Social Question

lillycoyote's avatar

How do you think a person becomes/ends up being pretty much a complete asshole?

Asked by lillycoyote (24815points) June 26th, 2010

There seem to be assholes who were raised by assholes, no surprise there, but there also seem to be assholes who appear to have been raised by perfectly nice people and perfectly nice people who appear to have been raised by assholes. What do you think the “etiology” of assholery or assholeness? A lot of research has been done looking into how people end up becoming criminals, but there doesn’t seem to be much research on the causes of good old fashioned everyday assholeness.

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18 Answers

Merriment's avatar

Every asshole I have ever encountered has always blamed someone or something else for their assholish ways.

It’s always someone else who rectum and made them what they are today.

Berserker's avatar

Unless you’re a rapist, a murderer or the lead singer for Skrewdriver, I’m pretty sure being an asshole is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone thinks everyone else is an asshole as soon as they don’t agree or if they act or dress or think in the way they don’t like. A real asshole is not confirmed as such by anyone’s hissy fits.
As far as things like rude behaviours, nonchalance and manipulation goes, well, as Beavis said, welcome to the world.

HoneyBee's avatar

Define what you mean by asshole other than the place where you go #2.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

I don’t think you can become one, I believe the assholeness is already there and is dormant. It gradually comes out more as the person ages.

ETpro's avatar

First off, as a guy who happens to find a well-turned derriere terrifically attractive, I think we do the human asshole a great disservice in comparing callous, selfish, arrogant, aggressive people to that fine body part. Assholes, leave home without one and you will soon be full of shit.

That said, I know what you are driving at. I guess it all depends on who is doing the defining. For instance, to a really selfish person, everyone who fails to instantly meet their needs with no thank you is just being an asshole. Such a person will go through life completely unaware that the reason they think everyone around them is and asshole is that they are the asshole and the are provoking the negative responses they get. And therein lies the clue. A focus on self as opposed to others makes for someone seeming to be an asshole to just about everyone else.

lillycoyote's avatar

@HoneyBee O.K. How do I define “asshole?” An asshole, to me at least, is a person who is generally rude, arrogant, self-centered, contemptible, abrasive; who enjoys belittling, demeaning and humiliating others, sometimes in a very upfront ways, but sometimes in very subtle and back-handed ways and thinks everyone else is pretty much an idiot. Synonyms would include: jackass, dickhead, son of a bitch, prick, jerk, motherfucker etc.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think it is part nurture and part nature!

lillycoyote's avatar

@Symbeline First I want to say thank you; I always appreciate a cheery and gracious “Welcome to the world.” But I would have to absolutely disagree that any antisocial behavior short of rape and murder is “in the eye of the beholder.” Yes, people sometimes don’t get along, people don’t like each other, everyone is capable of doing asshole things without actually being assholes. But, there are standards of conduct that most of us would agree on, I would hope, standards of conduct and interaction that allow us to live together, rather than completely surrender to a dog eat dog system. If you’re O.K. with that, with accepting rudeness, manipulation, the demeaning and belittling and humiliation of other people, arrogance and self-centerdness as o.k., just the way people are and everyone just needs to chill and not be so sensitive, good for you, I guess. Welcome to the ugly decline of Western Civilization. I hope you enjoy it. It won’t be pretty.

Your_Majesty's avatar

When that person choose to be an asshole person. Each person can act differently for each different situation(I.e. When one in a bad mood,decide to harm others,and many other reasons). A person who become an asshole for most part of his/her life is definitely a product of bad environment and a person who still sticks to this bad rule.

Berserker's avatar

@lillycoyote Decline? I don’t see how any of that is any different than what people were always like. Either way, I never said I accepted it, or was okay with it, I just pointed out that it happens. Whether or not it’s natural, I can’t say. Get your dick out of my mouth please. My main point with this is you gotta look at yourself first, before defining everybody else.

ETpro's avatar

@lillycoyote I second @Symbeline on the decline thing. After the torture devices of the Inquisition, used to make sure each of us was religiously pure, it’s hard to see how modern society is a step down.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Symbeline Maybe the “decline of Western Civilization” thing was a lot of hyperbole, and an over simplification, but if your main point was to simply inform me that “assholes happen;” well, yeah, I know that. That’s why I asked the question. And if the main point of your response was to inform me that “assholes happen” then your comment was neither useful nor helpful and not at all responsive to my question.”

ETpro's avatar

I’ll cast my vote with you on that, @lillycoyote. There definitely is a difference between the people most define as raving A-holes and the rest of humanity.

Berserker's avatar

Well, if you already have that clear a mind as to what humans are supposed to be, assholes as opposed to beings able to thrive and get along together or the other way around, you’re a step further than me. I most certainly wasn’t trying to inform you of anything, other than that I don’t really consider asshole to be someone who tells you to fuck off in the street, that is, in the face of someone who would take your life.
So if our definitions of assholes don’t meet, I can’t really help, other than suggesting an alternative. I apologize. I didn’t mean for this to be a confrontation, at the very least I thought it could be an interesting conversation. People who don’t agree usually have the best ones.

gemiwing's avatar

Even people who appear ‘perfectly nice’ can be enablers in private. I think it comes down to environment.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I think it takes sensitive and persistent parenting and teaching to result in a person capable of genuine empathy. Some others experience cruelty and abuse and rise above it to become people who truly care how they their words and actions affect other people.

People who fail to acquire an awareness and concern for the feelings and needs of others are much more likely to be identified as “assholes.” Those who learn early how to attract attention by showing off and bullying others are on the fast track to becoming bona fide assholes.

BoBo1946's avatar

Life is hard. Some people use this defense mechanism to block out everyone or say nasty things, etc., to cope with life! Perfect example are people who lived in the 30’s or “The Great Depression,” they never “cut anyone any slack!”

Neizvestnaya's avatar

The people fitting your description of assholiness often are raised with a lot of privileges but little accountability. Their sense of entitlement makes them kind of insensitive of others. They figure there are no repurcussions to their behaviors since they’ve rarely had anything denied or reliant of maturing, respectable behavior skills. Just my observations so far.

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