General Question

kevbo's avatar

When people who are compulsive assholes are finally broken, do you feel vindicated or sorry for them?

Asked by kevbo (25603points) April 27th, 2009

E.g. I saw Frost/Nixon this weekend and found myself despising Nixon until the moments where he appeared broken and forlorn and then found myself surprised and a little disgusted to feel sorry for him/the character.

I had a similar situation with the VP in charge of the department I used to work for who was a crazymaking, nut job, worthless liar who finally got sacked this year as the result of a rare (for this company) layoff. The bloodlust wasn’t as forthcoming as I’d anticipated.

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18 Answers

tigran's avatar

I think one gets tired of hating once there is nothing to hate.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

For the people that suck that badly, I don’t want them to suffer, I only want them to stop sucking that badly.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Although it’s wrong, there is a little victory roar inside of me when someone gets knocked off whatever pedastool they’ve placed themselves on. Can’t help it.

kevbo's avatar

Yeah, I guess the other component I forgot to include is that they have some degree (real or perceived) of power over you.

knitfroggy's avatar

I usually hope it brings them down a peg. Anyone that is a chronic asshole tho probably doesn’t realize they are and thinks they were the one who was wronged. I don’t generally have any pity for them, because I didn’t like their mean ass in the first place.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I generally get some bit of joy out of it, but i wouldnt say overly pleased with their failure. Karma’s a bitch.

i did feel a bit bad for Nixon in Frost/Nixon too though for some reason.

cak's avatar

We just watched Frost/Nixon this weekend, as well. Both my husband and I had that same response.

I do think it might have something to do with some form of perceived power that person might have over you.

I had a moment where I saw someone that was so smug, had this complete, “I’m above it all, attitude,” have that moment where they were broken. Fact of the matter, it’s really an uncomfortable moment. I had that attitude where I knew they would have that moment, eventually in their life and it would be a good thing. Of course, I didn’t think I would be standing there when it happened, maybe it was a good lesson for both of us. It was almost painful to watch. It was something that needed to happen, but it’s never fun to watch someone really face that moment.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i’ve actually felt bad for bush, on occasion. sometimes i just think the guy is so helplessly stupid and misguided that he can’t do anything about it. i think i’m wrong, but sometimes i really can’t help but feel bad. i mean, sometimes there is a fine line between being an asshole and having an actual problem. hah. i don’t know.

Pol_is_aware's avatar

I feel sorry for them long before.

augustlan's avatar

I often feel sorry for them. I’m just a wuss that way.

Jeruba's avatar

The_Compassionate_Heretic put it beautifully as far as I am concerned. I actually wish I’d said that, but I couldn’t have.

cookieman's avatar

To realize they are an asshole means you’re more-than-likely not an asshole.

As a non-assholean, you don’t regularly relish someone else’s failures, so it’s no different when you witness an assholean fall.

If you were inclined to dance on their grave, then you might just be an assholean.

This is what my grandmother calls “being the better person”.

GAMBIT's avatar

Phil Spector – Yes
O.J. Simpson – Yes

But I haven’t walked in their shoes so I don’t know what lead up to their destruction.

susanc's avatar

Assholes are always pathetic. Do you remember the ending shot in the movie W? Completely sad. The tragedy of Bush was that he
was unsuited for the job and had to fake it for eight years. What kind of life is that?
@The_Compassionate_Heretic, I too love what you said.

susanc's avatar

@kevbo: ... and of course I felt vindicated when the things I noticed ten years ago finally dawned on the rest of the electorate. People should check with me earlier on important decisions

rayychel's avatar

yes, I actually feel really bad for them.. I suppose that if they do something REALLY horrible to myself or someone I care about, then I obviously wouldn’t feel that incredibly sorry for them. but often times they’re mean for a reason, and 9 out of 10 times it’s a bad one

augustlan's avatar

@rayychel Good point. Welcome to the collective!

Macclelland's avatar

As a card caring ass hole and ‘survivor’ of sexual abuse it is a compulsive beaver I engaged in to keep people from caring to perceive a larger pattern of behavior that will indicate the underlying issue… PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MANBEHIND THE CURTEN!!!

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