How to recognise an asshole from a distance

· 6 min read >

Foolproof methods to understand who wants to badly fuck you up with no regrets in love, work and social relationships; techniques to get rid of it permanently and ways to not attract assholes anymore.

As Zarathustra said: in life, whether you walk and move, or sit and wait, sooner or later you will meet an asshole.”

Paolo Rossi

We can strive to see the good in everything that surrounds us, to understand the malevolent behaviour of the neighbour, to enquire about the story who brought this person acting by mere egoism, to attend workshops about empathy, compassion, psychology applied to the modern social malaise; we can firmly believe that nobody’s evil and that the good guys will always win, that we can cure the bad with other bad, that people can be saved. But the existence of assholes on the Earth is undeniable. Sooner or later we all behave like assholes, even if it is for a short period of our life. We all agree that nobody should be labelled for the rest of his/her life because of his/her behaviour, so we should say that there are some people who behave like assholes, more than saying that there are assholes. Despite that, I think to call them with this appropriate name is more impactful, knowing that is not an everlasting label.

How to recognise an asshole from a distance

What’s an asshole?


First of all, we will try to understand what an asshole is, what his/her characteristics are. Knowing that a universal definition doesn’t exist, we can still indicate a “field” in which the common thought is part of about being or not an asshole. Reading the Oxford English Dictionary, we find this definition:

North American vulgar slang, borrowed from arsehole British vulgar slang

  • 1 A person’s anus.
  • 2 A stupid, irritating, or contemptible person.

In the Collins English Dictionary you find also:

2. Slang a person who is stupid, foolish, despicable, etc.

So it is a common feeling to consider an asshole who is hateful, mean, stupid but also treacherous and evil, I would add. This definition, however, doesn’t bring justice to the assholes, I would say that they are even more. They feel superior comparing to the others or at least comparing to the object of their bitchiness. They consider themselves free from others’ complaints. I will not group them with the arrogant, the proud, the selfish, the egocentric; neither with the evil, the wicked, the merciless. All of them still have a kind of nobility. Not the assholes, not even their name can be considered noble in some way. They can, at the most, be called with another word: bastards. Which likewise identifies him as he deserves.

Characteristics of the assholes

Now that we had, more or less, defined it: how does behave an asshole? Usually, they don’t really care about others’ feeling and they act in order to get what they want at any cost, with no hesitations. They step on the emotions of people around them with no worries about consequences and when the latter occurs, they don’t care. They seem free from guilt. They are not just egoist, egocentric and opportunist, they are even more: they are assholes. If they meet someone who they hate and who is suffering, for them is not enough: they do their best to make him/her worse. They steal colleague’s ideas saying they were theirs. They are able to change mask just to take what they want and to be assholes again as soon as they got it. They have friends of convenience and they can fuck them up in no time, hit on with others’ partner, to rob them by the winning scratch card. They are mean, slimy, unreliable and the lowest of the low. They seem to be affected by antisocial personality disorder. It is too simple, however, to blame a pathology for their behaviour, they must take the responsibilities of their bitchiness.

Why are we attracted by assholes?

The unbearable charm of the assholes

Despite of all that we just said, we keep going on let the assholes fuck us up. We keep going on trusting them, we believe to their flatteries allowing them to enter in our heart and we let them destroy it. Maybe we open a company together but then we curse the day in which our business partner fled away to Mexico with all the money of the company and we are under house arrest for fraud. Or maybe we marry one of them and after a few years, we find ourselves sleeping in the car because that bitch took from us the house, the kids and half of our salary. Or we introduce to him our girlfriend, they become friends and the next summer your Facebook wall is full of their photos on the beach.
In conclusion, even if assholes are easily recognisable, we end up to be fuck by them all the time. What do we like about them?

Great loves announce themselves precisely. As soon as you see it you say: who is this bitch?”

Ennio Flaiano

Assholes have great power over people who were over-criticized, despised and refused since their childhood. That this was done by the parents, brothers or sisters, teachers, professors or schoolmates it doesn’t really matter. We fervently wished to get attention from our beloved ones and we allowed them to treat us badly. When once became adults, we meet an asshole, we put into practice again the old dynamics that are deeply rooted in the subconscious. We find someone who despises us, treats us badly, and we do our best to get his/her attention! Poor us! It is, obviously, a mission impossible. The asshole will give attention to you only to get something from you; once he will get it, he/she will kick your ass pushing you out, stepping mercilessly on you with no hesitation.

Invidia strontii

Another “power” owned by assholes over many, is to generate envy. By now many are the ones who see in assholes a model to imitate, to admire, to be the envy of. It’s plenty of characters in films such as the infamous, the bastard, the oppressor, the skunk and so on. We envy them because they are winners, detached from everything and every one, free from the guilt, from others’ opinion. They act unbounded, with no fears, focusing only on their needs and pleasures. They refuse to submit to the rules, the morality, other people. Practically we envy for all the things that we cannot do. We project on them our desires to be winners and we perceive of them only the “positive” characteristics, those that we lack to be realized (or those we believe necessary to get success in this society).

We forgot an important aspect: the asshole is never a winner. They are lonely people, with no real friends, who know only one way to approach people and they use it without distinction: children, adults, elders, animals, plants. They are victims of their bitchiness itself and more they burn bridges, more they become assholes.

Those who envy them confuse what is healthy self-love with being bastards: these are two completely different things. Probably if we envy an asshole is just because we need to develop healthy self-love.

How to recognise an asshole from a distance

How to recognise them and keep them away

Asshole or not?

Being honest there is no real technique. A practical handbook with all the psychological profiles of assholes doesn’t exist. We can’t find charts with the unequivocal behaviours of the asshole. It would be nice to have a bestiary with their characteristics listed: the somatic characters, the diet, the habitat in which they live, how they reproduce. As there is for animals and plants. This is because the same behaviour in the same situation could be chosen with completely different intentions. I can say a hurting word to make you grow or to deliberately throw you down. I could look like an asshole before your eyes only because I simply don’t do what you want, not satisfying your cravings of a spoiled child. Quite often we label someone as an “asshole” only because we don’t want to admit that we are wrong. We don’t want to see that our needs are just caprices so we say that those who don’t fulfil them are assholes. Women, usually, are really good at label men as assholes, quite often we no reason at all (with the same superficiality and lightness with which men say that women are sluts). But then, how can we tell if we are dealing with an asshole or with our own whims?

“I knew it, I’m surrounded by assholes!”


The only true foolproof method

Since there is no formula, the only foolproof way is to love yourself deeply. If you love yourself for what you are, even if you meet an asshole, you will not allow him/her to mistreat you. If you love yourself, you automatically protect yourself. Having high self-esteem, being self-confident, accepting yourself, don’t give the asshole a foothold to hurt you. Whatever he/she says or does, he/she won’t touch you at all. Or maybe it would make you react in order to get him/her away from you, once and for all. At the same time, loving ourselves makes us understand if we are listening to our true needs or to the whims of our wounded child. If you love yourself you do not feel the need to hurt others, to use them for your petty purposes, simply because you have no petty purpose!

Assholes can exercise their nature exclusively with those who have unresolved wounds, dark sides that they don’t want to see, and unintegrated weaknesses. Those who love themselves also love their faults, know them, accept them. Nothing can really hurt them, certainly not for long. Those who love themselves do not let themselves be exploited, they defend their freedom with all their strength and above all, they do not need to attract anyone’s attention: they are self-sufficient. Even though usually, those who love themselves are surrounded by genuine friends, perhaps few, but true and sincere.


There is not really much more to say. This is the only effective thing I can recommend, loving yourself. Not only does it make us immune to assholes, but it solves a lot of other problems, which I will not list here, but will be addressed in other articles. On the other hand, it is inevitable to have to deal with assholes, they cannot be avoided or exterminated all. Since we have to relate to each other, let’s do it in the best way, for us of course. And who knows if the assholes don’t serve just to that: to learn to love us deeply. With their bitchiness, they constantly push us to question ourselves, in many ways. They urge us to bring out that healthy “aggression” of which, perhaps, we are lacking.

No tree that has deep roots can be uprooted by the wind. This, perhaps, is the role of the assholes: to push our roots deeper. It would explain the presence of at least one asshole in every group of people. And if you can’t see a single one, well, maybe in that case you are the asshole.

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