The Crappy FAQ: All Questions Answered About Crappy People

pig

A lot of people had additional questions about my article: “How to Deal with Crappy People”. Here are my responses.


(when you get in the mud with a pig, the pig gets happy and you get dirty)

Q: Seriously? You walk around thinking stuff like that about total strangers, who have never so much as looked at you, let alone harmed you?

A: Yes. Seriously. Maybe you are judging me?

My challenge is to either own that dialogue or I risk having it owning me. The only way to make my thoughts my slaves is to notice them, watch them in action, and transform them. That’s what the post is about.

Q: “My own parents have evil tendencies, but I don’t think they truly realize it. How then, do you ignore these people, especially when they are around other people you want to see and interact with?”

A: This is the crux of the whole article. In fact, it’s usually the people closest to you that affect you the most! Its hard to ignore them.

Do this:

1)      Never gossip about them behind their backs. You already can’t stand being around them. Why keep them with you in your thoughts when they are no longer there.  NEVER ever gossip.

2)      When they are around, don’t “engage”. If someone wants to pick a fight, let them pick a fight with the air. Say, “well, I have to go now” and if you can leave, leave. Or go into another room for awhile. Or change the topic if its at a dinner table. Don’t play with the pigs.

This trains them to treat you better. If they want a response from you at all, they begin to learn what gets that response. Else they don’t get to interact with you. Period.

Very important to remember these two things:

–          You can’t win the fight

–          You can’t give advice (i.e. nothing you say will make their lives better or convince them you are right about something)

Turn down as many invitations as possible to get together. You need to take a break from this person. “Historical is hysterical”. Just focus on your own present,  the family and friends who love you and need you, your responsibilities, and engage as little as possible with the people who abuse you or bring up the past or demand an apology, or whatever. You need a break. And they need to be trained.

(Evil parents from the show “True Blood”)

Q: What if it’s a co-worker.

A: remember these things:

  • Never gossip behind their back.
  • No small talk! No flirting. Ever. Just don’t engage beyond what the work requires.
  • Always give them credit for work they did.
  • Don’t worry about always having your opinions heard and agreed with.
  • If it’s ruining your work environment to the point where you can’t stand it, look for another job.
  • Be fully professional. Don’t get emotional. Document every meeting, email, and interaction. Give them a copy of the documentation saying “This is what I understand…”, etc. When you are fully professional, it trains the people around you, crappy or otherwise.
  • I’ll repeat: Never gossip behind their back or say anything bad about them. If you clean the shit in front of your own door then there’s a decent chance they will clean theirs. This is the most important rule when dealing with a crappy co-worker.
  • By the way, things don’t get cured in 24 hours, especially in the workplace. Give it time. But follow these rules and keep it clean. NO SLIPPING! You’re a dead man if you do.

Q: What if it’s a family member and I feel guilty ignoring them or not calling them or returning their calls/invitations?

A: The key in your question is “I feel guilty”. You need to work with your guilt. At this point it has nothing to do with them, else you can use my answer above regarding parents/family members.

If you absolutely feel that it’s important to repair relations then do this: write them a letter. In the letter say:

  • Thank you for your invitations (or calls)
  • What you miss about them. Why you love them. Keep it VERY brief.
  • Give the rules for future interactions: list what you would like to have happen so you don’t feel abused or hurt. DON’T DEMAND AN APOLOGY. Historical is hysterical.

If the rules can’t be followed, then that’s it. No interactions and nothing for you to feel guilty about.

Q: Should I look at “crappy people” with compassion?

A: Several people in the comments suggested this. If someone is crappy to you, they are not worth your compassion. We have to keep it real. If someone has just slandered you to someone else, or if an ex is trying to prevent you from seeing your kids, or if you just caught your boyfriend with another girl in bed, or if a friend borrowed money and refuses to return it, etc then it’s not reality that you’re going to be compassionate with them the next minute. Forget it!

It’s like exercise. If you lift too much weight for your body to handle then you hurt yourself. Sometimes very badly. Same thing here. If you try to find compassion for horrible people then you might severely damage your happiness prospects. Fake compassion leads to DELUSION!

Try first: non-hate. If someone does something hateful, tell them it’s hateful, but then practice non-hate. Walk away. Ignore them. Stop listening to them and move away.
Non-hate is a powerful skill. I leave compassion (in this particular case) for Buddhas. I’m not one of them.

How do you practice non-hate? With crappy people assume that:

  • They have their problems also.
  • Maybe they weren’t loved enough as children or whatever.
  • They chose to take out some of their anger on me. They didn’t think it through.
  • I clearly don’t love them but I’m going to choose not to hate them.

And then that’s it. I move on. I stop thinking of them. I don’t talk to them. I don’t talk about them. I don’t love them. I don’t hate them. They don’t exist.

I was talking to a friend of mine who had been best friends for years with someone named Bill (name made up). Bill had then stolen from him. I asked him about Bill recently and what was going on. He turned to me and, as sincerely as possible so I really felt he meant it:  he said, “Bill who?” and that’s the attitude you should take.

Compassion is too hard. Don’t touch your toes on the first day you’ve ever stretched if your body is not flexible.

(Don’t try to be Buddha. Compassion can actually hurt you. Practice Non-Hate first)

Q: “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.”

A: Same as the “family” one above. You have to see them. You have to be around them. But just don’t engage. Don’t get into an argument even when they provoke. Say “hello” and “goodbye” and even a pleasant response if they ask a pleasant question. Train them on how they need to treat you. Try not to be passive aggressive either. Just non-hate.

But, the primary advice holds: ignore them, don’t engage with them, don’t respond when provoked, leave when provoked, don’t talk about them afterwards. TRAIN THEM. But also train yourself not to get in the mud with a pig, even in your mind when they are nowhere to be seen. What a waste of brain cycles then.

Q: “What if the crappy person is your boss?”

Work hard, don’t engage when they try to bait you, be incredibly professional, document all meetings and interactions and give them a copy, give them credit, no flirting, no gossiping, don’t talk about them behind their back. And read “10 Reasons You Need to Find a New Job Right Now”.

Q: When is revenge justified?

A: NEVER. It is never ever justified. I have had people do horrible things to me. Horrible. But lets say I have 40 years left to live on this life. Any time spent on revenge will reduce the number of happy days I have left. Not only is revenge never warranted but even thinking about it wastes brain cycles.

It’s like in the above example: “Bill who?” That’s why its such a great saying, “the best revenge is living well.” I have plenty of ways to revenge the stupid, crappy people I’ve had to deal with. I’d rather walk by the Hudson River, read a book, and have a waffle. (Note: if we are talking about violence, there are proper channels for dealing with it: police, support groups, documentation, etc)

(he got consumed by revenge)

Q: 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?

A: Same thing. If someone abuses you, regardless of their IQ , they are still crappy people. Stupid people who are abusive equals crappy people. So do what I suggest in the original article:

  • 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.

It doesn’t matter their IQ. You can’t waste time being abused or dealing with people who don’t treat you right. You can’t train them to be smarter, but you can train them not to abuse you. Or there will be no interaction.

Q: This post seems to have been inspired by a negative comment you got. It sounds like you aren’t following your own rules?

A: This post was actually inspired by a 2500 year old book I was reading. But yeah, I’m in the same club everyone else is. We all have crappy people to deal with. These are the best approaches for dealing with these.

Nobody here is trying to be a Buddha. Its too hard!  Buddha spent years trying to be Buddha. Gandhi spent years trying to be Gandhi. I get annoyed and pissed off every day.

I will say this: I have a lot of experience following this advice and I have a lot of experience not following it.

When I follow it, my life is a lot better. I’m happier, and ultimately the crappy people around me either disappear or they start interacting with me in a better way.

When I don’t follow it: my time spent arguing with these people gets greater. My time spent talking about them gets greater. My time spent thinking about these people increases. So even if I might have had just a five minute argument with them, suddenly it takes away maybe 50 hours of my life. That’s an ugly way to live.

So its simple: better for me to follow my own advice than to not follow it. I can’t lift 200 lbs the first day I ever go to the gym but I can work on it, be aware of the importance of practice, and work on improving every day.

Q: What if you are the crappy person?

A: This is a great question. It almost sounds like it was intended as a joke but it’s actually an important point. Many of us are the crappy people and we don’t realize it. But the article was about how to deal with what I defined as the four types of people.

If you are real enough to notice you are a crappy person then you, my friend, have taken a huge step. You’re already less of a crappy person because you’re being honest with yourself. You’ve become less delusional. Now just follow the suggestions in the original article and you quickly move from mostly being a #4 to becoming a #1.

Your energy will be redirected, your energy will be more efficient, you will become less of a crappy person.  Guaranteed. Again, its a practice. Nobody gets to be Buddha in 24 hours.

This is all part of the “Emotional” leg of what I describe as “The Daily Practice” in another post. Each leg is important. 4 legs to a chair so you can sit.

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

A: RUN!!! If you can run, run. If you need police, get police. If you need help, get help.

VERY IMPORTANT: Feeling good about hurting someone can get you killed and is a horrible leak of your energy.

If someone is attacking you, then defend to the point where you can run away as quickly as possible. If someone attacks someone right next to you, then help that person to run away or, if they are staying and fighting, then you run away and get help.

A few years ago a friend of mine got in a fight at a bar. I wasn’t there. My friend is a good guy. But he decided he couldn’t let someone be abusive to him so he made the decision to fight back. He got hit on the head. Now my friend is paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of his life. 25 years old. The best thing you can do is run or find help.

Q: Was this post about me?

Five people asked me this question. The answer is no. Its not about “you” or anyone I know. This was not a personal post at all. The source of the post was based on something I read that was written about 2500 years ago.

Conclusion:

There’s one theme: you want to be a happy person. You don’t want to be a crappy person. Forget everyone else for a second. Forget the people who are abusing you or who have been abusive to you. Your goal is to use these techniques to as quickly as possible, become a consistently happy person. That’s more important than winning a fight. It’s more important than gossiping or feeling guilty. Its not about being right, its about being HAPPY.

Am I a happy person? Not always. Sometimes I’m a pretty crappy person. But I’m hoping my ratio of happy over crappy is getting better.

Related Posts

  1. How to Be the Luckiest Person Alive in 4 Easy Steps
  2. How to deal with Crappy People

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  • http://profiles.google.com/jayzalowitz Jay Zalowitz

    I was worried that you hadnt referenced star wars in a while, Nice post.

  • Zeff

    “The best revenge is living well”. Respect!. Its hard to ‘not talk’ and most importantly NOT THINK about that crappy person but if i look it as a waste of ”brain cycles”, it sure helps. Thankyou 

  • http://twitter.com/Jwmaden John Maden

    what was the book?

    • Kate Walker

      Book must be  “Yoga Sutras” by Patanjali

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

        Nah.  It’s gotta be Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard

  • http://twitter.com/8020Financial Adam

    Excellent post James. Agree 100%. You really are doing a lot of genuine good with this blog – please keep it up. And thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Also wondering about the book – Lao Tzu perhaps?

    Good stuff, James.

    • Kate Walker

      Book must be  “Yoga Sutras” by Patanjali

  • http://economicdisconnect.blogspot.com/ GYSC

    “Consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wans apprentice.”  I may not be the best person to comment on the negatives of the darkside, lol.

  • Sigi

    Reading this, and thinking about it, I realize how *few* crappy people I have in my life.

    This still is wise and valuable advice you’re giving. I enjoy reading your articles, thank you for sharing all this with us!

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

    Instead of compassion we offer generosity to the crappy people that are the closest to us.

    We offer our help, our food/drink, our time, whatever we may have to people
    who have gossiped about us, lied about us, and really really screwed us.
    We live by the “What is our is yours, we are family” concept.

    Ironically, I think this actually might freak them out.

    *** I am definitely on the active learning curve with this. I still have my pissed off moments but they are fewer and far less severe. It’s helpful to read your posts – Thanks. :)

  • http://wavetribe.com Derek Dodds

    I am that which I fight.

  • C. Martin

    James, great post! I like your thoughts on revenge. I’ve had some interesting experiences with this topic. I’ve let crappy people preoccupy my mind and drive me nuts but I eventually find ways to throw them out of my life, find peace of mind and start living well again. 

    When it comes time to reunite with the crappy people again, I actually find myself wishing the best for them. It’s feels good to know that they can no longer bring me down and I feel more mature sincerely wishing the best for them. 

    Keep up the good work James!

  • http://what-are-my-options.blogspot.com/ the99th

    I keep thinking this applies to the mother of my daughter, but I want to give her the chance to move forward. I do feel as though she drags me down and now matter how much love I giver her she warps it into this null pathology of pity. Or maybe I’m a crappy person, when you get so intertwined it’s hard to tell the difference.

    Maybe we’re all crappy people by virtue of our mortal feces and it’s just a question of how well you wipe.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      You’re right. But I think by diligently applyig this we move out of that toilet. Make sure your ex doesn’t drag you down by doing the above.

  • Victoria Moore

    Thank you.

  • Simon

    James, your answer to, “Q: “My own parents have evil tendencies . . .”was spot on. It took us five years to build a strategy that you laid out in a few sentences. And it really does take a ton of practice. But, it’s an energy suck that is out of our lives now.

  • TripleB

    You’re so vain.  You probably think this post is about you.

  • Anonymous

    Amen!

  • Alex

    One trick is to say “just for today”.  Easier than “forever” and more real:

    Just for today, I let go of anger.
    Just for today, I let go of fear.
    Just for today, I am grateful.
    Just for today, I am kind to myself and others.

    etc.

  • amy

    What about boundaries? That psychological concept where you don’t always button your lip but politely and with love inform the offending person that you’re not going to go with them on their journey of verbal abuse? It’s less frustrating that keeping quiet, quitting or running away. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I think I recommend a form of that. Where you train them by your responses where the boundaries are. You interact to the point where its not abuse. You only really runaway immediately when there’s violence involved.

  • lee

    James, some great advice here though what you’re espousing is just another form of compassion, albeit a more palatable and less difficult way to achieve it :-)

  • ZenPen

    “Gandhi spent years trying to be Gandhi.”                               – from the post above

    Gandhi was crappy in regards to his views on race.

    Gandhi wrote in his Indian Opinion of September 24, 1903:”We believe as much in the purity of race as we think they do, only we believe that they would best serve these interests, which are as dear to us as to them, by advocating the purity of all races, and not one alone. We believe also that the white race of South Africa should be the predominating race.”

    Gandhi was a member of the Theosophical Society, whose literature was adorned with swastikas and preached about a superior Aryan race.

    Hitler kept a copy of Isis Unveiled by the The Theosophical Society by his bed.

    The head of the Theosophical Society, Helena Blavatsky, was friends with Albert Pike, who massacred Indians and helped found the KKK.

    Aleister Crowley bragged about meeting Blavatsky and Theosophical Society books were required readings for members of Crowley’s satanic organizations.
    Crowley also bragged about meeting Hitler and was a rabid anti-semite who promoted the lie of Jewish blood libel.

    http://arcane-archive.org/faqs/crowleyracistfaq.php#discovering

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I guess i’m referring to our mythical historical view of a Gandhi as a man who loved peace above all else. I know there’s a recent book about Gandhi which disputes this notion but I haven’t read it yet. Replace Gandhi with some other historical figure then.

      • ZenPen

        Whenever I post, I am attempting to back up the incredibly salient points that you make with quotes that reinforce what you post.

        As a lifelong believer in non-violent action who has peacefully fought organized racist groups for decades, it killed me to find out that Gandhi was a racist member of an anti-semitic group that inspired Hitler.

        I have yet to find a historical figure who is above scrutiny and long ago burned all of my pedestals.

        “Sacred cows make the best hamburgers”
                                                                                      – Abbie Hoffman

      • ZenPen

        Whenever I post, I am attempting to back up the incredibly salient points that you make with quotes that reinforce what you post.

        As a lifelong believer in non-violent action who has peacefully fought organized racist groups for decades, it killed me to find out that Gandhi was a racist member of an anti-semitic group that inspired Hitler.

        I have yet to find a historical figure who is above scrutiny and long ago burned all of my pedestals.

        “Sacred cows make the best hamburgers”
                                                                                      – Abbie Hoffman

  • http://roundelwoods.blogspot.com/ Andrew Ramponi

    I wonder about this prohibition on gossip. Obviously insults or verbal violence are ignorant and crappy, but it seems to me gossip has many subtleties.

    What do you think defines when a conversation is gossiping and crappy? Doesn’t it make a difference who we are speaking with, and what it is about – spouse/parent/neighbour/friend? Intention is what matters perhaps.In any case don’t you listen as much to what people don’t say as what they do say? 
    Gossip can be like a social lubricant, a means to make connections relatively quickly. If I have had a certain experience with someone I can mention that to someone else and maybe they have had a similar experience  so we have a shared bond. that might not be bad. Personally if someone thinks something about me or what I might have done, or not done, I would prefer this to be public for all, including me, to hear and comment on.

    I can feel in my gut usually almost immediately after making an enthusiastic comment that I have said something for malicious reasons and wish I hadn’t. Other times once the opportunity moment has passed I have wished I had said ….All that said, I think when in doubt silence might be the safest approach.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I think gossip is a way of keeping the “crappy person” close to you when what you really want is the exact opposite. It also creates a tense environment all around and people have a sense when others are talking about them. Nothing good comes from it and if what you really want is less interaction, then less gossip helps.

  • Avdhoot

    Hi James 

    Your post is spot on…….But I am also left wondering what book it is ???? Must be awesome….or quite possibly you must have distilled the whole philosophy succinctly !!! :-)

    • sarfarosh

      same here
      Please let me know this 2500 year old text that you were reading :) 

  • Anonymous

    Great post! I’m a doctorate student in clinical psychology and I am impressed with your level of insight. Have you ever heard/read about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? Much of what you describe regarding the inflow of thoughts is discussed in this. If you ever have the time, I recommend that you read “Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.” Keep up the great work!
      

  • Wilbur2

    The most brilliant aspect of James treatise on crappy people is that however one might criticize it, that automatically places the critic into the category of crappy people.  Excellent!

  • Wilbur2

    The most brilliant aspect of James treatise on crappy people is that however one might criticize it, that automatically places the critic into the category of crappy people.  Excellent!

  • Irishgirlsusie

    Great outline of how to deal with family members, especially about not engaging in a fight.  It’s worked for me the last 8 years.  

    The non-hate you speak of is what I call indifference.  It is the mental state you arrive at when you simply don’t care about that person anymore.  It’s a very powerful state to move yourself into if you can because it completely eliminates the negativity. 

    Which is why I also never practice revenge.  I choose not to have a relationship with that crappy person, and whether you want to admit it or not, engaging in revenge actually does just that.

    I think to make indifference work, you have to have a good core understanding of who you are as a person.  This allows you to come to terms with the idea that just because someone says it, accuses you of it or thinks it, does not make it a reality. 

  • Richard

    Wonderful post. For the most part it covered all we need to get on with a day and week. 

  • http://twitter.com/Periboob Peri Boob

    Wow! An illuminating couple of articles. My reaction to crappy people is analysis–I try to imagine how their life could be so afflicted to turn them that way. They must have been very unlucky, and I have been so lucky, that I just thank the IPU and get on with my happy life.

    We all run across plenty of them, the inconsiderate, the loud, pushy, oblivious… But I have only known 2 crappy people. It turns out when I get to know someone they nearly always have value to me that mitigates their crappiness. Or maybe if I start to get to know someone, and they stay crappy, I just decide to not get to know them. Would lack of exposure to my niceness cause them to be more crappy?

    But it got me to thinking. I wonder if people who are crappy, tend to judge a lot of other people as crappy. I think we need a scoring system. If you think someone is crappy, you get to add a point to their crappy-score, and your count of crappy associates goes up one. If everyone wore those two numbers, “# of people who think I am crappy” and “# of people who I think are crappy”. Then we could tell how much crappiness (like beauty) is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe someone could make an app for that?

  • Anonymous

    James – still wondering which 2500 year old book you referred to – any chance you could share that info? (And if you already have, please accept my apologies for asking again).

  • David Ranallo

    Good one.  There are no hard and fast rules for dealing with crappy people, but overall you’re correct to be professional and avoid them.  However, if you avoid all crappy people or people who have crappy days periodically, then how is this world going to change for the better? Or when should you engage with a crappy person as fleeing or non-hate EVERY time seems childish and weak?

    BTW, attaining enlightenment and compassion is a goal to strive for; not a illusion.

    • Kevin M

      The world will change for the better if the crappy people realize no one is engaging them. Either by becoming non-crappy or just leaving the rest of us the hell alone.

  • nysepete

    I totally agree with the ignoring crappy people.  I started doing that way back in high school, which for me, was mostly in the 80’s.  

    However – I dropped out of whole groups of people because I didn’t want to be associated with one or two, and to this day, sacrificed many other friendships due to it.
    Granted I was younger and less mature – and way less  inclined to approach some of them whom I liked and present the scenario in my own words.

    Nowadays – I would do just that.
    Still, lost time can’t be found – and I wish I had “ignored” a few less associates of the crappy people – or maybe just sucked it up.

    Don’t know that that would be good enough according to this post.

  • Andrew W

    Bravo for advocating non-hate over compassion.  I’ve been advocating that forever and have gotten nothing but crap for it.  Non-hate is a tool people can use and genuinely put into practice in a way that offers them immediate benefits, instead of struggling through the intellectually fraudulent existential gymnastics of finding compassion for the people who hurt us.  

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      100% agree. The “compassion” crew bring arrogance into the picture. If they can do it, thats great. But I doubt it. Its hard to be compassionate with someone who just beat on you. 

  • Kevin M

    Happy/Crappy Ratio – love it! Thanks for answering my question – it wasn’t a joke, btw. It is work choosing not to let crappy people turn me into a crappy person, but I’ve seen change in just the few short days since the original post. So thanks.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I agree. I feel like a crappy person all the time, always having these mental dialogues in my head. But the more you notice them, the more they become your slaves rather than the other way around. 

  • Tanyaz1

    Excellent information – Thanks!  Sadly, these are things my parents/teachers/life didn’t teach me or tell me point blank, but now I know, and now I know what to tell my child when he is growing up and comes across crappy people in his world.  Thanks again!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I agree Tanya. This is part of my problem with the entire school infrastructure in this economy. They teach you about butterflies and the inside of a plant but not the basics on how to ive a better, calmer life. We dont need to know about the pistil of a flower when we are older but we need to know about someone we have a hard time dealing with. But we’re on our own when it comes to that. 

      • Dawnabesst

         actually, I teach about the butterfly and being kind…all in the same day :)

  • Tanyaz1

    Excellent information – Thanks!  Sadly, these are things my parents/teachers/life didn’t teach me or tell me point blank, but now I know, and now I know what to tell my child when he is growing up and comes across crappy people in his world.  Thanks again!

  • Henry

    very nice post i only wish i had gotten this advice when i was younger!
    ty j.altucher

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Me too. But you live and learn 

  • ghandi

    a lifelong girlieman would subscrbe to this BS advice
    sometimes you gotta fight fire, with fire…it feels good  :-)

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yeah, or you get burned. 

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

    I just broke all the rules – and I am mad at myself…..I had to come back here and re-read to better equip myself and to regroup. Heading back to my happy place. 

    I must be a really slow learner. :) 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Its ok to “break the rules”. I did today as well. It’s hard. But each day I try to do it less. 

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

    Non-hate can be really hard. There is really only one evil person I can’t (and haven’t) simply eliminated from my life. Over the past fourteen years I have reached the point of forgiveness/non-hate so many times only to have something new occur that brings me back down in it. It’s a constant struggle. I don’t engage. I walk away when I can. But the anger does build up. I do talk about him (more venting than gossiping). 

    And I hate him. One person. Just one. But it’s there. It’s big and ugly and energy consuming. I don’t want to. I’ve fought against that feeling for years. But I hate him. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Non-hate is very hard. But its easier than compassion, which I think is not only hard but dangerous for the person attempting to practice it in these situations. Hate is too powerful to be fought with the tools of compassions. It will destroy you. 

      But non-hate is also hard. the only thing here is: its a must to move forward. 

  • earl

    I had a few significantly crappy people in my life introduced to me through my marriage who contributed to the end of our marriage and nearly drove us into financial ruin.  In short, I had a sister in law that read ‘The Secret’ and decided to become a real estate flipper, and needed seed capital.  Was I a crappy person, yes, because I did not have the balls to say no to my wife so early in my marriage.

    Lesson learned,  learn how to say NO to the people closest to you.  You have to be protective and be willing to cut people out, focus on yourself and become detached completely from anyone who lets you down.  

  • Tim Leon

    Excellent follow up and very wise. Thanks.

  • Katherine

    Great advice. Even as a therapist, I use it myself and I have shared this with several clients. Thanks.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I’m glad. I hope it helps them. 

  • Randy

    These are a two great articles.  It’s funny how much time we waste dealing with the number 4s.

    I’m going to bookmark these two and revisit often… practice, practice, practice …

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

    James, you amaze me.  Even as a person with an advanced degree in psychology, I can’t find anything wrong with your advice.  And I’m good at finding things wrong with people’s advice, lol. Of all the articles I have ever read on this subject by so called “experts”, yours is actually the best.  Because it’s no BS.  It’s real. 

    I have to say that I learned all of this MORE from belonging to mailing lists and message boards on the internet than from face-to-face life, although I did learn some of it there too. The internet is quite a teacher!  I just sometimes need to remind myself of it, which means I will likely often return to your posts on crappy people.  Thanks for the FAQ.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Wow, thank you so much Renee. And I agree with you about the internet being quite a teacher. 

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

    I just thought of another question.  I know how I would answer it but I wonder how you would answer it, James.  The question is, “Should I ever try to make the crappy person like me and hence not be crappy to me?  Can that ever work or am I always better off trying not to engage them?”

  • Ubernaut

    the related links for this post are incorrect

  • Anonymous

    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). And doesnt that make us the “Good” person?  I know it’s a hard pill to swallow for many (and you can look like an ass when doing it), but in the end there can be some self realization (sometimes for both sides).

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

    • Anonymous

      Evil prospers when good men do nothing. 
      John Philpot Curran

      • Anonymous

        I wish there was an easier way to follow my posts and replies on here..can’t i get some kind of notice if there is a reply?

  • Lisajhk

    I just discovered your blog a couple of days ago and I am greatly enjoying your blunt, honest, humorous and pragmatic advice. Thanks!

  • Boritec

    James, can you elaborate on the why of giving the crappy co-worker credit for work they did?

    Thank you