wrong way. 97 percent are great! I usually refer the “ones” who are “difficult” to another therapist or just ignore them. Thank god for the block feature on the iPhone. Sometimes the customer isn’t always right. I had one recently try to blame me for his parking ticket. I told him . “You had exact directions into the free guest garage” .. No response .. I was like “uh huh .. Nice try” then I blocked .. Frustrating clients or people are bit worth your time or your money and certainly not both

  • LMM

    Right before graduation I had a ‘friend’ who was going around saying I was lying about getting accepted to a Masters programme in Europe. I don’t know why she was telling everyone I was crazy, when I had the acceptance letter at home. I later found out that she wasn’t even enrolled in university all that time she was hanging out with us. She was pretending. SHE was the liar! But in psychology, I believe it’s called projection and reflection. She stalked me around campus, she gossiped about me, she threatened to call the authorities on me (although I don’t know what the reason would be). But it was all her way of deflecting the fact she was living in university housing, had her child in university daycare and was getting all the perks of university life without actually going to class! When I came back from Europe, I ran into her again briefly but made it clear I was not having anything to do with her. But I found out later that she was gossiping about me yet again, getting information from mutual friends and again trying to cause havoc. I told our mutual friends that I thought she was a freak and a liar and not to give her any more info about me. The mutual friends looked genuinely surprised because they were under the impression (from her) that we were best buds. Eventually she had to stop and move onto her next target because people would ask, ‘Well, when was the last time you actually spoke with her (me)?’ And after a year it kind of got stale.
    Just stay clear of these horrible people because if you don’t associate with them they can’t say they are your friends and weasel into your life.

  • Maria

    I really liked this post. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Maria

    Thank you for writing this post. I think it is very helpful. Your advice makes a lot of sense. I try to follow your advice about the four types of people. I agree that you cannot give stupid people advice.

  • abuk

    Where’s the frigging back-to-top button? I’m generally a nice happy person until you offend me…then I go all out and ‘nam on your [you know what] because, well, I choose myself all the damn time…does that make me an asshole?

  • Roy

    Especially when a lot of them are Women.