67 Comments

It’s a good strategy. Thanks for sharing the backstory. I think the world would be a better place if more people led with vulnerability.

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Kind of you to share this with us! It’s very useful. I also like to reply to perceived aggression or inadequacy with “is everything alright?” When I really want to argue [In a caring way (not pedantic) ] and seems to help clarify things 😅 usually I have misinterpreted!

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I shared this short story with an Assholism that was very confused. Just maybe he will smarten the fuck up and have some compassion for the Infamous people in this life.

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Interesting post. I've never had that particular kind of assholism, competitiveness isn't in my nature, nor is pointing out when other people mess up or make a mistake. So I've never understood it. But I know a lot of people who are like that, and as I know I've got a lot of different faults of my own, and that I don't choose to have them they're just part of my make-up, I try to be understanding of people (no names, but people who are close to me) who do have tendencies like the ones you describe, because I know they don't enjoy being like that either. So yea, interesting to hear somebody explaining it from the other side and how they worked to improve themselves. Very nice, Tom.

By the way, I'm not saying I don't have any other forms of assholism. Just not that particular one.

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Feb 19, 2023Liked by Tom Pendergast

Self introspection is one of those pains that we avoid until we realize it actually maybe, kind of, sort of feels good. Like kneading a deeply knotted-up muscle. Also--add "chortle" and "bugle" to the secret list of wonderfully uncommon words to see in text messages. :) Nice one here, Tom.

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100% Relate.

One of the hardest things is looking back and knowing that there are certain people I interacted with in the past who will always remember me as The Asshole. To them, in the story of their lives, I was the complete and total Jerkface -- the "problem with humanity." And there's no undoing that. In the history as it is written, that is the role I played and that is, for them, who I will always be, even if I have grown and changed and regretted the errors of my former ways.

But, you gotta keep looking forward.

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Thanks for sharing, Tom. I think the best part of this story for me is that you decided to seek counseling. I've done the same before, and having an unbiased third party provide feedback is critical. Unfortunately, many never make the realization. Kudos to Sara for being honest and helping you see the light. We don't give our wives enough credit. Also, great picture... are those Sandhill Cranes? 😉

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Holy Shit, Tom! That was beautiful!!! Heart emojis all around. Yellow ones, if that makes you less uncomfortable. 💛🙂I had half a mind to go mining our email exchanges to see if you ever used that phrase with me. It's likely you did. And likely I'd find "I'm sorry" in a few of my responses. That's my go-to. My husband and I rarely fight because when we do, it feels so foreign and icky that we just both own up to being wrong really fast so we can get back to laughing and hugging, which is WAY more fun. If I've learned anything from Mark Manson (and now you) it's that everyone is a little bit wrong and a little bit right in any argument. My apology method is flawed, because it requires that the other person accept what I'm offering (partial wrongness) and pick up the other side of that thread (remaining wrongness) in order for things to go back to being peachy. That doesn't mean my apologies aren't genuine. I really feel sorry when "being me" causes negative feelings for someone else. So, the "I'm sorry" is me accepting responsibility for my own unique case of "assholism". But if the other person can't own theirs... well, that just turns me into a bigger asshole. 😂Honestly, Tom. If you wrote a book about this "method", I would buy it in a ❤️beat. Or hope you'd offer me a free copy, as a member of your editorial team. This will be the only Substack post I read today. It's the only one I needed. And I REALLY REALLY want to meet your wife someday. If I can only meet one of you, it has to be her. Sorry.

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Feb 19, 2023Liked by Tom Pendergast

I am very happy you found this phrase, Tom. Love, Sara

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100% relate here too ... is being referred to as a "dick" worse? Nice post, Tom.

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This is wonderful! And so self-aware. Wish one of my exes would have tried therapy like this before it tore us apart.

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It’s great advice Tom, thank you for sharing. I’m going to use it! (Also had a snort-laugh at your friend commenting on being pedantic but not THAT pedantic. Love that that’s the line 😂 and also wonder if that level of self-awareness actually makes one not a pedant?)

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SUCH a great post, Tom - there are so many lessons in here. I love the REAL that runs through everything you write, and this post is crazy real. In a great way. Thank you.

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Feb 19, 2023Liked by Tom Pendergast

Great story! I plan to share with those in my life who suffer from assholism! Your honesty energizes everything you write.

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Feb 19, 2023Liked by Tom Pendergast

Suddenly the competitiveness around the daily word puzzle makes complete sense. ;)

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Feb 19, 2023Liked by Tom Pendergast

“I’m confused.” - may try that, ''yes dear'' has seemed to work pretty well for me. .

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